Movie Monday: The Help

Movie Monday (On Tuesday!): The Help

It’s been forevs since I’ve done a Movie Monday.  But the blog’s being redesigned and now it has its own little movie section so why the hell not, right?  Movie Monday includes a review of whatever movie I saw over the weekend, whether in the theater or elsewhere, and a grade.  Grades are “Awesome,” “Bad,” and “Awesomely Bad.”  For example, Jurassic Park? Awesome.  The Lost World: Jurassic Park? BadJurassic Park III? Awesomely Bad.  Got it?  Here we go:

Let me start by saying that I did not read the book.  I hear it’s good, but unfortch I don’t have time to pick up another book thanks to my current literary commitments.  So maybe I’ll read it when I’m done with the Song of Ice and Fire books…in eight years.  Anyway – nothing really drew me to The Help except for hearing good things and an invitation from Katie, so while my expectations were “medium,” I wasn’t super attached to loving this movie.  OH, except for Allison Janney.  I would watch her read the phone book.  She’s that entertaining.

So anyway, with little expectation and the promise of a) food and b) no kids or talkers (thank yoooou, Alamo Drafthouse!) I bought a Sunday morning ticket.

I am so super glad that I saw this movie.  It works on a lot of levels.  As a period piece, it’s honest and candid and maybe a little idealistic, but so is the main character so isn’t that the point?  Katie noted that the character development is stronger in the book, which we agreed happens often when a book is adapted for the screen and we lose access to the characters’ internal monologues.  Besides, when movies insist on exploring every single facet of a character, you end up with a four hour James Cameron mini-series, and I end up sleeping through Avatar.

I thought The Help was beautiful to look at, even when parts were hard to watch.  There were plenty of laugh-out-loud moments and for a few audience members (who were hopefully running on some Sunday morning mimosas), a couple of “cheer-out-loud” moments.  And yes, there may have been one –ONE – point where I teared up but I’ll never tell when it was.  And that’s only IF it actually happened.  Which it didn’t, so shut up.

Other than the awesome that is Allison Janney, I am rather unfamiliar with most of the cast.  I’m pretty sure I’ve always thought that Emma Stone, Emma Roberts, and Emma Watson are the same person.  I’m still not really clear on all of the differences (don’t email me!) but Emma Stone did a great job in the lead role as “Skeeter.”  I guess I’m a fan now!  Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer did beautiful work as Aibileen and Minny, two maids that tell their stories in an effort to tell the truth and eventually spark change.  The supporting cast  of Junior Leaguers, maids, and mid-century Southern community fabric enrich the “period piece” feeling.  I said before that this is an honest movie and that includes clean, honest, straightforward acting without a lot of added or unnecessary drama.  And lots and lots of Mississippi accents.

The Help surprised me.  It’s unusual that I sit through a movie and instantly feel like watching it again, but I would have if I’d had the time and nothing else to do.  If you haven’t already, go see it.  I declare it awesome.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Martha Barton Lisauckis
    Aug 30, 2011 @ 19:39:16

    Can’t wait to see the movie, loved the book. Very nice review.


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