Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Day 226 - Julie & Julia Suicides

Day 226.

Today is the 226th day of the Lawrence/Julie & Julia Project, which means that somehow I've gone 225 days without ever having mentioned all of the suicides in Julie & Julia! (and that's not including those that it may have caused/will cause in the near future. Don't worry--the nice people at the suicide hotline have had me on 24-hour notice since last November).

There's actually only one instance in this film where the characters discuss the action of killing oneself, but for me that's one (or rather, 226) instance(s) too many. I'm talking about the disastrous Irma Roumbauer meeting, where the famous cookbook author discusses how, thanks to her husband's suicide, she managed to publish The Joy of Cooking. Tonally, it's a fucking weird scene.

Irma Roumbauer: The first edition of The Joy of Cooking took me a year to write.
Julia Child: Only a year? Including testing the recipes?
Irma Roumbauer: Well, I didn't really test all the recipes. There were so many of them. And then I found a publisher, a small printer in St. Louis.
Simone Beck: How much money did he pay you?
Irma Roumbauer: I paid him. $3,000.
Julia Child: $3,000?
Irma Roumbauer: A small fortune. But I had a little life insurance money
because my husband...
Louisette Bertholle: No!
Julia Child: He killed himself?
Irma Roumbauer: Yes. And I thought, "Well, what else am I gonna do with the insurance money?"

Niiiiiiiceeeee, Irma. Your clearly emotionally unstable husband kills himself and instead showing even the smallest hint of sadness or regret, you talk about using the life insurance money to publish a cookbook of which you haven't even tested all the recipes. You, ma'am, are a class act.

What is the purpose of this scene, makers of Julie & Julia?!?! WHAT?!?!! Why did you have to bring such a serious topic as suicide into this and then gloss over it as if it were some sort of weird, morbid punchline to the joke that is Irma Roumbauer??

Sure, it's kind of amusing that the author of The Joy of Cooking is a whiny, old, insensitive lady. And yes, I may have cracked a smile when I first watched this belligerent old coot go on about her dead husband. But in the end, when you think about it, the whole story is just kind of sad and not that compelling.



Julie & Julia
Quote of the Day: "Not going to be simple, this getting published business."


  1. Hi Lawrence!

    On the podcast Good Food (which I'm sure you know about by now) they had a section on the young Julia Child. It could make for an interesting blog post. Just thought I'd let you know!


  2. Meryl's surprise face is fucking hilarious! XD

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