Writer-director Nora Ephron combines two cooking memoirs, Julia Child's My Life in France and Julie Powell's Julie and Julia, stirring briskly to keep them from separating in the bowl. The main reason for seeing this is Meryl Streep's deft comic performance as the fluttery TV chef, shown here in the 1950s as she learns her craft and sets out to publish a cookbook of French cuisine for Americans. The other half of the story stars Amy Adams as Powell, who made a name for herself in 2002 with a year-long project to prepare and blog about every recipe in Child's book. The parallels are interesting up to a point, but as Ephron cuts between the two women, Powell's self-pitying spats with her husband (Chris Messina) settle at the level of Ephron's crowd-pleasing rom-coms (Sleepless in Seattle, You've Got Mail) even as Child's loving marriage to U.S. diplomat Paul Child (Stanley Tucci) grows more rich and complex. One keeps waiting for the title characters' lives to intersect, but when they finally do—with a reporter asking Powell to comment on Child's disparaging remarks about her—Ephron scurries away from the moment and its implications.
Director: Nora Ephron
Writer: Nora Ephron and Julie Powell
Producer: Nora Ephron, Laurence Mark, Amy Robinson and Eric Steel
Cast: Meryl Streep, Amy Adams, Stanley Tucci, Chris Messina, Linda Emond, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Jane Lynch and Frances Sternhagen