Saturday, January 16, 2010

My Sister's Keeper and Julie & Julia

It's been a long, rough couple of weeks back at work, and now I have a quiet long weekend. So, I decided to rent a couple of movies. I went with My Sister's Keeper and Julie and Julia. And therefore, I broke my usually steadfast rule about reading the book before seeing the movie.

I started with My Sister's Keeper. That is the one starring Abigail Breslin and Cameron Diaz, where Abigail's character was born solely for the purpose of donating cells and body parts to her sister who is dying of leukemia. Abigail's character decides she wants to have control over her body, and sues her mother, played by Cameron Diaz. And the not-so-secret secret, of course, is that the older sister wants to die.

As I figured would happen, I did blubber the whole way through it, because that is what I do. The story was very moving, and I have to say I was on the side of the children.  While I agree that stem cell research could be beneficial when treating cancers, I don't think it is appropriate to genetically engineer one child to save the other. You're still sacrificing one life and using that one human being as a thing, with little to no regard for her being a human. Maybe I would change my mind if I were in that situation. Maybe I don't know enough about how it would work. But it just bothers me.

I love the story, though. And watching with a more critical eye, I felt that while Cameron Diaz got out the emotion, her acting abilities fell short. Abigail Breslin did well for an 11 year-old. I think the guy who played Taylor was obviously way too old for the older sister. (And when I looked them up on IMDB, it turned out that I was right.) If he was supposed to be that much older, I guess I didn't realize that, because I haven't yet read the book.

It's a movie that I may enjoy a couple more times, and will watch when it finally hits those TBS-type stations, but don't have an interest in owning.

And then there is Julie & Julia. As I am typing, I am trying to watch it for the second time. It didn't hold my interest last night, and I fell asleep. It is not holding my interest this morning, either. I have to say that I am disappointed.

I adore Meryl Streep and Amy Adams. Meryl is simply classic, and Amy has potential to become classic in her own right. But the pace of the movie is slow, though the concept is interesting. I am learning a lot about cooking, but I can't help but think about my kitchen, which is current need of a big clean-up, and that I should really be doing that, instead. I do enjoy the scene where she tries to cook the lobster, and can't bring herself to kill it. I would never be able to kill my own meat - not even a lobster - not even a fish. And I admire the tenacity and determination of Julie, to maintain her pace through an entire year. I've already lost my battle to write one blog post and one article per day, simply because teaching and tutoring pays the real bills at this point.

It also doesn't help that Meryl does a relatively accurate portrayal of Julia Childs's voice, which makes me absolutely batty!! She made me crazy when I was a kid, too!

I have a feeling I won't get through the movie this time, either, and will just have to tune in when it hits the movie channels. I don't want to waste another dollar by keeping it another night from the Red Box, if I am not going to watch it. That's what the movie channel subscriptions are for. :-)

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