The Help Movie Review
It's been a while since I've seen a movie that really made me think. I had been warned about The Help. I ignored the suggestions to bring a box of tissues. Public displays of emotion just aren't my thing. If I had known exactly what I was getting into with The Help I would have waited until it came out on video, rented it, and watched it alone with said box of tissues and a bag of M&Ms. Then I would have proceeded to bawl my eyes out.
The Help takes place during the civil rights movement in Jackson Mississippi. When Skeeter comes home from college, she looks for more experience to add to her Journalism creds. in order to land her dream job in New York City. She gets a job with the local paper writing a less than fabulous housekeeping Q&A column. The girls that she went to school with are now married housewives with small babies and children who hire "colored" women to raise them as their mothers did before them. It's obvious that Skeeter's years at college, and also her personality in general, help her to really see what is going on in her community. While seeking out the advice of these women, Skeeter realizes the severe amount of racism and underlying hatred around her. She decides to write a book based on the lives of these maids, going against the norms of society as well as the laws in Mississippi during that time period.
Skeeter- She's well educated, level headed, and kind. Skeeter is different than her peers in many ways. The biggest difference is her lack of romantic interest. When Skeeter returns from college without a husband her mother is horrified. Back in the day women were expected to graduate high school, get married, and have babies (not that there's anything wrong with that). Emma Stone does a fantastic job portraying this aspiring author.
Hilly - She's that stuck up, popular girl from high school and the pushy, controlling PTA President rolled in one. You really just want to hate Hilly Holbrook in this movie.
Elizabeth - She's the typical puppy dog personality. You know the type. They follow behind people with popularity and power and assume they gain those attributes by association. In reality they're just sad little wannabe followers. Elizabeth is just that. She has no brain of her own and makes her decisions in life based on what others will think of her. What a sad way to live.
Celia - She's the outsider. Celia has married one of the local boys and is new to town. The other women treat her with suspicion and jealousy. They call her white trash and ignore her. One of the saddest parts about this movie was watching this character struggle through horrendous trials while craving friendship and receiving ridicule. I cried. I cried a lot.
Abilene- She's the first maid to agree to help with Miss. Skeeter's book. She's smart and kind and teaches the children she cares for better than their mothers do. I think this actress deserves an award for her role in this movie. She was flawless.
Minny- She's Abilene's best friend. She's sassy but secretly soft-hearted. Her relationship with Miss. Celia was one of the most beautiful in the movie.
What Do You Think?
Which Was Your Favorite Character?
It's tempting to walk away from this movie thinking "I'm glad I didn't live back then." That's what I thought at first, but when I think about the movie and the core reason for the way things were back during the civil rights movement, I realize we still struggle with the same things today. There are still people out there that hate others because of the color of their skin, even if they don't want to use such a strong word. It's not just white and black. It's race, religion, and social status. It's the people who don't know how to forgive the past, and the ones still living in it. It's the people who feel like they can be rude and disrespectful to others just because they feel they are "right". There are men that control with fear and violence and women that still suffer. The problems seen throughout this movie still plague society today. I'm walking away from this movie not thinking I'm grateful it wasn't me living through that, but what can I do to make sure it never is me.