inspired by

by kellie abrahamson
We’re in the middle of summer and that means most theatre troupes are taking a much-needed vacation. But that doesn’t mean we’re at a loss for lit-based entertainment. Three new movies are being released this month that are based on books and for once they all look promising. So, head to your nearest bookstore (or library) and pick up these up before checking out the flick that they inspired.

julie & julia
(released August 7) Inspired by: My Life in France and Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child and Julie & Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen by Julie Powell
In 1948 Julia Child began a culinary journey that would make her a household name. After moving to France with her husband without knowing a thing about the food, the culture or even the language, Child began taking classes at Le Cordon Bleu cooking school and discovered a passion for cuisine and teaching. Her experiences were told in her memoir, My Life in France, a book that she worked on with Alex Prud’homme during the last eight months of her life.
In August 2002 government drone and foodie Julie Powell struck upon an idea that would change her life forever. Dubbed the “Julie/Julia Project,” Powell set out to cook all 524 recipes in Julia Child’s 1961 tome Mastering the Art of French Cooking in one year. The experiment was documented on Powell’s blog (you can find a link here: and was soon reworked into the bestseller Julie & Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen.
Julie & Julia brings these two autobiographical stories (and, of course, the legendary cookbook) together, creating a charming tale about the trials, tribulations and triumphs of two regular women who discover their passion. The film stars Meryl Streep and Amy Adams.

the time traveler’s wife
(released August 14) Inspired by: The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
In 2003, Audrey Niffenegger’s debut novel The Time Traveler’s Wife was released and subsequently struck a chord with readers, quickly becoming a publishing sensation. The book tells the story of Henry DeTamble, a man cursed with a genetic disorder that causes him to uncontrollably travel through time when stressed. At 28 he falls for Clare Abshire, a 20-year-old artist who has known Henry her whole life and is deeply in love with him. With her husband traveling back and forth through time, Clare struggles with Henry’s often lengthy absences. Henry finds the situation equally problematic, never knowing when or where he will arrive next.
Niffenegger’s novel, with its unique take on time travel and touching story, seemed a perfect fit for the big screen and big-name directors such as Steven Spielberg, David Fincher and Gus Van Zant all expressed interest in directing it. In the end, Robert Schwentke was tapped for the honor and the film, starring Eric Bana and Rachel McAdams, is scheduled for release this month.

taking woodstock
(released August 28) Inspired by: Taking Woodstock: A True Story of a Riot, a Concert and a Life by Elliot Tiber
After Wallkill, Orange County, New York pulled the plug on the planned Woodstock Festival, the famous three days of peace and music looked like it wasn’t going to happen. Upon hearing this bad news, Elliot Tiber used a permit which he acquired to hold a chamber music event at his parent’s motel to help organizers make Woodstock a reality. His instrumental assistance was documented in his 2007 memoir, giving readers a unique peek behind the scenes of the historic event as well as a look at Tiber’s part in the landmark gay rights demonstration, the Stonewall riots.
Hot on the heels of Woodstock’s 40th anniversary, Tiber’s fascinating book will come to life on the big screen. The film was directed by Ang Lee and premiered at Cannes to mostly positive reviews. Taking Woodstock stars Demetri Martin, Emile Hirsch and Liev Schreiber.