Tomorrow morning when the New York Times best seller list is released, Julie Powell’s book, Julie & Julia, will be in the number two position. Not bad for a former underpaid secretary-turned-blogger-turned-book author- turned-guest lecturer at last night’s Arts & Letters Live program and the Dallas Museum of Art.
Before last night, I made my feelings about the movie and Ms. Powell pretty clear—I didn’t particularly care for either one of them. The movie was nice, but I don’t like nice overly sweet movies. I can’t comment on Julie Powell’s book or blog because I haven’t read them. I admitted that, right or wrong, I am extremely jealous of her rags-to-riches-by-blogging success.
Last night, Ms. Powell appeared at the DMA to speak and answer questions. The main hall was filled to capacity and another crowded room watched via closed circuit. SHE IS A FOOD BLOGGER. She does not have the cure for AIDS.
The good news is that I had a chance to tell Julie Powell, in front of a live audience, that I didn’t like her. I told her I was an insanely jealous food blogger and I wanted to know how in the hell she scammed this whole movie deal. You know what she said to me? “Yes, the bloggyness now is so different. I would want to throw me under a bus, too.”
I love her.
And I’m sending her a love letter.
Wow, you were really nervous last night. And plain. You didn’t wear any make up or even bother to comb your hair. That’s a gutsy move in Dallas. Especially when I think back on the saline-silicone-collagen-Botox and peroxided crowd of women you faced.
But they loved you. Love, loved, loved you. Like the blond woman who stood up and said, “Thank you, Julie. After I saw the movie on Monday night, I made Julia Child’s recipe for beof Bourgogne for my family and they loved it. And you inspired me to have the courage to try.” I was on the front row. I saw you tear up. And you didn’t even correct her for pronouncing it “beef” Burr-gynn-yon. I don’t think Julia Child would have spotted her that.
I loved it when you kicked your shoes off. I loved it that you never completed one sentence because you lost your train of thought so many times. You elevated the non-sequitur to an art form worthy of its own wall at the DMA.
I loved it that you admitted how young, stupid, desperate, and sad you were in 2003 when you started your food blog. I’m glad that you realize that your recent success isn’t because you are a good writer; you are now famous only because you were in the right place at the right time. I’m also happy to know that your real life was much worse than the one played by Amy Adams in the movie. (I bet she only uses Butter Buds!) And I was filled with joy to learn that during the real project you didn’t have “as much sex” in real life. You still don’t do you? And you think you have it all.
After listening to you, I could tell that you think the movie’s director and screenwriter Nora Ephron is a real bitch. She kept you out of the movie making process and didn’t collaborate with you very much on the screenplay. You didn’t even get to meet any of the cast until after the movie was made. (Does Meryl even know who you are?) Man, that would have chapped my ass. I mean, Nora Ephron? Talk about desperate. She couldn’t hang on to effin’ Carl Bernstein. And Ephron totally ripped that over-the-top lobster scene straight out of Annie Hall. That old broad doesn’t have an original thought.
Nora’s Julie betrayed you, didn’t she? Nora’s Julie felt that Julia Child taught her joy and how to cook. But you, Julie’s Julie, you are deeper. You feel that Julia Child taught you how to cook, but, more importantly, she taught you how to enjoy life in a different way. Julia wrote a cookbook that changed the culinary world. Mastering the Art of French Cooking has traveled through space and time and it somehow landed on your coffee table and changed the way you now look at life. You know you’re not a good cook, but you do know that, as a result of your year of cooking, you are stronger and live a braver life. Knowing you the way I now know you, Julie’s Julie, I am sure that the huge sums of money now stuffed in your mattress have nothing to do with your new found happiness. Nothing.
I could tell you really wanted to swear last night. You wanted to lace an f-bomb between every word that came out of your mouth. Then you wouldn’t have been so nervous, right? And you would have been happier if the movie had been rated “R” and Nora’s Julie could have let a few f-bombs fly. Damn MPAA. Damn Ephron. They’re all about wide-release money.
Julie, I’m so glad we got to meet and cuss together. I feel so close to you. Not like those three bitches that played your friends in the movie. What? That part was made up by Ephron to create drama and define your character’s dilemma early in the movie? Wow. That gives me hope because I hated them. Like I hated you after I saw the movie on Monday.
Last night you said, “I don’t have a lot of friends, but I like the ones I have.” After our little talk backstage, I am assuming that I’m in there. On the inside circle. We have so much in common—love of food, blogging, swearing, going shoeless in public, and 100,000 hits a day on our websites.
Good luck at the premier tonight. I’ll be here at my blog waiting for your comment.