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.

Shut Up, The Machine!!

Did everyone wake up lazy and illiterate one morning?  Srsly, it’s like the robots are taking over.  I haaaate when things that aren’t supposed to talk to me talk to me.  Talking toys?  Creepy.  Talking idiots?  Annoying.  Talking dogs?  Um, have you SEEN Beverly Hills Chihuahua?  (I haven’t, I’m making judgments based on the previews.  Because come ON.)  S0 what is the DEAL with these machines that suddenly won’t shut up??

They’re sneaky, is what they are.  I’ll be happily using a machine, be it the ATM, the gas pump, the little machine that spits out your tickets at the movies, etc., and suddenly I’m being engaged in conversation by some disembodied voice that is commenting on what I’m doing right then.  And they’re not quiet about it.  Noooo sir.  Me: Swipes debit card to get my movie ticket.  The Machine: HEYYYYYY THERE PERSON GOING TO SEE Justin Bieber: Never Say Never*!  DON’T FORGET TO STOCK UP ON PLENTY OF HOTDOGS AND SUGARY, SUGARY SODA BEFORE WANDERING IN TO THE THEATER!  ALSO, BASED ON THIS SELECTION YOU MIGHT ALSO ENJOY GNOMEO AND JULIET – PRESS 1 TO BUY TICKETS AND MAKE IT A DOUBLE FEATURE!

Machine, I will beat you down.  I hate being yelled at by people.  At least I can tell people to tone it down.  But when a machine yells at me, all I can do is stand there and look around while people stare.  All I can do is be like “Uhhh yeah…this machine’s talking to me.  Anyone else seeing Justin Bieber Movie*?  No, just me?  Cool…”  It’s ridiculous.

Whatever happened to just employing normal (or at least functioning) human people to do things like give me my movie tickets and complete transactions at the checkout line?**  At least when they were super peppy, made odd suggestions, and yelled at me I could glare at them and make snide comments back.  “Gnomeo and Juliet, you say?  I promised my seven grandchildren and their elderly mother that I  would take them to see that next weekend.  So it’s just The Beebs* for me, thanks.”  When I talk to the machines, people look at me funny.  Dislike.

* You people know that the only way I’m going to be present at that movie is if they play it at my own funeral, right?  Kgood.
** This is a hypothetical question.  Please do not tell me what actually happened to any of those things.  If you want to complain about something, go get your own blog. 😛 I love you.