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Saturday, August 13, 2011

How I Feel About The Help

For this past week, I've been reading reviews and commentary on the movie, The Help and honestly, all the negative feedback made me want to see the movie more.  Yes, I understand why women of color were so against this film because no one wants to see a version of themselves being portrayed in such a subservient role.  But then again, I thought to myself that we support much more degrading material than this (i.e. music) so, I wanted to see what all the hype was about.

The movie made me laugh and even made me want to cry.  Overall, I enjoyed it.  Throughout the film, I kept wondering if I should feel the same amount of anger exhibited by the journalists I had spent all last week reading.  When that feeling didn't come, I began to wonder if I was comprehending the movie like I should have been.  Something was suppose to light a fire within me or at least that is what I thought.

Don't get me wrong because there were a few scenes that made me cringe and the snotty Mrs. Hilly made me want to jump through the screen many a time and choke her out but as a whole, the movie was good.  Skeeter was my favorite character of all because I saw bits of me in her.  I admired her fearlessness in taking on the task of writing a story from the help's perspective, especially with her being fully aware of the consequences if caught.  I admired her drive as a young journalist, allowing nothing to stop her from getting what she wanted most.  I also loved the genuine love and appreciation she showed towards the black maids.  For me, it was a needed break from that 'entitled' aura the other women gave off.

Miss Celia was another favorite of mine because, like Skeeter, she showed a genuine admiration for her help, sharing a meal with Minny, her maid, on more than one occasion.  That gesture made me smile, nearly bringing me to tears because in most cases that I've seen, maids aren't shown how much they are appreciated or if the families even give a damn.

As soon as I left the theater, I checked Twitter and saw the former Editor-in-Chief of Essence magazine, Angela Burt-Murray tweet that the film was "so bad and so inaccurate.  Minnie would have been lynched for that pie stunt" and I would totally agree with her.  In the theater, it was funny but one can't help but think, in real life, Minny wold have definitely lost her life in the name of revenge.  Makes me want to watch the movie again to look for more inaccuracies.

I was surprised to see how many of my favorite journalists disliked the film.  I honestly don't know what I expected them to feel but this response is not it.  Both the film and the book (which I begin tomorrow) were recommended to me by a close friend) so it was always a top priority for me.  I'm hearing that the book is much better than the movie but isn't that how it usually goes?

Can't wait.  Maybe i'll see some things the movie didn't have the chance to illustrate.

Have you seen the movie or read the book?  What're your thoughts?

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