Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Julie/Julia Blog and book

One recent movie trailer that I found interesting was for the upcoming film, Julie & Julia. I started doing a little research and found that one of the film's claims is that it is the first film based on a blog. Diablo Cody was discovered through her blog, but the film Juno had nothing to do with the content in her blog. This appears to be the first film directly based on someone's day to day blog.

Here is a link to the original Julie/Julia Project blog.

Does this mean that suddenly every blogger is an aspiring screen writer? If nothing else it shows how the lines are becoming more and more blurred as to what "professional" content is.

If you haven't seen the trailer the premise is that Julie Powell, a 30 year old temp secretary, decided to make every recipe in the original "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" by Julia Child, in one year. While she was doing this she created a blog to post daily updates on her progress. The blog caught on and she soon developed a legion of fans who would forward to her daily updates. The blog ended up generating so much interest that Julie Powell was eventually offered a book deal and wrote the book "Julie & Julia".

At this point I've read both the book and a great deal of the original blog itself. One of the things that struck me very quickly, and I found this very interesting, was that I enjoyed the blog itself much more that the actual book.

The book was an enjoyable read and provides much of the background story that I'm sure much of the film will be based on. But the blog for me was a much more interesting read and I'm asking myself why?

While I enjoyed the book I found it a bit repetitive. Julie works her day job, goes home to her "loft" apartment, some sort of catastrophe occurs, and she and her husband and friends end up having a great meal. The day to day catastrophes may change but the basic plot remains the same through most of the book.

The blog is different however. While the book concentrates on the background the blog concentrates on the recipes themselves with the background basically adding color to the daily entries. During the book I often found myself wondering more about the various recipes and their preparation. In the blog all of this is revealed in rich detail.

What I also found very interesting about the blog vs. the book is that the blog also includes the comments from her friends and fans. The book mentions these comments and some of the commentators become minor characters in the book. In the blog however you can read all of the comments and they add a whole other layer to the blog. It makes the blog more three dimensional in a way. It certainly adds more depth. It was a lot of fun to read some of the comments and threads that were mentioned in the book.

So we almost always say that the book was better than the movie but in this case I think I can say that the blog was better than the book. I wonder if the blog will be better than the movie?!

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