Nora Ephron‘s Julie & Julia isn’t half bad for a female-market foodie movie. What doesn’t work then? A baseball analogy obviously doesn’t fit but I’m going to use one anyway. Meryl Streep‘s almost musical performance as Julia Child amounts to a series of ground-rule doubles. Strong swing, crack of the bat but not homer-level. And Ephron’s direction is technically smooth and error-free — she’s a good manager. But Amy Adams has been given a thankless role, that of an agitated and shrewish Child devotee named Julie Powell, and she hasn’t been given the dialogue or the emotional range with which to hit a serious slammer. So what happens is that every time Streep makes it to second base, Adams comes along and whiffs or pops out or hits a fast grounder to the shortstop. So while Julie & Julia doesn’t lose the game, it never really scores.