Take tissues and take your mother, sister, daughter or friend to see the movie “The Help“.
Confession: I read the highly recommended, NY Times best-selling book and am one of the few people I know who thought it was a good story, end of story.
Why? At the risk of being controversial, in my opinion the book concentrated on the obvious race and class differences in Jackson, Mississippi during the sixties, which editor cum author Kathryn Stockett was able to draw upon from her own experiences. Stockett missed a rare opportunity to bring emotional depth to her well-thought out characters and pathos was sorely missing to me.
That opportunity was seized upon by fellow former Jackson, MI resident Director/Executive Producer/Screenwriter Tate Taylor who delivers a brilliant heart-renching and inspiring version of the movie. The characters you loved in the book now reach out and touch your heart, bringing the richness of their stories to life.
My book club went to see this movie before general release here in September. The local cinema offered “High Tea” and gave each grandma, mother, daughter and a couple of brave men in attendance a beautiful boxed cupcake and a cup of tea as we entered the theatre. Of the twenty or so of my group, we laughed among ourselves how funny is was to also receive a personal size package of tissues as part of this special screening as none of us had cried over the book.
During the film emotion seemed to imbue each woman both on-screen and in the audience: friendships were forged and/or reinforced, rifts between mother and daughter healed (at least for the moment) and an unspoken bond of sisterhood emerged. A sea of black smudged racoon eyes, knowing smiles and promises to get together soon were exchanged leaving the theatre. The tissues’ purpose defined.
The movie touts “Change Begins with a Whisper”. The movie delivered change – right there in the theatre. I wish I could bottle that sisterhood and uncork it whenever necessary. If you see the movie, I hope you can capture that feeling for yourself. Regardless, I wish for you sisterhood in times of change.
- Review: Hollywood Outdoes Itself on Superb ‘Help’ (abcnews.go.com)
- The ghosts of Mississippi still haunt Hollywood (independent.co.uk)