On Friday night Chris and I watched Julie and Julia. Just in case you haven't seen or heard of this movie, it's about a young woman living in New York who decides to spend a year making every single one of Julia Child's recipes in the famed book, "Mastering the Art of French Cooking." I was excited to see this movie for many reasons. First, it has been getting good reviews and looked, from the trailer, to be funny and enjoyable. Secondly, it was well-cast with two brilliant actresses: Meryl Streep and Amy Adams. But even more than that, I was stoked because this movie is about a blogger. The movie was based on a book, which was in turn based on a blog. Written by a young woman living in New York who decides to spend a year making every single one of Julia Child's recipes in the famed book, "Mastering the Art of French Cooking." And blogging about it.
I am a blog addict. It's true. I am bigtime hooked on blogs, and in a very real (and mentally unbalanced) way these people are important to me. I shed real tears when one "my" bloggers experiences tragedy. I yell "YES!" at my computer screen when one of them takes a leap of faith. Posts about the daily lives of strangers - insightful, witty*, thought-provoking, inspiring, hilarious, envy-producing, empathy-creating, and so on - genuinely affect my mood and my day. Yes. I told you I was unbalanced.
*Not actually a stranger. Hi, Amber!
So you can imagine how much it blows my tiny mind when the blogosphere becomes more real somehow. I've read several books that are based on and/or written by my favourite bloggers: Cringe, Things I Learned From My Dad (in Therapy), Sleep is for the Weak, Schuyler's Monster, Why Girls are Weird, and of course, It Sucked and Then I Cried. I've read dozens more books that I first heard about through blogs, the same way other people might get book recommendations from, you know, actual real life people that they meet with on a regular basis to spend time socializing ... what do they call those people? Oh yeah, FRIENDS. Anyway, my point is that when a blogger writes a book, s/he comes to the attention of the (perhaps dwindling? we hope?) portion of the population that still thinks blogs are weird. Depending on how the book is written and marketed, these Mainstream Non-Internet-Addicted People may not even KNOW that they are reading a book based on a blog, a book that probably wouldn't even exist if not for that Weird Blogging Thing.
And this, finally, is my point: the movie Julie and Julia is not just about a young woman living in New York who decides to spend a year making every single one of Julia Child's recipes in the famed book, "Mastering the Art of French Cooking." It's about a young woman living in New York who decides to spend a year making every single one of Julia Child's recipes in the famed book, "Mastering the Art of French Cooking and blogging about it. You can't miss the blogging: it's a major plot point of the movie, and there are several scenes that feature voiceovers that are word-for-word source (blog!) material. The film deftly draws parallels between Child's struggle to complete and publish her cookbook, and the young blogger's struggle to identify herself as a writer, essentially equating both types of authorship. That is a powerful message for the rest of us young bloggers, whether or not we dream of book deals. It's a powerful message for the rest of the world, too, those who wonder why we insist on documenting the fascinating minutiae of our lives and sharing it with perfect strangers.
As mentioned above, the movie has been well-received by both audiences and critics, and I was deeply impressed with the humour, the performances, the writing, every last detail down to the sets and costumes. I adored the way Julie and Julia's stories were woven together, and naturally I drooled over the food. This film has even inspired me to at last forgive writer/director Nora Ephron for Sleepless in Seattle. (I will probably still rip into her another day, however, for her book "I Feel Bad About My Neck", anti-feminist tripe that it is.) But really, you can learn about all those aspects on many other sites (or even magazines, newspapers, and non-print media like television and FRIENDS!). Here at Blogging For Two, you'll hear about why this movie makes MY life better, because it's all about me. It makes my life better because it makes blogging a justifiable and valued pastime, hopefully clarifying to the masses why it is we do this thing we do. Making it more normal. Apparently sales of Child's book have surged since the movie's release ... I wonder if there has been a similar increase in blog usage?
As a footnote: Heather B. Armstrong, one of the "realest" bloggers out there, has become just a bit more real. Apparently spurred on by being featured as a Jeopardy! question, she has now decided to take over the world of television by signing a deal with HGTV. Holy shit, y'all. Blogger be UNSTOPPABLE.
Oh, AND? About six months ago, Intel decided to sponsor a blogger's life list. As in, that list of a hundred things you'd like to do before you die - now paid for in full, and all you have to do is write about it. Now THAT is real, my friend!
But most importantly - Annabelle. Welcome, sweet girl!
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