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We also like to laugh

August 10, 2009

The girls’ day “date” I had with my mother, my grandmother, my two sisters last weekend did not end with lunch–although, not surprisingly, it still pertained in some way to food.

The next stop on our date was a trip to the movies, where we caught a screening of Julie and Julia.

If “chick flicks” aren’t on your radar, then you may not know that this movie–which is not entirely a “chick flick”–showcases two stories, one about Julia Child and her life in Paris and her years spent creating her well-known and well-loved cookbook, the other about Julie Powell, a modern-day blogger who wrote about an entire year in which she prepared all 536 recipes from Child’s cookbook.

The film itself was charming.  It was hysterical.  It was tender and inspiring and not at all as frouffy as I expected it to be.  And I wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone who is a foodie or a writer or a sister or a francophile or a spouse of a magnificent partner.  You’ll want to whip up a big Le Creuset pot of boeuf bourgingnon and/or start a food blog and/or hug your sister and/or travel to Paris and/or make love to your spouse in the afternoon after watching this film. 

But not all at once.  I hope.

And maybe you’ll even laugh-out-loud at some of the unintentionally hilarious parts of the film like my sisters and I did. 

We actually have a knack for laughing at inappropriate times.

Like the time when we are all at my aunt’s funeral (yes, you read that right), and we had to gnaw quarter-sized holes in  our cheeks to keep from laughing when the minister described my aunt as “a woman who never said a bad thing about anyone.”  (To be clear, this particular aunt said bad things about everyone.  In fact, she was probably up in heaven looking down at her funeral and flippin’ the bird while calling the minister a dumbass.)

Or the time when we couldn’t contain ourselves during an Easter prayer (yes, you read that right), and when I tried to cover up my laugh with a cough…or a sneeze…or a cough…or a sneeze…or…I couldn’t decide, I let out a sound that I can only describe as a buffalo farting into a trumpet.  Happy resurrection day, Jesus.

And while this doesn’t really rank up there with giggles during a funeral or an Easter prayer, my sisters and I found ourselves to be the only people laughing in the theater yesterday during one particular scene from Julie and Julia.  It was when Julie kicked her trashcan, which landed on her cat, which yelped out a screechy, “mmmmmrrrreeeeeeeeoowwwww!”  And my sisters and I were all like,  “Bbblllllllaaaaaa ha ha ha ha ha ha, she kicked her trashcan and it hit the cat!   Haaaaaaaa, what a funny cat sound!”

Just so you know, I don’t kick cats.  I actually love cats, and I have two kitties of my own at home.  And I’m not entirely convinced that the cat from the film was, in fact, a real cat.  (Obviously, that funny meow sound was the product of sound editing and not from Amy Adams crushing a cat with a steel garbage can.)  But even in the darkness of the movie theater, I could feel the cold stares of the people in the crowd.  They were saying, “You despicable, heartless CAT-KICKERS!!!!”

But we don’t kick cats.  We just laugh about it.  (And I’m guessing that Nora Ephron thought it was funny too, otherwise she wouldn’t have asked those sound guys to edit in the sound of a cat screeching…right?  Right!)

Of course, my sisters and I do have a few shreds of maturity and tenderness in our bodies.

There was this other scene in the movie, this beautiful and heartbreaking scene, with Julia Child and her equally gawky and joyous and eccentric sister, Dorothy.  Dorothy’s role is so small in the film that she only appears in a handful of scenes, but her part is so well-written and crafted that the love between the two sisters seems palpable.

And we all felt it most when Julia and her sister linked arms during the sister’s wedding.  It was a small gesture.  It was brief.  In fact, the characters were each dancing with their respective husbands, so it wasn’t even as if they were embracing or even speaking any words to one another.

But Meryl Streep and Jane Lynch played the scene with such tenderness, and their eyes spoke of so much sisterly love, that my sisters and I immediately found our faces freshly soaked with tears, our hands reaching out to grasp one another’s arms.

Again–this is why I moved back home.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. renbeth permalink
    August 11, 2009 7:00 am

    You are so lucky to be able to have this kind of bond with the women in your family, Kristen.

  2. Jenny permalink
    August 11, 2009 12:38 pm

    aww these two blogs were so sweet. 🙂 It sounds like you guys had a wonderful time! I really want to see that movie I’m glad you guys enjoyed it!

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