So, in the wake of seeing the movie, I decided to read the original book. I'm not quite sure how someone thought it could turn into a movie, but I'm glad they did. I mean, the book was definitely interesting, but the narrative tends to jump around (many bits begin with a few sentences, then a flashback to explain what lead to those sentences, and then the rest of the story), which works in novel-form, but wouldn't strike me as being something that would in film if I hadn't already seen the movie.
Frankly, I think the movie greatly improved on the book, which turned out to be less about the cooking, really, and more about the strange life Julie lived during that year. Not that that's a bad thing. But as I said, the movie made me want to go home and start cooking right away (not that I did, though), while the book gave me the sudden desire to try making a gimlet (which I would have done by now except I can't find my cocktail shaker. I think it got lost in the move ;_;). I guess this is because it's easier to be inspired (to cook, anyway) by actually seeing the dishes than just reading the french name (sometimes with translation, sometimes not) and then a description (maybe) of how it tasted. And I liked how more of Julia Child's history was mixed into the movie. It really brought everything together, I think, although I only thought about that after reading the book.