Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Heights of Passion

Julia and Paul Child

Until she fell in love after my dad died, my 5'6" mom had never seriously considered any man who was shorter than her. A woman who was even a little taller than a romantic partner didn't match her image of an ideal couple.

Julia Child was 6'2". Her husband Paul was shorter. But by all accounts, including their own personal letters, they had one smokin' hot marriage.

I LOVE this picture of the Childs from goddessofpurple's journal: Comforting The Disturbed And Disturbing The Comfortable

I'd never really thought about Julia Child until the recent Meryl Streep film came out, and I certainly didn't wonder about her husband; in fact, I'd assumed she was unmarried, a woman devoted to her career.

Streep perfectly captures Julia's unselfconscious joie de vivre. I have long adored Stanley Tucci, the actor who plays her husband. He assumes a refined, urbane manner, but you can tell that there is something very physical simmering just under the surface. I loved Kim Linekin's review on MSN entertainment entitled Memorable movie make-outs of 2009:

Meryl Streep and Stanley Tucci – “Julie and Julia”

They may be middle-aged and married for a long time, but that doesn't mean that Julia Child and her hubbie can't get it on in the middle of the day. The sight of Streep and Tucci kissing - first giggly, then passionately, then falling onto the bed together and stripping down - is refreshing in its naturalness. It's also bracing in its rarity.
There are a few wonderful bedroom scenes in this movie, but I really loved the everyday moments - in a park, a restaurant, the kitchen - that showed their deep commitment to each other.

Tucci's performance in this clip chokes me up a little bit. It's so sincere. Wouldn't you love to have a man declare his feelings for you this way? Tucci talks about the Childs' relationship here. Ooh, I love this guy!

It's idealized, of course, being a movie. Perhaps he fooled around. Or they had periods of estrangement and fights. I don't really care. The fact is that they stayed together and had fun. The film recreates some of the more memorable photographs they sent to friends:

I found this at a post entitled The Saucy Sex Life of Julia Child, at the wonderful blog Go Retro! whose motto is
"Preserving the people, places, and things from the pop culture past...because some of us still believe in yesterday."

Here are some fun facts about the film from the fine people at IMDB for my fellow movie buffs:

  • Because of Meryl Streep's height (5'6") several camera/set/costume tricks had to be employed to mimic Julia Child's height (6'2"). Countertops were lowered, Streep wore extra high heels, and forced perspective camera angles were used. Stanley Tucci is actually taller than Streep at 5'8"

  • Eric Powell's quote ("I love deadlines. I especially like the whooshing sound they make as they go flying by") was originally made by Douglas Adams, author of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (2005). Eric explains this himself, immediately after delivering the line.

  • Julia Prud'homme, who plays the bridge teacher in the film, is Julia Child's grand-niece.

  • Paul Child was 10 years older than Julia, however in reality Meryl Streep is 11 years older than Stanley Tucci.

Finally, a tasty treat for you - John Lopez at Vanity Fair made a clever recut trailer for Julie and Julia that makes me giggle every time I watch it.

People who love each other can reach great heights, regardless of their individual heights.


Becky said...

Fun post! You know, I have yet to see this movie? I know, I know, I need to get on it.

I also loved the Streep/Tucci pairing in Devil Wears Prada. Loved him in that all over.

Anonymous said...

Love the recut trailer - thanks for posting!

lisleman said...

You are becoming a movie critic. Well maybe you already were but I didn't know it.

"joie de vivre" Your vocabulary is advanced beyond mine so maybe you could offer a brilliant suggestion over at my blog.

Miss Healthypants said...

I haven't seen that movie yet--but it's on my Netflix cue!--I can't wait. :)

mommapolitico said...

Great post, my Dear! Having two kids, it's rare that we get out to anything heavier than a PG movie, so with your hearty endorsement, it's on our Netflix list! Sounds great, and I love that I have all this fabulous trivia on it, compliments of one of my favorite bloggers!

Terrific post - keep 'em coming, Woman!

stephanie (bad mom) said...

This is darling, darling.

I, too, never really thought twice about Julia or her husband until this movie and now, j'adore.

For the record, though, I cannot imagine being with a man shorter than me either. Younger, yes; shorter, not so much.

Bee said...

It choked me up, too.
What a great partnership they had.

Mei said...

I was looking for stories about Julia and Paul Child, the movie by Streep, etc. after I saw Julia's shows were brought back to PBS. Your post is so interesting and timely for my search. Thanks!