I loved the movie, "Julie & Julia" with Meryl Streep and Amy Adams. But the book "My Life in France" by Julia Child was a bit of a snoozer to me.
The movie showed Julia Child's vibrancy, her passion, and her journey with food. The movie was a treasure. I loved seeing this exuberance in Julia Child's life. I enjoyed viewing her personal interaction and charm with everyday merchants. It was fun to see her try to transform America's palate to experience a different type of cuisine. But reading the book was like reading the encyclopedia. At night. While in bed. After taking a sleeping pill. With only a scrawny 20 watt light bulb. It was not as fun as I had hoped. It was disappointing.
There were details in the book that were probably very important to Ms. Child but were not important to me, the reader. I could see that I was just like the people Ms. Child condemned in the book...you know, the ones who didn't care about the subtle differences in mayonnaise. Reading her sentiments toward all the lackadaisical people who couldn't tell the difference in a mayonnaise recipe made me see someone rather stern and judgmental instead of someone with charm and passion I had seen in the movie.
My recommendation is to see the movie but skip the book. "Julie & Julia" captures the best nuggets that are at times buried in tedium within the book. I was grateful Nora Ephron filtered the best parts and placed them in her movie.