Struggling to find a meaning to her life and how to spend her time in the new country she is in, she tries out several activities but eventually finds interest in French cooking which she begins to learn. She eventually co-writes and publishes a book, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, which becomes a renowned bestseller. The other woman’s character, Julie Powell, is set in 2002. Julie has an unpleasant ordinary job answering phone calls for 9/11 victims and their families at a call center in Manhatten, New York. She is an aspiring writer but cannot complete or publish any of her work. To fill her time, she tries cooking every recipe in Julia Child’s book and decides to blog about it. The film connects the daily lives, difficulties and joys in the separate lives of these two women, their husbands and friends, as they traverse through this inter-twined tale of finding their ambition, passion, goals, and love through daily doses of cooking.
Interestingly, even though Streep’s performance stands out visibly, there is no central human character in the film. The stories are skillfully weaved together to maintain the centrality of the idea that food can be more than something one cooks or just a source of nutrition and can, instead, be treated as a source of joy and an appetizer to happiness in life. For both Julie and Julia, food becomes a starting point for confident social interaction, parties, relationships and a binding force in their respective marriages as well.
Both their husbands are supportive and, barring a few occasions of frustration, loving to their wives. This also supports maintaining of focus on the plot where the women are not seeking men but already have a loyal, caring and accommodating family. Julie Powell’s husband, Eric Powell, played ably by Chris Messina encourages his wife to write a blog to overcome her writer’s block giving her the impetus to start writing about her cooking adventures. Despite odd, and sometimes funny,