I recently saw the movie “Julie & Julia” starring Meryl Streep and Amy Adams and loved it. The movie is emotional, well-crafted, hilarious and touching. I loved the film not just because I’m a blogger or because I love to cook (that might be part of it) but because it offered such a joyful, rare and refreshing look at marriage.
I loved the relationships between the leading ladies and their husbands. It was so refreshing to see a movie where nobody’s cheating or secretly gay or daydreaming about ex-somebodies, but both spouses are genuinely in love and aching for each other in the beautiful give-and-take that a good marriage is.
Julie’s character was intense, and is what most people have disliked about the film, but I thought she was heartbreakingly and charmingly human and understandable. I think many of us can identify with her yearning for something more out of life, and clinging to her new project with a fierceness that feels forced, but only because it comes from such an indescribable place.
Despite her intensity, she has a husband who believes in her unwaveringly, doesn’t give up on her, and is kind and strong and loving in all the ways that she needs him to be. In the end, supporting each other is what saves their relationship.
When Paul tells Julia, “Your book will change the world,” I was bowled over by the power of such an unwavering trust. It’s the greatest gift we can ever receive, to be believed in with such Earth-moving power. Paul and Julia rejoiced in one another’s every success and relished each other’s company in a well-cared for, seasoned marriage. In a generation of desperate housewives and bored, frustrated men, don’t we need this kind of model, to encourage us that love is worth keeping and a marriage is worth protecting?
While “Julie & Julia” was obviously focused on the wives of these couples, the men were equally important–not shoved to the side as so many husbands are these days, and written off as bumblers and cave men. These husbands were deep, layered, strong and loving characters. Clearly neither Julie nor Julia would have been the women they were without the support of their spouses, and both marriages were a beautiful partnership that inspired and made each other whole.
We need far more of this old-fashioned view of love. We’ve become so individualistic that we forget how many supporters are behind every success, and this is one of the many beautiful reminders of “Julie & Julia”.