Why isn't it titled "Julia and Julie," as without Julia Child there likely would have been no blog for Julie Powell, no book, no movie made from the book? Most likely because the blogger in question comes across as a whiny, self-absorbed twit, even with Amy Adams' customary twinkle in operation.
Yes, this is a food ( and wine) film. And, yes, watching Meryl Streep unwrap and deliver Julia Child is the only reason one might want to rent the future DVD, just to see what she does and when and how she does it. Streep is an actor who uses her entire body in the creation of a persona, from her feet all the way up into her coif. ( But, of course, one is not supposed to be avidly scoping out the technical details of an actor's work while watching a film--one wants to be utterly absorbed in a place, a story.)
As a film, this melding of Julie and Julia does not work. Julie is small and Julia is large. Julie complains and Julia rises above. The director/screen writer Nora Ephron could have made the Julie character more feisty and generous, but presumably the "real" Julie held sway.
And so, as my friend and I watched the film yesterday we were both fighting off sleep during the Julie bits, and rearing awake whenever Julia was on board. And we both recalled that our respective mothers cooked Julia's boeuf bourgignon, which, then as now, closely resembled the less glamorously dubbed "pot roast," save for the addition of red wine to the former.
The movie will make you run out to buy more butter, and some decent red. And consider how well people back in the day dressed, even with the silly hats.