Subscribe via e-mail



Movie Review of The Help

The problem with taking an amazing book and making it into an equally amazing movie is that, understandably, you can't possibly fit EVERYTHING from the story into 2 hours of screen time... but The Help comes about as close as humanly possible to making sure all the key moments are covered, and it does it beautifully.
THE GOOD: Adapted from the controversial novel by Kathryn Stockett, The Help is a fictional account of a time in our nation's history that was all too real: White families in the South and the Black women who worked for them. We meet "Skeeter" Phelan (played by Emma Stone), an ambitious Ole Miss graduate whose driving force in life is to be a writer, and on the advice of a New York publisher (Mary Steenburgen) makes the life altering decision to write about something that bothers her-and doesn't seem to bother others - the racial inequality and intolerance that is so abundant around her. Skeeter chooses to interview her best friend's housekeeper, Aibileen (Viola Davis) to find out exactly how she feels about the families she works for-a dangerous proposition for both sides to be engaging in, given the laws and social climate of the time. Soon Aibileen is joined by other maids who want to tell their story, and those stories are a bizarre mixture of families whose babies were raised almost entirely by the black housekeepers, babies that loved these women more than their own mothers, yet grew to be adults who then treated their own "Help" with distain and ignorance. The entire cast gives Oscar-worthy performances, including those of Aibileen's friend Minny (Octavia Spencer) whose own story is both hysterical and heartbreaking. Simply put, this movie will put you through the ringer emotionally, and that's a good thing, because it means it told the story it meant to tell.
THE BAD: Because I have also read the book, I naturally was aware of certain things in the story that did NOT make it into the film, and I have to admit that I would have liked to see a few more details included to help develop your feel for the characters....but then you can only fit so much into two hours, and maybe in this case, less is more.
THE UGLY: In the sense of things that were terribly wrong with the movie or that in my opinion should not have been included, there is absolutely nothing I can point to. However, it's important to remember that this story is about racial issues, so some of the situations can be tough to watch, as well as one scene of a toddler being spanked that just about did me in (it was implied, not actually shown). Be warned that the content in this movie is not always comfortable to stomach....and frankly, it shouldn't be.
The trophy wife gives this movie 5 trophies!
The Help has a running time of 2 hrs and 26 minutes. It is rated PG13 for thematic material and some language.
(no F bombs)