Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Julie and Julia- Enraging for reasons I can't quite exlplain

I think it is safe to say that I am a pretty terrible blogger. Not that my writing is bad, but I have no staying power...I am so not used this format of writing. So bear with me anyone out there actually reading. In the meantime, may I reccomend A Mouse Bouche? Here are two ladies who are good bloggers; consistent, funny, and least what they are writing about is delish. So check them out when I am being terribly delinquent, which I promise will never happen again! (Its soooo happening again...)

Meanwhile, I have some terrible excuses for why I have been absent for so long, and I will not waste your time on them. However, I have just gone to see Julie & Julia, a movie about another terrific food blogger, and it inspired me to post again. But not for the reasons you might expect.

So if you haven't see the movie, you might want to stop reading, because I am about the divulge the only conflict there is. OK, everyone with me either already seen it, or don't care? Good.

Here's the deal; Julie Powell is like, so totally bummed about life and her career and stuff, so she takes it upon herself to start a blog and cook her way through Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking. She has set herself up with quite the challenge, wanting to complete 524 recipes in 365 days. Its a cute concept and I am sure the blog and subsequent book were adorable, blah, blah, blah, but it is a movie and so they had to insert some conflict. Enter the somewhat schmucky husband. The movie begins with a much resisted move (on her part) to a dump in Queens, which he sort of reminds her they decided to do for the space, and she sort of reminds him in return that it was mostly so he could be closer to work. So, right off the bat, not loving him. Then, he encourages her to start this blog, and sort of rolls with the punches as she gets more and more absorbed in the task at hand. Then I guess, hubby-wubby is feeling a bit neglected and (BIG F-ING SURPISE) feels that he isn't getting laid enough (read: Hollywood short hand for neglected in his relationship.) So when Julie is finally feeling like she is accomplishing something with her life for the first time in years, I guess he just can't handle her new found self-absorption, and chooses the night of her biggest dissapointment to berate her for how she is all about herself, and only cares about her blog, and he's like really, really mad, dammit! (Did I mention he's not getting any at this point?) He storms out like a junior high cheerleader, and Julie embarks on a shame spiral of how terrible she is, and how she is so mean to her husband. There was even a scene when her and a friend discuss how she is really a bitch, that was so unfounded in anything we had previously seen, I was floored.

Anyway, he comes back and without so much as a "told you so" generously forgives her and sees her through the end of her project, although she is presumably, much easier to live with post-big fight.

Am I taking this Hollywood schlock a little too personally? Maybe. But what was interesting was the conversation I had with the man I went to see it with after it was over. (Not my fiance, by the way, but close...his brother.) The difference was, while I felt, yes her character was self-absorbed and maybe a bit of a drama queen, this was a timed project with an end in sight, and he could have sucked it up for a bit longer, or at least not chosen to dress her down on the night of her huge dissapointment. He felt that the husband had been a good sport up until that point, and that she had pushed it too far, and that this guy was a good guy and has the right to be angry because she was being so self-involved.

Which leads me to my final point, which is based on a gross generalization I am happy to make. Women get a bad rap for being self absorbed a lot of the time. Especially in the case of these characters, who I think are a good representation of many couples out there. She finally finds something she enjoys, that she might have a future in, she finally focuses on something outside of him and their relationship for for like five minutes, and he throws a hissy fit because she's being self-absorbed. Is it possible that some men don't realize that they themselves are self-absorbed, that they themselves think in terms of "I" before "we" because their mothers, and girlfriends and wives and society have made their life the priority? Because we buy lipstick and talk on the phone a lot we are self absorbed, but the entire culture is formed around football season, and they aren't? I don't know, I have just dealt with enough guys in my life who don't even realize that earning a living and taking out the garbage doesn't automatically make them a team player. Future husband not included in that group, of course.

Am I crazy? Over sensitive? Not articulating this fully? Totally full of shit?

Would love to hear the thoughts of the feminists and pro-feminists among you.

(PS. I have no idea if the same conflict appeared in the blog or the book, but either way, its weak in the movie.)


  1. worst part for me: the conversation she has at some point about how women often "hate their friends", while men (the husband points out), dont'.

    Um, what? I dont hate my friends. if I did they wouldn't be my friends.

    no, said conflict was not in book, and it didn't work at all.

  2. Thank you for the selfish Football reference. Talking to my friends is selfish but if he spends an entire weekend watching sports it isn't. And SPORTS? It's like watching remakes of the same movie over and over again, one team wins, the other looses. You know what's going to happen already - why not spend some time talking to the other HUMAN in the room - or is that just me being selfish again?

  3. OMG.


    My thoughts exactly. I have had this identical conversation with the husband, my dad, my brothers SO. MANY. TIMES. And while their day-to-day choices and actions are egalitarian and feminist-friendly 99% of the time, they refuse to give lip service to the idea that the world is shaped around their tastes, their life trajectories, their life experiences and milestones, and their strengths-as-valued-qualities.

    I refuse to believe that they are actually this blind. They just don't want to risk losing the advantage here. So enraging.