I know it is heresy, but...
I did not like the movie, THE HELP. Has any of y'all seen it?
I ain't the first to say this film is far short of To Kill a Mockingbird.
Yes, the maids (Help) parts were masterfully played.
Yes, the sets/ costuming/ and general bric-a-brac of the 1960s wuz excellent--
Mah beef is wif' the storyline--author an' scriptwriter. I feel somewhat qualified to comment on the author Kathryn Stockett's utter lack of dimension.
Her story takes place in Jackson Mississippi. I wuz borned an' lived in Jackson. The action of the story takes place in the 1960s when Granny Cracker wuz the same age of them young matrons in the movie, an' Aunty be a chile. We had Help. I had a Black "nanny" (and so did most white chillen's whose Daddy's made a livin' of any kind.) In short, Aunty lived in the midst of this story, an' Kathryn Stockett did not git it "pitch perfect" simply because the whole thang is stereotypical. Cartoonish.
Cartoonish, stereotypical, an' indulges in blatant revisionist history. ( If I were Black this movie would infuriate me--not because of how them whites mistreated the Blacks in the 60s, but on account of playing fast an' loose' wif' Black culture an' history.)
Lemme count the stereotypes fer y'all:
The heroine is the awkward, tom-boy-named-Skeeter, an ugly duckling-girl who- never-had-a-date-but-is-really-a- swan-an' she'll show ya' thar's hell to pay fer ignorin' her. She's the crusader that will set the ole town to rights. ( Stockett admits this character is semi-autobiographical)
The Junior League, din of dimwitted do-gooders who do mostly unconscionable harm while feelin' so good about it.
The Southern Bitch (think Veronica Lodge) who has no life but bridge parties an' The Best Deviled Egg Recipe. Southern Bitch's bevy of sorority sisters now all married --except Skeeter, poor thang--an all of 'em vacant headed, wearin' dresses made of sofa chintz.
The Mammy who has larger than saucer whites of the eye an' is beat down by Southern Bitch an' her feckless Southern Husband (Think,Reggie)
The Trailer Park Tramp, a brassy bottle blonde-who -is-really-humane-an' -sweet-as-pie, despite-dressin'like-Jessica Rabbit. Of course she marries Rich Boy that Southern Bitch hoped to snag.
The onliest true Christians in the movie is found in Black churches.
The tipplin' ole' lady that thinks her Southern Bitch daughter needs a comeuppance.
The heartless plantation family that turns out the maid of 40 years wif'out a nickel. (Skeeter's family)
Know whose missin'? The Mirrored Glasses Fat Florid Sheriff.
I'se an ole lady an' I knows thumbin' yore nose when I sees it. Stockett has a burr under her saddle.
This story ain't about The Help. Stockett claims her research was "meticulous" but somehow she doan even know how civil right's activist Medgar Evers wuz kilt. She wrote (about a dozen times) that he were "bludgeoned" to death--but he were shot. So much fer meticulous--or, wait now--"bludgeoned on his front porch, his blood splatterin' his children" is so much more visual, horrifyin'.... an' such liberties is the architecture of the Stockett's story. Naw naw.... Stockett is thumbin' her nose at her family an' "friends" an' usin' Black maids as the vehicle.
Fer the record, I has known plenty of Black domestic help as a chile an' as a growed woman --an' not one of them maids wuz so cowerin' she would'na given a sassy-mouthed spoiled girl a tongue lashin'. An NEVER has I ever heered of homes whar' the Help din't go to the bathroom--jes' think that part of the story through...iffin' white wimmen lets black maids feed an' bathe, an' dress their chillen, hold them on their laps an' sing to 'em, do ya really reckon the White Mistress suddenly thought maids had "different germs" only in the bathroom? Thas' fatuous.
Were thar' folks who mistreated The Help? Yes, very sadly, yes. It was poor manners --not an "equality" thang--but poor manners, a low class thang to do to hurt or embarrass yore Help. Families took care of their Help. Most warn't the hollow relationship like the movie showed.
Two groups of people are disgusted when readin' that statement: Black folks under 50 years old and liberals. Why? why, cause it shatters their deeply held belief that ALL the relationships between Black and White Southerners were based on hatred an' domination of one group by the other.
By now, some of y'all is squirmin' or shoutin' at the screen--ya think mah comments is themselves racist because I speak of the Help as some we looked after, cared for an' loved...as if they were "owned."
I doan think I need to put a disclaimer in this post, but jes' in case thar's a visitor lurkin' lemme say plain out--Aunty doan favor segregation or any sort of mistreatment of NObody based on skin color.
But to ignore the truth, that at that time, in that place, there were Blacks and Whites who understood that the system wuz flawed, would change, an' wuz changin', but they knowed that in their relationship that they loved each other an' helped each other, despite the circumstances, they loved on a personal (not systemic/ cultural) level.
At some point, the racial discussion in this nation is gonna have to git closer to the bone. Much evil wuz done. The system of racism--against any group of people-- is despicable. But good relationships were not exceptional--I reckon the trouble is good relationships doan make a dramatic story.
What needs to be said is it is less a color issue than the unstated matter of class. What hypocrisy that Americans fall all over theyselves to gape at Kate an William, givin' nary a thought to footmen, butlers, scullery maids an' chamber maids--Princess Kate ain't scrubbin' out Price Wills' toilet. SOMEbody is--who ya reckon that person be? Well, that question doan trouble no liberals who luv to gripe about US race relations.
The relationship of White and Black in the 1960s (north and south) wuz tense an' turbulent. Times wuz a changin' an' that always brings strife. Still, the one dimensional story of this movie is ridiculous, an' mostly fabricated.
But y'all know it will still win Academy Awards.