Monday, September 26, 2011

The Help: A Movie Review

I am well aware that in the grand scheme of things, my opinion means very little. However, there are times that I still feel the need to express it. Last month, my book club read The Help by Kathryn Stockett.. We have found in the past that we usually love one book, and then the next month we can barely get through our current selection.

September was a very good month.

We all simply adored The Help and couldn't wait to get together and discuss it. It was my turn to host, so I even made themed food for the occasion. Southern-inspired Black Eyed Pea Soup,  Muffaletta Pinwheels, Alabama Firecrackers (spiced crackers), and, yes, Chocolate Pie. (Read the book and you'll understand)

When we selected The Help, I didn't realize they were making it into a movie, but how could the timing have been more perfect? I waited and waited, and finally this weekend, it came to our quaint little hometown theatre, The Marvel (yes, because I am too lazy to drive an hour to the nearest theatre where it was playing).

Now, bear in mind that when I go see a movie that was made from a book, I try and go in with an open mind. So often I hear people being very critical of movies made from books because they "weren't enough like the book". Well, my theory is that its awfully hard to squeeze every aspect of a fantastic book into a matter of 120 minutes of darkened theatre mystique. I try and view these films as free-standing stories, and take them for what they are, entertaining (or not) in their own right, and try not to hold them to the standard of the book from whence they came.

This generally works out pretty well for me. Especially considering that I don't think I have ever seen a movie that actually closely resembles the book is was made from.

Until now.

I have to give high praise to the creators of The Help (the motion picture) for their attention to detail, their dedication to the flow of the novel, and their unforeseen ability to make a grown woman cry in public.

I have to say that The Help so closely followed the book that I was amazed. Granted, there were details left out. How do you cram every last speck of information from a 500+ page book into an after dinner treat? But, while I noticed the exclusions, I did not miss them. The film stood on its own, an homage to the book, and while I still highly recommend reading the original from cover to cover, if you can't, the movie version is a darned good substitute.

Read it. See it. Bring tissues. If you don't get choked up during this film, well.... you just ain't right.


The Country Cook said...

I read The Help twice and was amazed with the movie. It also made this grown woman cry in public!

Kim said...

I loved the book (read it in one night) and I loved the movie dearly. I debated taking my ten year old daughter to the movie, but she loved it and now she wants to read the book (I think she'll have to wait a few years).

It really is a wonderful book and a great movie. So glad that you enjoyed it!