Friday, July 8, 2011

The Help - A Sneak Preview

When my sister-in-law, Laura, called asking if I wanted to join her for a special sneak preview of The Help, it took me about 3 seconds to say, OF COURSE!


I'd read the book. Like most everyone else, I really enjoyed it. When you love the book, you worry what the movie will do to it.

Fear not, book clubs. Hollywood's The Help is very well done.

The movie gave me nearly the same images I'd conjurred in my head as I'd read the book.  I can't recall a better book to big-screen transformation. I was mostly impressed with the Southern accents, too.  Southern cliches aren't pounded over the viewer's head, either, but there were just enough Southern sayins' to make it authentic. Sissy Spacek, as Hilly's mama, is wonderful, and reminded me of my own Mamaw when she said, I'm watching my story!  That translates, for those of you who don't know, to...watching a soap opera.

Though it's been a while since I read the book, there was nothing I can recall of note that wasn't portrayed in the movie; the screenplay stays very true to Kathryn Stockett's pages. Yes, even the pie...

When talk of this film began, critics questioned if the movie would dare go there, and really show the ugliest sides of racism down South. While I didn't live then, in 1960s Mississippi, I can't say for sure, but I can say that this isn't a sneak-your-champers-into-the-theater kind of girl's night movie. I'm an expert, and a fan of those kinds of movies. I mean, it not Roots or anything, but if not for the pretty dresses and pretty ladies and the mass appeal already in place from the book, it'd maybe even border on Film. There's no real romance sidebar. There's no shopping scene. As in the book, the story stays centered on the plight and courage of the black maids, Minnie + Abilene, and the white, single, career-focused Skeeter (a minority herself) to take up a cause not endorsed by the Junior League.   

You'll hear the N word. You'll gasp a little at things said and done. If you're a white Southern woman, you'll be a little embarassed, even in 2011 'cause we all still know a Miss Hilly...and may even have her on our Christmas card list.

In the end, though, you'll laugh through your tears. And as the credits roll, you just might clap, as everyone in the theater did last night.

The Help opens everywhere August 12.


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9 comments:

Dee Stephens said...

Haven't read it but heard it's great!

Ashton said...

I. Can. Not. Wait! This is the second pre-screen review I have read today. Both of you have given it rave reviews. I am glad to hear that the movie stayed true to the book. I wish we could organize a big blogger meet up to watch it.

Amy @ Forever 29 said...

I was able to see it last night too! I know I will see it many more times!

Hines-Sight said...

Great to hear your thoughts!

Tricia said...

I still haven't read this book, but there truly are so many great reviews. I can't believe I'm behind, and now a movie. I think I better get this read.

Kitchen Belleicious said...

I actually never read this book but I heard great things about it. maybe it is a good thing I didn't read it so I can watch the movie without any other expectations but I do want to see it!Hope you are doing well friend

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Heather said...

Totally want to read it. Haven't gotten around to picking it up, but I can't tell you how many people I know loved it and told me to read it.

Kris said...

This is so good to know. I cannot wait to see it. As a reader, I am generally disappointed with movie versions of my favorite books (this one being in my Top 5, for sure). Of course, my husband likes to tell me that the movies are for the people who don't want to read the book, not the people who loved the book! :-)

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