Thursday, June 30, 2011

Day 213 - What's with the Veil?

Day 213. 

Yo Madame Broussard, I know I see you every day and all and I know that I haven't said anything so far, but I just gotta ask--why are you wearing that black veil?

Under what circumstances is that black veil an acceptable fashion choice? A funeral parlor perhaps? What made you wake up this morning and decide to dress as if you were going to mourn the loss of a dear friend or relative? See now I'm nothing but curious. Like, actually, who died? Because that's really the only excuse you have for wearing such a depressing garment of clothing.

Wait, what is going on? Why is Julia Child with Julie Powell? And why are they both wearing all black? What kind of bizarre fashion statement is this? Could goth be back? Or maybe nun chic? I have no idea, but this all-black garb is seriously bumming me out.

You too, Tucc? (on the far right) And you never told me that you were Jewish! Or friends with Robert DiNiro... all these secrets and lies! Something's amiss. Why are all of these people gathered here today? And why are dressed like they are at at a funeral? To mourn the loss of whom??? WHOM, I SAY?!?

Ahhhh, but of course. How could I have been so blind? Rest in peace, Not Mark Ruffalo's acting career. At least in heaven you can pretend you are the actual Mark Ruffalo's acting career. Until Mark Ruffalo dies and ascends to heaven of course. Then, you'll pretty much be out of a job.

The real Marky Mark (Not Pictured: Funky Bunch).

Julie & Julia Quote of the Day: "The woman who runs it absolutely hates me!"

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Day 212 - Every 212th Word in Julie & Julia

Day 212. 

You know how sometimes creators of sacred texts will hide encrypted messages in their works? Like Da Vinci Code status shit--hidden passwords and ancient secrets. Well, I figured Julie & Julia might be just sacred enough for exactly that. Well not really, but I have to somehow justify my arbitrary decision to write down every 212th word in Julie & Julia.

Every 212th Word in Julie & Julia

In there's almost I Annabelle's Julia to to nice I that. A husband, over means the takes term, perfectly me, So you they why Americans I reporter les course. Serve 90%. Julia. Woman time of business. The in the that? The hand. Do. Joke. Flu. It, you it we new know. This good. Terrible, right didn't 365.

So some of that makes sense... right?

"A husband, over means the takes term, perfectly me." Sounds like it could be some sort of poorly translated Confucian proverb. Something you'd find on one of those fortune cookies that don't actually give fortunes.

"Serve 90%." That could be the motto of a failed burger chain i.e. "Dammit, Joe. We only serve 90% of our customers! It's a stupid company policy, but all employees must adhere to it!"

"The hand. Do. Joke. Flu." Definitely sounds like it could fit in with the next Kleenex ad campaign.

Okay, so it mostly came out to be nonsensical gibberish. But it was worth a shot, right? And wait, that last little part: "This good. Terrible, right didn't 365" There's definitely something in there.

"This [movie's not] good. Terrible, right [?] [Julie Powell didn't actually blog for all] 365 [days]."


Message received.


Julie & Julia Quote of the Day: "He didn't know if she'd read it."

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Day 211 - Random Actor Tuesday: An Open Letter to Jaime D. Hall a.k.a. "Cheese Guy"

Day 211. 

Last Wednesday, I received a particularly exciting reader email, notable because of its purported sender, the real Jaime D. Hall a.k.a. Cheese Guy in Julie & Julia.


I was completely floored by his email, mostly due to the fact that an actual Random Actor Tuesday got in touch with me! His exact words below:
Subject: From Cheese Guy
Dear Lawrence,

I happened to stumble upon your blog today as I was googling myself.....don't judge, I'm sure you do it too....and wanted to let you know that I thought your blog was hilarious!  To be honest, that was my first ever spot on film and was kind of thrilled by it....I have done many other extra spots which turned out to be less enjoyable, but that one stands out as the most fun.  In actuality, I am primarily a musical theater performer currently living in Chicago and at the time was paying the bills as Cheese Buyer for Dean & Deluca, but have since moved on. Anyway, keep up the good work and thanks for the laugh!

Jaime D. Hall
"Cheese Guy"

What a standup guy, right? And what a cool story! Seems like a super nice dude. Except when I tried to email him back, gmail gave me this message:

Delivery to the following recipient failed permanently:

Technical details of permanent failure:

Google tried to deliver your message, but it was rejected by the recipient domain. We recommend contacting the other email provider for further information about the cause of this error. The error that the other server returned was: 554 554 delivery error: dd Sorry your message to cannot be delivered. This account has been disabled or discontinued [#102]. - (state 18).

Hmmmm... so that means probably deleted his email address right after sending that nice little note to me, which would be... weird. And come to think of it, there's no way of verifying that email was actually sent by the real Jaime D. Hall. could literally be anyone (and it might very well be, considering his name is spelled wrong in the email address. But then his name is spelled wrong in Julie & Julia too. Or on imdb. God, what?!!?).

But then again, why would anyone bother faking an email from Jaime D. Hall, the cheese guy? And a really simple, nice believable email at that. I just don't see the motivation, other than getting my hopes up and then subsequently crushing them.

A government conspiracy, perhaps?

Which leads me to this, An Open Letter to Jaime D. Hall a.k.a. "Cheese Guy." If the real Jaime googles himself and finds this post, I would ask him to verify that he sent the first email, plus read the following reply I was going to send him:
Dear Jaime (sorry for misspelling your name in the post),

First of all, thanks for the awesome email. I mean, holy cow! A real-life actor featured on Random Actor Tuesday, emailing little old stupid stunt blogger me. And not just any actor, but the cheese guy himself! This is fairly surreal for me. l mean, not to sound creepy or anything, but I do see your face everyday in Julie & Julia so it's super cool that you got wind of it (the stigma of self-googling be damned) and even might have enjoyed what I wrote. The Lawrence/Julie & Julia Project is incredibly honored by your presence and I would like to personally thank you for your generous compliments.

That being said, I think it'd be a great treat for my readers if you would do me the honor of either guest-blogging for a day or at the very least, allowing me to ask you a few questions about your experience as an actor on the set of Julie & Julia (i.e. what it was like to work with Amy Adams, Nora Ephon, etc.).

I'm sure you are a busy man, but I just know everyone who reads my blog would love to hear your story/get to know the man behind the cheese guy. It wouldn't have to be a long essay or anything--just maybe a little bit of background of you as an actor/how you landed the role, if you had to do multiple takes, how the experience was overall, etc. But again, that's only if you'd want to do it and have the time.

Please let me know if this is something you might be interested in. Thanks again for your kind words and I hope we can stay in touch.

Mad Respect,

So if you're out there, the real Jaime D. Hall/can actually verify that you are the Cheese Guy, get at me. I'd love for you to do a guest blog.

And if it turned out to be an impostor--well, I'd love for you to guest blog too. I'm really finding it difficult to come up with more shit to say about this movie. Newsflash, everyone: it's not very good.


Julie & Julia Quote of the Day: "Say cheese, ducky."

Monday, June 27, 2011

Day 210 - Trailer Park

Day 210.

Today, I realized that I've never seen the trailer for Julie & Julia. Sure, I've seen the movie itself 210 times, but never the trailer. Bizarre, right? Well that can be easily fixed. Let's live-blog this bitch.

0:00 - 0:05 - Rated PG-13 for "Brief Strong Language and Some Sensuality" a.k.a. Julie Powell calling herself a bitch and multiple Meryl Streep sex scenes

0:05 - 0:08 - Smart to open with the black & white Julia Child cooking show shot, a definite appeal to nostalgia (read: old people). "I'm Julia Child. Bon Appetit." What else is there to say?

0:08 - 0:16 - Julie Powell voice-over: "Before she changed the world, Julia Child was just an American living in France..." And you are "just" an American living in America. Stop knocking Americans, Julie Powell.

0:16 - 0:25 - "What is it that you really like to do? Eat." SMASH CUT TO: Julia Child, at 500 lbs.

0:25 - 0:38 - "But what does Julia Child have to do with me, lowly cubicle worker Julie Powell?" Frankly, not much. This is why your movie kind of sucks.

0:38 - 0:43 - Establishing that Julie Powell's friends are all the worst, a calculated move by the big studio executives who believe that all women have dreadful friends and will want to see dreadful friends on the big screen.

0:43 - 0:50 -  Julie Powell: "Do you think I'm lost? Is this lost? If you met me, would you think that woman is lost?" Not Mark Ruffalo: "I would think that woman is strangely repetitive."

THIS SCENE IS NOT ACTUALLY IN JULIE & JULIA. They probably deleted it in the time between when the trailer was cut and the theatrical release. It's rather weird to see this extraneous scene now, after I know the movie so well. It's like these characters live separate lives away from me.

0:50 - 0:54 - "Did you hear what happened to this one?" "Showtime bought my blog for a miniseries." This was another scene that was presumably left on the cutting-room floor considering that it didn't make it into the final product. I can see why.

Had they included this unbearable "Omg my blog got a Showtime miniseries" scene in the actual film, I don't think I'd be here blogging today. I'd be in prison for murdering everyone involved in the making of this movie.

0:54 - 2:31 - A bunch of enjoyable Julia Child shit, a bunch of not-so-enjoyable Julie Powell shit. And all to some generic happy-go-lucky trailer music/pop songs since the soundtrack probably wasn't finalized at this point. Other than the deleted scenes, this trailer is a pretty good representation of the film as a whole and on top of that, it's 2 hours shorter! That being said, I still couldn't manage to blog about the entire thing. God, I despise this movie.


Julie & Julia Quote of the Day: "Threaten her? With what?"

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Day 209 - Gay Julie & Julia Pride

Day 209.

As a newly-anointed San Franciscan, I didn't dilly-dally around in doing very... let's say... San Franciscan things. And in light of some recent big changes, I didn't see how I could pass such a cool and unique opportunity up. By which I mean, yup, the Lawrence/Julie & Julia Project was at The San Francisco Pride Celebration/LGBT Parade today and regardless of what your politics are, it was pretty undeniable that the whole event/spectacle was kind of awesome.

Like I said, the whole thing was kind of nuts (read: I saw a lot of nuts...).

And reflecting upon the day's festive events, I couldn't help but wonder how Julia Child would have reacted to such debauchery. I mean on the one hand, she was this giant mannish woman who was a real brute force in the kitchen/the campiest TV personality in cooking, but on the other, she fucked her husband a bunch.

So the answer? Apparently, she was a notorious homophobe...  This was all revealed in a 2007 Boston magazine piece:
...She [Julia] found homosexuality outlandish—not immoral, and certainly not to be criminalized, but a rude disruption in the natural order of things. Homophobia was a socially acceptable form of bigotry in midcentury America, and Julia and Paul participated without shame for many years. She often used the term pedal or pedalo—French slang for a homosexual—draping it with condescension, pity, and disapproval. “I had my hair permanented at E. Arden’s, using the same pedalo I had before (I wish all the men in OUR profession in the USA were not pedals!),” she wrote to Simca. Fashion designers were “that little bunch of Pansies,” a cooking school was “a nest of homovipers,” a Boston dinner party was “peopled by 3 fags in an expensive house…. We felt hopelessly square and left when decently possible,” and San Francisco was beautiful but full of pedals—“It appears that SF is their favorite city! I’m tired of them, talented though they are.”
Errr... sooo... I guess we all have to admit now that Julia Child was somewhat of a flawed individual. I mean, sure she was prejudiced against homosexuals, just as pretty much everyone was in that time period, but c'mon. This is fairly problematic, especially since she is the only unequivocally delightful and redeeming character in the movie. Julia Child was perfect... Right?

"I hate gay people!"

Dammit, the real Julia Child. Why'd you have to be such a homophobe? Now the only good parts of the movie are forever tinged with discrimination and prejudice.


Julie & Julia Quote of the Day: "They even asked him if he was a homosexual."

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Day 208 - Meryl & Julia

Day 208.

I don't know how I've come this far along in the blog without ever doing a direct Meryl-to-Julia comparison. It's actually rather baffling. I mean, I know I like to knock this piece-of-shit, 2-hour bore-tacular, but the one thing they did get right was casting Meryl Streep as Julia Child.

Un-fucking-canny, right? Can't say enough about how spot-on Meryl Streep was as Julia Child. One American icon playing another. Just how it should be.


Julie & Julia Quote of the Day: "She wants to stay forever."

Friday, June 24, 2011

Day 207 - The Most Difficult Decision I've Ever Had to Make

Day 207.

It was like my very own Sophie's choice.

There comes a point in every man's life where he's faced with a dilemma--either watch the movie Julie & Julia for the 207th time or something called "Group Sex." I guess I don't have to tell you guys which one I ended up choosing.

(Don't worry. I DVR'd Group Sex)


Julie & Julia Quote of the Day: "So you burned the stew."

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Day 206 - Book vs. Movie (pt. 2)

Day 206.

So it's certainly been awhile since I've cracked open the book, Julie & Julia. Unfortunately, it's only been 20 minutes since I've watched the movie.

Please, no more. NOOOO MOREEE!!!

During today's screening, I grabbed my copy of the J&J (the book), opened to a random page and started reading. I suppose a part of me wanted to make good on my resolve to do more reading this summer, but mostly I really didn't feel like looking at Not Mark Ruffalo's fat face anymore.

Point that thing somewhere else, brah.

Anyway, the random page I opened to happened to contain this passage:
"Somewhere along the way, I discovered that in the physical act of cooking, especially something complex or plain old hard to handle, dwelled unsuspected reservoirs of arousal both gastronomic and sexual. If you are not one of us, the culinarily depraved, there is no way to explain what's so darkly enticing about eviscerating beef marrowbones, chopping up lobster, baking a three-layer pecan cake, and doing it for someone else, offering someone hard-won gustatory delights in order to win pleasures of another sort. Everyone knows there are foods that are sexy to eat. What they don't talk about so much is foods that are sexy to make. But I'll take a wrestling bout with recalcitrant brioche dough over being fed a perfect strawberry any day, foreplay-wise."
From Julie Powell's Julie and Julia, pg. 251
Well fuck, the real Julie Powell's bizarre food fetish pretty much puts my Julierotica to shame. What a crazy lady, that one. I mean, she's undoubtedly a good writer--just kind of, I don't know...

I'm pretty glad Nora Ephron didn't choose to write this into the movie, because honestly? That shit was sort of fucked up. The whole "darkly enticing" evisceration of beef marrowbones bit? I mean, sure I guess it is kind of amusing, but I really could not stop thinking to myself, "serial killer, serial killer, serial killer."

"A census taker once tried to test me. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti."

So yeah, it's just reassuring to know that I'm not the most psychologically disturbed person to set out on a yearlong blogging experiment. Give it time though. I'm sure I'll be eating people in no time. I think I know who my first victim will be too...

Yesss, yessss, eat up, my pretty.

Julie & Julia Quote of the Day: "I'll show you later in my dictionary."

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Day 205 - Alternate Julie & Julia Taglines

Day 205.

I've only been on the job for three days, but Heat Advertising already has me hard at work brainstorming potential taglines for one of their clients (I am not at liberty to disclose which one). I'm trying very hard to make a good first impression with the higher ups, but soon enough, they'll see me for the fraud I am and realize that my creative juices are strictly limited to making jokes about Julie Powell's ridiculous sayings and how Chris Messina looks like Mark Ruffalo.

"He looks like Mark Ruffalo, right? Doesn't he? Doesn't he??"
"Lawrence, you need to put your pants back on and return to your desk."

But seriously, I've had a lot of fun writing taglines these past few days. So much fun, in fact, that once I got back from work, I found myself still in tagline-writing mode. Curious, I looked up the promotional taglines Julie & Julia and here's what I found:
"Passion. Ambition. Butter. Do you have what it takes?"
"Based on two true stories."
Pretty pedestrian lines, if you ask me. More like "Shitty. Fucking. Movie. I'd rather be baked." Or how about "Based on one true story and one boring-as-shit-I-don't-give-a-fuck-about-this-blogger-woman story?" Not bad, right? And in that state of mind, I went into my 205th screening of Julie & Julia with the goal to write some quality alternate taglines for the film. I hope you enjoy them.

Prepare to be underwhelmed.
Where's the beef (bourgignon)?
You won't believe time could move this slowly.
Dropping a huge blog.
Where boning ducks is a good thing.
Julie & Julia: Why Not?
Hey, at least Meryl Streep is in it.
A tale of bitches, bitches and more bitches.
Definitely a movie.
Not your grandmother's culinary-drama. Probably your mother's though. Actually, scratch that--your grandmother will love this.
Amy Adams is hot (just not here).
If you like cooking, you might like this movie.
Man, Tucci's face at 33:07 is funny.
Because nothing else is on.
Evil has a new face--and she's crying over burnt stew.
France sure is a beautiful place to live.
2 hours has never seemed longer.
He's not Mark Ruffalo, but he's damn close!
Something to rent on a rainy day.
With an ampersand, so you know it's good.
Cook. Blog. Kill yourself.


Julie & Julia
Quote of the Day: "Would a breakfast work?"

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Day 204 - Random Actor Tuesday: Francis Dumaurier

Day 204.

I think it's safe to say that most of the actors featured here on Random Actor Tuesday are, well, actors. But that being the case, I don't know if you can just lump today's RAT, Francis Dumaurier, into the same group of such stalwarts as Rémy Roubakha or Casey Wilson.

He definitely ain't no Johnny Sparks.

I don't mean to discredit Mr. Dumarier's accomplishments as an actor--I respect the man for playing "Museum Guard" in Sex and the City and "Basketball Challenger to Andre Iguodala" on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. And who could forget his iconic role of "John in the Dumpster" in that timeless cinema classic, The Day the Ponies Come Back? He's definitely some kind of an actor, and probably an adequate one at that.

But in Julie & Julia, he plays a character named "Looping Voices" and to be honest, I don't remember ever seeing his character at all.

Who the hell is "Looping Voices?"

I've watched this movie 204 times now, so you'd think I'd be able to recognize this guy if he had even a second or two of screen time. But alas, I just don't recall his face, his lines, or anything at all about his character. I mean, Looping Voices is a pretty distinctive name and if you're going to give someone a distinctive name, he better be a distinctive character.

And even if Dumaurier was supposed to be playing a bit role, why give him an awesome sounding Native American name like Looping Voices unless you are going to exploit it? You know, like have someone saying to him, "Yo Looping, how was the Trail of Tears?" or "Hey Mr. Voices, please open up your teepee so we can gamble in it."

Loops With Voices

Just seems like an underdeveloped character is all. Also, an invisible one. Get your shit together, Julie & Julia. Base more of your characters on hilarious racial stereotypes.

Also, a quick word of advice for today's random actor...

Francis, Do Maury-er!!

ADDENDUM: Ohhhhhh, wait. Reader Beetnemesis just pointed out that Mr. Dumaurier might not actually be in the movie, but instead provided a track of looping voices for the film. That makes a shit ton more sense. 

But wait, what the fuck? At what point in this movie are there just looped voices of the same dude? I mean, there's definitely considerable background chatter in many of the restaurant/street scenes--but there's no way that just one guy did all that. Or is there?

What if every actor's voice was actually dubbed over by a different loop of Francis Dumaurier, which in this hypothetical, would make him the greatest actor/impressionist alive? What if he's responsible for the looping voices that constantly play in my head, telling me to stab things and wax my teeth? Is it possible that I have greatly overlooked this RAT? So many questions to address. I guess I'll just have to watch this movie again to find out. 


Julie & Julia 
Quote of the Day: "Well, it's been eight years, I think."

Monday, June 20, 2011

Day 203 - How I Got a Job By Watching The Same Movie Every Day

Day 203.

As I've mentioned previously on this blog, I will be spending this summer in San Francisco, which is pretty fucking sweet. But I haven't actually said why... until now! I'm proud to say that as a direct result of the Lawrence/Julie & Julia Project, I am now gainfully employed as an intern at Heat Advertising.

This is the closest I'll ever get to being paid to watch Julie & Julia.

Allow me to explain. Last time, when I was in San Francisco, a blog reader by the name of Scott R. shot me an email telling me that he "thought this was one of the best ideas I’ve seen for anything in a while" and then asked me what I was doing for a job this summer.

Needless to say, I was taken aback--in a good way. Really? One of the best ideas he's seen in awhile? Even I don't speak so highly of my creative endeavors. In fact, I always thought the premise of this blog was half-baked at best. But hey, who am I to tell an important potential employer that I think hiring someone based on his Julie & Julia blog is silly?

I went in for an interview later that week and apparently established some sort of credibility/demonstrated my sanity because I eventually learned that I got the internship.

Today was my first day.

The HEAT pit.
The HEAT kitchen
The HEAT couches

My shitty photobooth pictures don't do it justice, but the office is super chill. Not to mention all of the super happening people I met today (some of whom I know might be reading this right now), who I'm really looking forward to getting to know. Mostly, I'm excited to spread the gospel of Julie & Julia with a brand new community (read: my college friends are really sick of me talking about the homosexual overtones in Tucci's performance as Paul Child). Some of my coworkers have already suggested an office-wide screening, so we'll see what happens there.

You actually want to hire this.. this Julie & Julia... blogger?
Why the fuck not?

Also, of note, when I was making the rounds for introductions, at first I got a lot of quizzical looks, soon followed excited moments of realization--"You're the Julie & Julia guy!" they screamed.

Yes, that's me, the Julie & Julia guy... and I should probably just concede to being the Julie & Julia guy for the rest of my life. I might as well embrace it--after all, in this horrible job market, I suppose that's the thing that put me over the top, which is, let's face it, is incredibly comical shit-your-drawers hilarious. 

The lesson you should all be taking away here is that if you find yourself unemployed and desperately seeking a job, just watch the same movie every day for a year and blog about it.


Julie & Julia 
Quote of the Day: "Somebody will want this job."

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Day 202 - Father's Day

Day 202.

Happy Father's Day, everyone! I hope you all remembered to call your dads. Unless, of course, you don't have a dad... in which case, I feel very sorry for you bastards.

Those of you who've seen this movie should know that Julie actually isn't on the phone with her dad here. That's because there is a shocking lack of fathers in Julie & Julia, the motion picture. In fact, I kept my eye out for any appearances of dads, fathers, pops, daddies, papas and/or pop-pops throughout today's screening and only found two.

Julia Child's Dad
Ivan Cousins, Father-to-be

That's right, only 2 dads in a two-hour long movie--and they were onscreen within minutes of each other! What gives? Why does Julie & Julia give dads the short shrift in terms of characters and screen time? Hell, Ivan Cousins shouldn't even count because we never actually see his and Dorothy's kid!

Why does Julie Powell never talk to her dad about her blog? Where is Not Mark Ruffalo Sr. during all of this? Does Nora Ephron have male abandonment issues?

Something's missing in this picture.

Papa, can you hear me?


Julie & Julia 
Quote of the Day: "Incidentally, my father is horrified I'm going to cooking school."