Saturday, September 3, 2011

The Help Movie

Last night I went and saw The Help movie. I have trained myself to look at movies made from books as two separate entities. Both have different audiences usually. I was absolutely traumatized for life when I went to see The Bourne Identity and found that the only similarities to the book was the opening scene when Jason Bourne is floating in the water and he gets saved by fishermen. Oh, and the character names. Everything else was a complete departure from the book which saddened me.

There are those rare movies that come along that go so well with the book that it's a breath of fresh air. Lord of the Rings trilogy, Harry Potter and we'll even go with Twilight are among those movies that stick really closely to the books from which they are adapted. It has taken me years to realize that Hollywood makes these movies, yes, to hop on the buzz train that the books have caused and, therefore capture the already-fans. But they are also trying to get their hooks into a different audience. Ya know the type. The ones who wait til the movie of the book comes out because they don't want to read it. (I'm guilty of this too. I have no intention of reading all of the Harry Potter books because I would rather just watch the movies. Someday I may read the books, but for now the movies will suffice.)

Back to the original topic on hand. The movie of The Help was fantastic! Here are a few reasons why:

A. I love Emma Stone! I have loved her since her days in the flop Drive. A series which only lasted for, literally, three episodes. It was supposed to be a dark spin on the Rat Race movie but it just didn't work. Anyway...she is fantastic. And she showed her emotional/dramatic acting chops beautifully in this movie.

B. The story is amazing. And you still get the symbolism of the characters in the movie.

C. The actors are wonderful. The directing was great. Everything about it. I even got choked up in several parts of the movie.

D. It has humor and drama. The best of both worlds.

One critique I do have is that they don't really build up the Skeeter/Stewart relationship. She hates him, he apologizes, they have a great date, kiss, and suddenly are together. The scene where Stewart freaks out on Skeeter comes abruptly in the movie. It would have felt less out of place if they had done the scene where Skeeter and her family meet Stewart's family. That was really the only thing that bothered me.

My absolute favorite character is Celia Foote. She, like I said before, represents innocence and lack of ignorance. She is blinded to societal boundaries and color. Jessica Chastain does an excellent job of portraying her. I'm interested to see how Chastain's career develops as she is an up-and-coming actress.

Anyway. There is my two cents on the movie from the book The Help. Go see it. I don't think you need to read the book beforehand. If you have read the book I don't think you'll be disappointed in Hollywood's take on it.

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