Julie & Julia

  • Review Date: August 7, 2009
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 2009

Common Sense Media says

Tempting Meryl Streep dramedy is OK but may bore kids.
  • Review Date: August 7, 2009
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 2009

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Risk and bravery are rewarded, especially when they're accompanied by persistence and hard work. Both female protagonists have to pay their dues before they achieve success, especially Julia.

Positive role models

Two strong women find themselves through sheer force of will and creativity. Their husbands are very supportive, as are their friends.

Violence

McCarthyism’s insidious reach is a subtext of the film.

Sex

Married couples fall into bed, but there's no nudity except for the occasional bare shoulder. In a description for a food item, male genitalia is mentioned.

Language

“Bitch” pops up a few times, as do “damn,” “s--t,” and “hell.” "F--k" is used once. Other words include "c--k," "ass," "crap," "hell," and "oh my God."

Consumerism

PayPal is mentioned; logos for Salon.com and James Farm butter are visible, as are specific cookbooks.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Social drinking and smoking (the latter occurring during mostly during the Julia Child segments, when it was more era-accurate).

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that although this dramedy is ultimately upbeat, it isn't all sugary sweet. The protagonists -- strong female characters played by Amy Adams and Meryl Streep -- both undergo identity crises of sorts and must grapple with all that entails, a theme that may not appeal to tweens and under (though the soul-searching's not too deep).There's some swearing (including one use of "f--k"), and the movie's two married couples are comfortable displaying their physical affections, though there's no nudity or graphic love scenes.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

It’s 2002, and Julie Powell (Amy Adams) has fallen into a rut. Her job as a clerk fielding 9/11 claims is both depressing and soul-killing. She’s swimming upstream while her affluent, successful friends glide by in their yachts, metaphorically speaking. So, encouraged by her husband (Chris Messina), Julie sets a goal: to cook her way through Julia Child’s (Meryl Streep) venerable tome, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, in one year. And, for good measure, she'll blog about it. As Julie makes her way through the 500-plus recipes, Julia's life, decades earlier, unfolds in Paris. A former government secretary married to a devoted diplomat (Stanley Tucci), she’s determined to reinvent herself, and her passion for good food seems as good a place as any to begin.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Adams' Julie is delightful ... but not delightful enough to warrant quite so much screen time (what's with the distractingly bad haircut and the constant bellyaching?). Her arc moves the film forward, but it’s Julia Child who intrigues, so much so that it can be a killjoy to switch back to Julie in 2002. Although her Julia borders on caricature, Streep is still phenomenal, making it clear that the woman who wrote the cookbook that changed the way people cook was much more captivating and much less solipsistic than the real-life blogger who found fame through her.

Director Nora Ephron also unfortunately gives Paris a bit of the cold shoulder -- we get glimpses, but not enough to sate our hunger for the city that made Child swoon. And speaking of hunger: What happened to showing off all those tasty dishes Child was whipping up? Though the boeuf bourguignon and sole meuniere make the mouth water, and a perfectly iced chocolate cake tempts, there really isn’t enough food showcased for a film about a world-famous chef. Brief glimpses of meringue and close-ups of a trussed duck don’t feed a food-movie lover’s soul.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about why Julie felt compelled to set such a lofty goal. Was it just about the cooking? What did she learn besides how to make great food? How is she similar to or different from Julia?

  • How do the two characters stack up as role models?

  • What's the film's take on women’s roles, both then and now? What aboutidentity? What shapes your identity? Your work, your personal life, orboth?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:August 7, 2009
DVD release date:December 9, 2009
Cast:Amy Adams, Meryl Streep, Stanley Tucci
Director:Nora Ephron
Studio:Columbia Tristar
Genre:Comedy
Run time:123 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:brief strong language and some sensuality

This review of Julie & Julia was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 13 years old Written byabbs July 13, 2011
AGE
10
QUALITY
 

SSSOOOOOO Not Worth It

Amy Adams is AMAZING and I love her. She is pretty, and a talented actress. THis movie? Not so much. Its corny, and I would say its for ages 4 to 9, but it has TERRIBLE language issues for ABSOLUTELY NO REASON. Its kinda like the script writers thought it would be less corny if people randomly cussed! Its not middle school. People should not be cussing anyway. What ever. Dont even bother renting this movie from Redbox, its that dumb.

What other families should know
Too much swearing
Teen, 14 years old Written bykphoenix128 August 29, 2009
AGE
12
QUALITY
 

I thought the movie was great-and coming from me that's saying something. There is one "sex" scene. But it was tastefully done, because the couple was married. AND all that was shown was the back of Julie's bra as her husband carries her to the bed. But then it cuts to a totally different scene.Another thing would be the one use of the word f**k. It's sort of a random slap in the face, but that's pretty much the worst of the movie. Let's move on to the good parts, shall we? Also, this movie was pretty funny.It made me want to cook something too! And it it left ME with a good, happy feeling when it was over. =)

What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Adult Written byhelenmirrenrox June 28, 2011
AGE
10
QUALITY
 

Yes

Some swears like co*k, Fu*k, and bit*h. And mild kissing. A short bed scene and some more from time to time. But the ladies in this movie are good roll models.

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