I also think I saw the Saturday Night Live spoof of Julia by Dan Akroyd (which I found on Hulu and can be watched here or you can just watch it in the movie, since it's played there). The movie also told me so much about Julia's life, how she started cooking, and how she came to write her now-famous book about French cooking (still being published and now in its 46th printing).
What I remembered about Julia was how much fun she seemed to be having. Meryl captures her essence so incredibly well, since I've spent most of today learning about Julia Child and finding out that the movie portrays her life pretty much as it was. Here's Meryl as Julia:
Julie Powell, in 2004, decided to try to cook all 524 recipes in Julia's book in one year, and she was determined to write a blog about her experience. Well, it became famous, as she wrote about her adventures, which in turn became a book. An excerpt from the publisher about the book is here:
With the humor of Bridget Jones and the vitality of Augusten Burroughs, Julie Powell recounts how she conquered every recipe in Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking and saved her soul.And then Nora Ephron, one of my favorite humorists and authors, produced, wrote, and directed the movie, using the story of Julia and the interest in Julie's blog and book as a parallel thread. One of the things that I found fascinating is her description of the comparison between the 1960s and the 21st century.
The world is definitely not the same place any more, and not all of that is bad. I read a wonderful review by Russ Parsons from the LA Times that answered the question of the plot twist in the movie. This review is well worth reading, but I'd wait to read it until after I saw the movie, if I were you. He says it has "more spoilers than an unplugged refrigerator in August," and I have to agree. But it was so satisfying after having seen it! I hope you go. And tell me what you think!