This past summer, when bestseller turned blockbuster The Help hit the big screens, my husband and son took one look at the breezy yellow artwork and declared this one a “chick flick”. This meant that it came and went in the theaters before I had a chance to see it. So I was thrilled to receive a review copy of the DVD version, which will be released on December 6th.
I’m also thrilled to share that my previously doubting hubby not only watched The Help with me, but actually loved the film! An amazing cast which includes not only stellar performances by Viola Davis (Aibileen), Emma Stone (Skeeter) and Jessica Chastain (Celia) but also a wonderful minor but memorable role by Cicely Tyson (Constantine) brings to life the civil rights message of the original book. Maybe it’s the writer in me that was so captivated by this story, which finds budding journalist Skeeter giving wings to the true life stories of “The Help”, the domestic servants who labored under often atrocious treatment in the white households of Mississipi.
The Help has a few scenes that will make you cringe or cry, but it also has a spirit that will have you laughing out loud and rooting for its true heroines, who are finally given the opportunity to tell the truth about their working conditions. At its heart, The Help is the type of film that will have you asking yourself some hard questions: What prejudices do I secretly harbor in my heart? How do I treat the people around me? Would I be brave enough to take a stand if I saw injustice being perpetrated? How do I use the skills God has given me to make our world a better place?
While some may tell you that The Help is simply a feel-good chick flick, I’d encourage you to look beyond that breezy yellow DVD cover and take a deeper examination. The Blu-ray version I reviewed contains some wonderful bonus features, including a great feature on the transition of novelist Kathryn Sockett’s bestseller from book to film. Catholic News Service classifies this film A III and it is rated PG 13. If you saw the film in theaters, I’d love to hear what you thought!