Monday, May 2, 2011

Day 154 - Julie & Julia & Osama

Day 154.

Yesterday, Osama Bin Laden was killed in a firefight by U.S. forces in Pakistan. This is good news because Osama Bin Laden was a fucking terrible person. We all know that Bin Laden orchestrated the 9/11 terrorist attacks, which was one of the worst tragedies to ever happen on U.S. soil, but it's of note to this blog that he also had a hand in a little film called Julie & Julia. Or rather, the movie sort of deals with/dances around the idea a post-9/11 New York. Julie Powell even works for the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, so in a weird, totally fucked up way, without Bin Laden, she wouldn't have had a job.

Bin Laden also made Julie Powell drop her raspberry Bavarian cream.

Let me emphasize something here--I am not trying to trivialize the sense of loss, pain and suffering that Americans faced on 9/11, nor am I saying that Bin Laden's affect on Julie Powell's life was the worst thing he ever did--far from it. But seeing as this is a Julie & Julia-themed blog, I feel obligated to somehow tie in the momentous occasion of Bin Laden's death with the many tonally strange moments in Julie & Julia.

For example...

Julie Powell walks to work, glancing at all the 9/11 memorials and shrines without ever remarking upon them.

The camera pans up to an American flag next to a New York Fire Department truck.
A more patriotic image probably doesn't exist.
Ground Zero. In a movie about cooking.
A card depicting the World Trade Center in Julie's office.
The motto of the Lower Manhatan Development Corporation

So yeah, I'm not exactly sure what the producers/writer/director of Julie & Julia were going for here. In what is supposed to be a light-hearted romp through the journey a crazy woman and her very, very insignificant year of blogging, the script apparently called for a ton of 9/11 imagery and constant reminders of that horrible tragedy.

I mean, Julie & Julia is definitely not a 9/11 movie, but I guess the attacks had enough of an effect on Julie Powell that ignoring them altogether would have been distasteful. But then again, since the characters never seem to deal with the tragedy head-on, the backdrop of post-9/11 New York becomes a footnote, which doesn't seem right to me either.

Honestly, this has been something I've struggled with as I continue to watch this movie every day. Like, why is there so much 9/11 in what's generally viewed as a happy, uplifting movie about women learning how to cook?

I just dont know.

What I do know, however, is that Osama Bin Laden was a bastard and his death gave the citizens of the U.S. a reason to unite as one American family. To borrow some words from President Obama, yesterday's achievement was "a testament to the greatness of our country and the determination of the American people."

God Bless America.

Julie & Julia
Quote of the Day: "You are a terrible human being."

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