I started the book “The Help” on tape during a roadtrip to see my sister in Northern California. We almost made it the entire way without stopping, but my kids needed to go the bathroom. I was so engrossed in the story that I bought the book so I could read it while at my sisters. The book had it’s problems – predictable, read like a screenplay – but I couldn’t get enough. When my sister complained that I needed to put down the book and go get some exercise, I only went out in the freezing Berkeley air so I could listen to my book on my ipod.
When I heard about the movie, I was not surprised. The book was so clearly meant to be a movie. I didn’t have high hopes for it, but I’m happy to say I was so wrong. The cast alone made it worth seeing. Viola Davis, Allison Janney, Sissy Spacek, and Emma Stone and the rest of the amazing women were perfectly cast.
The book and movie are about a Mississippi woman in the 1960s who comes home from college after getting a journalism degree and goes looking for a story. She finds it in her home and the homes of her friends when she begins interviewing the black women who work as their housekeepers. She uncovers secrets, finds romance, and empowers herself and the women around her. If it sounds like a tearjerker, that’s because it is. But it’s also really funny, well acted, and very entertaining.