From the archives:
I took my mother to see Julie and Julia yesterday.
My father stayed home so he could see the Red Sox lose and Tiger lose. Of course, he did not know when he opted to stay home that he was losing and we were winning, but as Julia would say “Tant pis pour toi.”
Too bad for you.
Let’s cut to the chase. My mother loved this movie. I loved this movie. And we both loved it for different reasons. And the same reasons.
What surprised me is how emotional it was for both of us. My 82 year-old mother totally related to Julia – a 1950’s/1960’s woman looking for a path and a passion. It’s not just that my mother loved her and got turned on to cooking by her, though that was a big deal. Julia Child was a star in our home. My sister Julie has explained on Satellite Sisters in the past that the only time our household of 8 children plus 2 parents plus assorted friends and pets ever achieved any level of quiet was when my mother was watching Julia on TV. Remember, those were the days when a family only had one TV. When Mom was watching The French Chef, that was it. Hush came over the home.
I remember that so keenly.
So, when my mother and I went to Landmark Theatres in West L.A. for the 1:30 pm show on Sunday, we both laughed when we realized that the entire audience appeared to be women of a certain age with their daughters of a certain age. And that we all laughed out loud at the same moments.
When the movie ended, my mother turned to me, choked up and said “Those were the happiest years of my life.”
That made me choke up, too, because I know that’s true. My mother loved being a mother and a wife and a cook during those years. There was so much joy in Julia. And no one could capture that better than Meryl Streep.
We sat in our seats for quite a while when the movie ended because my mother is in a walker now and wanted the theatre to clear out.
She also wanted to talk. My mother just kept saying, “My goodness. That’s was about so much more than cooking. I didn’t expect that. So much more than cooking.”
And I choked up again because she was right.