I had to extend my working visit in a small town in Rizal province yesterday. The days-long monsoon rains flooded some roads going back to Manila. So my bosses advised me not to travel anymore.
Of course, I was not too happy with the rains. I knew many people were suffering because of the floods. But the extra night in the resort where I’m billeted afforded me some sought-after time and minimum comfort to watch some movies I’d been longing to watch.
As you know, I’ve been suffering from the “cooking bug”, the symptoms of which include watching cooking-related flicks. A few days ago, I already downloaded some of these films; I only waited for the time to watch them finally — which I did, at last, last night.
No Reservations (2007) was the second film I watched. Meh. I was looking for a Ratatouille type of story, where the protagonist beats odds and eggs to be transformed from being a mischief to a great chef, though I like other interesting storylines as well. But No Reservations isn’t either.
Well, okay, the story has its good points too, particularly regarding love for family and diligence. Oh, and Catherine Zeta-Jone is absolutely beautiful. And the insider take of the kitchen was OK, too. But that’s it. Even the romance between Kate (Zeta-Jones) and Nick (Aaron Eckhart) didn’t quite click.
It was Julie and Julia (2009), the first of the two I watched last night, that caught me laughing and crying silly. First of all, I’m a devout Meryl Streep fan; she’s just amazing amazing amazing. And the 180-degree change of character of the Streep and Amy Adams tandem from their Doubt (2008) success was also another factor why the film’s very notable.
But, of course, it’s the story — or rather, the stories — that captivated me. I’ve only been recently introduced to the genius that was Julia Child, but after watching the movie, I began to admire her more — like writer Julie Powell did (though her adulation for Child approached absurdity).
Anyway, Julie and Julia is wonderful. If you’re a struggling beginner like me, you’ll find this film instructive and comforting.
One thing, though, that struck me somewhat was how I began to see a bit of myself in Julie. She had this blog about her cooking adventures and misadventures… Sounds familiar right? For one second, I thought I just lost my reason for being. But, of course, my circumstances are totally different from Julie’s: didn’t I say I’m a single man in his mid-20s, working for an NGO and taking his MA studies on the side, and having recently discovered the joy of being gourmetmaybe and sometimes actually turning into a mischef?