When a best-selling novel is converted into a film, we all know the same cliche respone, “Oh, the book was so much better!” However, when comparing this film to its respective book, it’s like comparing apples and oranges.

Julie & Julia, directed by Nora Ephron, is the film adaptation of the memoir by the same name written by Julie Powell. The real story? Julie Powell was a woman working for a government department who felt her life had no meaning or direction. While searching for herself, she takes on an absurd task: to cook her way through Julia Child’s Mastering The Art of French Cooking in one year. 365 days, 524 receipes. The book follows her adventures of cooking and analyzes her life, and the life of those around her. The film version however takes a different direction.

While its true, the film follows the story of a woman named Julie Powell, and yes she cooks her way through Julia Child’s cookbook. However, none of the interesting stories from the book that took place during Mrs. Powell’s year of cooking take place in the film. Instead, they have all been replaced with what feels like an alternate film depicting the life of Julia Child and how she became a cook and the troubles she faced trying to write a cookbook for American women. If you’ve read the book, it feels more like Julie Powell’s story was used as a means to tell Julia Child’s story.

Don’t get me wrong, this film is fantastic! But movie-goers hoping to see one of their favorite books brought to the big screen may find themselves disappointed, but not for long. The saving grace of this film is the performances from Amy Adams and Meryl Streep how play the title characters of Julie and Julia, respectively. It’s not surprising that Streep is stunning as Julia Child, seeing that she brings a spark of life to any project she works in. (Is it not amazing that a woman this talented hasn’t won an Academy Award in 27 years?)

Amy Adams is also making a name for herself lately and we can expect to see her to continue building that name after this film. Although, her version of Julie Powell is far from the Julie you may know from reading the book. That Julie is a bit cold hearted and bitter, while Amy’s version is a softer, kinder Julie that you will surely fall in love with almost instantly, even when she’s being a jerk to her husband Eric (Chris Messina).

All in all, this is a great film that I think many people will find interesting. There’s comedy, romance and drama. Sorry, no action in this one. My only real comment is this may have worked better as a double feature. A short film telling Julia’s story and a second short film featuring Julie’s story of finding herself through Julia.