New movies are like restaurants: They're hot when they first open and then, especially in Los Angeles, there's a tendency to forget that they're around. It would be criminal if this happens to "Julie & Julia," a film with its own intimate connection to food. A consummate entertainment that echoes the rhythms and attitudes of classic Hollywood, this story of how Julia Child (an irresistible Meryl Streep) achieved fame through a cookbook and Julie Powell (Amy Adams) did the same by following Child's recipes is a satisfying throwback to those old-fashioned movie fantasies where impossible dreams do come true. If you're an adult looking for a good time, search no further.
-- Kenneth Turan