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Language and sensuality aren't what they should be warning 'Julie & Julia' audiences about

July 23, 2009 - Andy Gray
Movie ratings now are accompanied by additional information that warns consumers about violence, nudity, profanity, sexual content or other factors that led to the rating.

“Julie & Julia,” which opens Aug. 7, is rated PG-13 for brief strong language and some sensuality. But that’s not what they should be telling audiences.

Here’s what it should say: “Watching this movie will make you very, very hungry.”

My wife and I and my younger daughter went to an advance screening of the movie Wednesday in Shaker Heights. Studios don’t like for critics to blab about movies two weeks before they open, so I’ll save the review until Aug. 6. But the movie tells the parallel stories of how Julia Child became a culinary icon along with the true story of Julie Powell, a woman who spent a year cooking all 524 recipes in Child’s ``Mastering the Art of French Cooking’’ and blogging about the experience.

To get to the movie on time, we rushed through a quick dinner. After watching Meryl Streep (as Child) and Amy Adams (as Powell) preparing one succulent dish after another, my daughter started leaning over every 10 minutes or so and whispering, “I’m huuuuuunngry.”

Soon as the movie ended just after 9:30 p.m., her first words were, “Where are we going to eat?”

Here’s the problem. Not only will “Julie & Julia” make you hungry, it will make you hungry for something good. This is a hunger that a bag of chips or Ho-Hos from a gas station convenience store isn’t going to satisfy.

We weren’t really dressed for a stop for dessert at an upscale restaurant like Fire or Moxie, it was too late to get a gargantuan éclair from Corky & Lenny’s (we stopped and had our suspicions confirmed that they close at 9 p.m.), and I knew that Whole Foods and anywhere else I could get something decadent to go already was closed.

The last possibility was Mitchell’s Ice Cream in Solon, but I knew we wouldn’t get there by 10 p.m. Luckily they were open until 11 p.m. in the summer. I would have preferred something pastry-like, but a Buckeye sundae with peanut butter chip ice cream and rich hot fudge had to suffice. Diet be damned.

The moral of this story is don’t get caught unprepared if you’re planning on going to see “Julie & Julia” and you really should see it (I don’t think Sony will mind me saying that two weeks early). Make sure there’s something good waiting at home when the movie is over or go to an early enough screening that will allow for a long, leisurely meal afterward.


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