Plugged In exists to shine a light on the world of popular entertainment while giving you and your family the essential tools you need to understand, navigate and impact the culture in which we live. Through reviews, articles and discussions, we want to spark intellectual thought, spiritual growth and a desire to follow the command of Colossians 2:8: "See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ."


Family uses Plugged In as a ‘significant compass’

"I am at a loss for words to adequately express how much it means to my husband and me to know that there is an organization like Focus that is rooting for us. Just today I was reading Psalm 37 and thinking about how your ministry provides ways to 'dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.' We have two teenagers and an 8-year-old in our household...Plugged In has become a significant compass for our family. All three of our kids are dedicated to their walk with Christ but they still encounter challenges. Thanks for all of your research and persistence in helping us navigate through stormy waters."

Plugged In helps college student stand-up for his belief

"Thanks for the great job you do in posting movie and television reviews online. I’m a college freshman and I recently had a confrontational disagreement with my English professor regarding an R-rated film. It is her favorite movie and she wanted to show it in class. I went to your Web site to research the film’s content. Although I had not seen the movie myself, I was able to make an educated argument against it based on the concerns you outlined. The prof said that she was impressed by my stand and decided to poll the whole class and give us a choice. We overwhelmingly voted to watch a G-rated movie instead! I’ve learned that I can trust your site and I will be using it a lot in the future.”

Plugged In brings ‘Sanity and Order’ to Non-believer

“Even though I don’t consider myself a Christian, I find your Plugged In Web site useful and thought-provoking. No one reviews movies like you do. Instead of being judgmental, you put entertainment ‘on trial.’ After presenting the evidence, you allow the jury of your readers to decide for themselves what they should do. In my opinion, you bring sanity and order to the wild world of modern day entertainment. Keep up the good work!”

Mom thinks Plugged In is the ‘BEST Christian media review site’

"Our family doesn't go to the movies until we go online and check out your assessment of a given film. I think this is the BEST Christian media review website that I've found, and I recommend it to my family and friends. Keep up the good work!"


Our hope is that whether you're a parent, youth leader or teen, the information and tools at Plugged In will help you and your family make appropriate media decisions. We are privileged to do the work we do, and are continually thankful for the generosity and support from you, our loyal readers, listeners and friends.


Watch This Review

We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

Movie Review

It's 1949. Julia Child and her diplomat husband, Paul, are living blissfully in a post-WWII Paris. But as much as she adores her spouse, Julia isn't sure hanging on his arm will be enough. She wants to learn something useful she can fill her days with. "What is it that you really like to do?" Paul asks her over a sumptuous meal. "Eat," she laughs in reply.

Relying on her upbeat personality and never-say-die spirit, Julia sets her sights on conquering Le Cordon Bleu cooking school. Then, faster than Jacques Pépin can rustle up some coq au vin, she's mastered the art of French cooking and is bringing her skill to the masses—on TV in America.

It's 2002. Julie Powell and her writer husband, Eric, are happily married and living in a tiny apartment over a Queens, N.Y., pizzeria. But as much as she loves her hubby, Julie is just flat-out miserable. She's pushing 30 and works in a cubicle at a trying government job. Besides that, her mover-and-shaker friends pummel her with stories of their latest business triumphs. One of them has even started an online blog.

"I could do a blog," Julie whines to her husband. "I have thoughts!" So, after a bit of encouragement from Eric, the saucepan-wielding thinker decides to spend a year cooking through Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Julia Child's classic book of 524 recipes, and telling the Internet world about her progress.

From that first diced onion and initial keystroke entry we're pulled into a tale of two women who separately discover a singular culinary passion that gets them through the lip-smacking good days and the overcooked bad ones.

Positive Elements

Other than a passion for cooking, one thing that Julia and Julie have in common are loving, devoted married relationships. As part of their respective warmhearted bonds, Eric and Paul repeatedly support and encourage their wives. For example, Paul tells his wife, who is having a terribly difficult time finding a publisher, "Your book is a work of genius. Your book will change the world." Eric thinks he's fed up at one point, and he even disappears for a night, but he and Julie patch things up rapidly and he resumes his loving adoration.

In turn, the women privately and publicly praise their husbands. In fact, looking at things more broadly, the movie takes Julia Child's approach to cooking—to love the process without worrying over perfection—and espouses that same philosophy for life and marriage.

Julie points out that cooking can be a form of personal therapy: "Cooking is a way I get away from what I do all day." Her blogging has the same pressure valve-release effect. She comes to realize that enjoyable hard work and self-expression can change a negative perspective. When Julie turns 30 she tells Eric and her gathering of friends, "I thought this was gonna be terrible, but thanks to you, and to Julia, it looks like I'm gonna get through."

Not one to finish many projects, Julie uses her cooking/blogging experiment to exercise her weak stick-to-it muscles.

Spiritual Content

Sexual Content

On the plus side, it's pointed out that when Julia met her husband, at age 30-plus, she was a virgin. And passion over savory food translates into physical passion several times, resulting in Julia and Julie both kissing and cuddling with their respective spouses—casually and passionately. (Sexually, everything beyond these relatively circumspect public displays of affection happens offscreen and outside the scope of the script.)

For a postcard photo, Paul and Julia sit together (bare from the shoulders up) in a bathtub full of bubbles. Julie wears a few low-cut tops, is seen from the back wearing only shorts and a bra as she wraps her legs around hubby, and she reveals quite a bit of leg when wearing her husband's shirt to bed. Eric is bare-chested in bed in one scene.

A reference is made to "doing it" in an airplane.

Violent Content

Ah, the violent things cooks do to their food! A live lobster is chopped up and three others are tossed in boiling water.

Crude or Profane Language

One f-word and three s-words are followed by a half-dozen or so uses each of "d--n" and "b--ch." "A--" and "h---" make one or two appearance each. God's name is misused six or eight times—once combined with "d--n." A vulgar reference (that includes the word "c--k") is made to aroused male genitalia. Someone says "schmuck."

Drug and Alcohol Content

In Julie & Julia's version of the '40s and '50s, smoking and copious drinking are constant. Julia and Paul smoke cigarettes and drink wine or other forms of alcohol at every meal and public function. Everyone around them does so as well. The modern day take extinguishes the cigarettes and cigars, but still displays couples pouring and drinking wine with their meals and in other casual moments. Julie downs many, many martinis.

Other Negative Elements

A few mild political jabs are tossed out at U.S. Republicans.


I'm not much of a cook. And I've only sat through a scant few of my wife's favorite cooking shows. But after watching Julie & Julia's many scenes of French cuisine preparation and lusty consumption, I can't help but dole out my final review comments in a similar food-loving vein.

I'll start with this: The movie has all the right ingredients.

The idea of two women, separated by a handful of decades but connected by the food they both love preparing, is fun and fresh. And the actors are all enjoyably appealing. Meryl Streep, in particular, whisks up a spot-on depiction of the naturally funny—and quirky—chef guru Julia Child. And the film's encouragement to enjoy equal measures of passion and patience in life and in marriage is as uplifting as a perfectly fluffy soufflé. (Not to mention the onscreen delicacies that look so delicious you want to pull up a chair and dig right in.)

But the recipe called for sugar, and the chef throws in some salt by mistake. It comes in the form of imprudent language, mostly, but also in a few too many boring third-act details about cookbook publishing and blogging fatigue.

Sodium doesn't completely destroy the dish—there's too much marital bliss and too many good life lessons on display for that—but it does keep Julie & Julia from winning the Food Network's $10,000 Challenge. In cooking show jargon, I'd have to say: Near-perfect gourmet idea. And nice presentation. But the boeuf bourguignon is a tad overdone.

Pro-social Content

Objectionable Content

Summary Advisory

Plot Summary

Christian Beliefs

Other Belief Systems

Authority Roles



Discussion Topics

Additional Comments/Notes

Episode Reviews



Readability Age Range



Meryl Streep as Julia Child; Amy Adams as Julie Powell; Stanley Tucci as Paul Child; Chris Messina as Eric Powell


Nora Ephron ( )


Columbia Pictures



Record Label



In Theaters

August 7, 2009

On Video

December 8, 2009

Year Published



Bob Hoose

We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

Get weekly e-news, Culture Clips & more!