Monday, January 24, 2011

Day 56 - Butter Shrine

Day 56.

Something that's always bothered me--the last Julie Powell scene in the Julie & Juila, when Julie and her husband take their "pilgrimage" to Julia Child's Cambridge kitchen in the Smithsonian museum. At this point, Julie has already completed her yearlong quest to cook/blog her way through Child's cookbook and visits the Julia Child exhibit to pay her respects to her idol or something. And at first, it seems incredibly earnest and sincere. Julie has clearly been through a lot in the past year, so it seems natural that she wants to thank the so-called guiding light whose life story inspired her to do what she did. But this being Julie Powell, she does something sort of totally weird and off-putting. I am speaking, of course, about BUTTER SHRINE.

"What? It's totally normal to carry a slab of butter around in your purse."
"And there's definitely nothing weird about leaving it on this convenient ledge in front of this portrait of Meryl Streep."
"Yup, that looks great. I'm just gonna walk away now, as if I'm not an escaped mental patient."

My initial response? Awwww, that's sweet. Butter (and especially Julie/Julia's love of it) is a recurring motif in this movie. That was a nice callback and an effective symbol of the kind of relationship that these two women shared.

My response after seeing this scene for the 56th time? What the fuck!?!? Why that?? Of all the things you could have done to pay tribute, why leave a goddamn stick of butter there? Too cheap for a mortar/pestle? Or a boned duck? Even a gift card would have been nice. But a fucking thing of butter? Couldn't you have done something else that isn't fucking insane? Like, really? You're going to just leave that slab of fucking butter in this museum and nonchalantly walk away??? You can't fucking do that. You realize that some sad-sack schmuck of a janitor is going to have to clean that up because it'll probably melt all over the place and make a big fucking mess. What an ungrateful piece of shit!

These are the kinds of things that consume my mind these days.


Julie & Julia
Quote of the Day: "This is Ruth Spungen. I'm an editor at Food & Wine Magazine."


  1. That's bugged the shit out of me too! Some underpaid museum employee is going to have to come by latter and clean a half melted stick of butter off that guest book. Way to once again not think about anyone but yourself, Julie Powell.

  2. Plus, that pound of butter only costs $2.29. It's a cheap tribute to Julia...

  3. you are so right! that butter thing was hella weird, i dont see anyone else leaving mayo or pickles at her portrait...

  4. You make me LMAO every single day!!!

  5. Where are the guards? Cameras? Isn't there a person keeping an eye out? I remember my elementary field trip to a museum and the workers were watching us like a hawk to make sure we didn't touch anything. Yet Julie can put an object on display like it's what now part of the museum?

  6. Eh, there are guards, but it's not like every inch is being watched at all times. And an adult visitor has a much lower priority than a bunch of destructive kids.

    So... you're descending into madness, eh?

  7. Butter doesn't melt at room temperature, just the janitor only has to pick up the wrapped sticks. Just sayin'.

  8. I always thought that was weird too.

    I also would've liked to have seen a portrait of the real Julia Child in that scene instead of Streep.

  9. My friend, you're going to wear out the "f" word; there won't be any left for anybody else... : )

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