Aug 28, 2011

Movie Review: The Help

Last night during the boys' fantasy football draft, Erin and I saw The Help. Having both read the book, we knew what we were in for.

I really liked it. I think the casting was spot on, most especially with the Minnie character (played by Octavia Spencer). Emma Stone did a great job of being the brazen, sassy Skeeter and I liked her defiant attitude. Elizabeth the Junior Leaguer (played by Anha O'Reilly) really did come across as easily pushed around and totally incompetent as a mother. Spot on to the book's depiction.

In our debrief, we discussed that for such a serious subject, there was quite a bit of humor. The audience was still laughing when some more serious scenes would start. Take that as you will, either as making light of a very serious subject or just as fun. I personally enjoyed it but I can see where it might lessen the severity of the issue.

I think the producers did a good job of turning an ugly piece of American history into a popular mainstream movie. In between cute and funny scenes are a few that are really disturbing, in my mind, especially the arrest of one maid. For me, it was the right balance of some hard-hitting, ugly historical depiction but enough fun entertainment to end on a overall positive note.

Verdict: Go see it. But of course, read the book first because that's always better, even in this case...though not by much.

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