Thursday, August 11, 2011

So I saw The Help and now I have thoughts

So I saw The Help yesterday.  I had never read the book and knew virtually nothing about it other than the general premise - and the fact that the buzz was CUH-RAZY.  Frankly, knowing that it was a bunch of women in the south was enough for me, and when I saw the trailer a few months ago I was sold. 

It also didn't hurt that Dreamworks was involved.  Now I know that at times they've made some choices I didn't agree with, but they have also been known to put out a pretty decent movie once or twice in the full-o-heart category.

All that being said, I can't remember the last time I was this excited about seeing a movie.  Enough so that I once again pulled out my hair dryer and eyeliner and even put on a dress...and headed off to The Cinema. 

Observation #1:  Concessions at The Cinema have reached an all-time high in the category of HIGHWAY ROBBERY.  I am not exaggerating when I tell you that I did the whole cranky old lady thing when told that my small popcorn with small drink was a total of $10.75.  Seriously, y'all, that's an entree at The Olive Garden, which is where my seat-neighbors were headed after the movie.   And you know how I hate to complain, but the popcorn wasn't even very tasty. 


My very-polite-but-horrified tangent with the popcorn-selling girl did yield some rather interesting information, though.  She told me that the theater makes virtually no money on the actual movie nearly all of their income comes from the goodies at the concessions.  Thus, the insanity.

I always wondered what the rationale was with those exorbitant prices. 

Sometimes it pays to own your cranky.  You just might learn something.

Observation #2:  I went to the 12:45 movie on Wednesday afternoon, and Y'all.  The theater was full.  As in people-coming-in-had-difficulty-finding-a-seat full.  I suspect it was nuts last night.

It was also about 98% women.  All kinds of women.  There was a very elderly woman sitting in front of me and a young woman with her infant in a sling in my row.  I went alone but quickly made friends with a nice widow (who loved the book! and also The Olive Garden!) and her daughter who were sitting beside me.  Fun, fun fun!

Well, fun until the end when I was crying and feeling kind've foolish.  I am such a movie crier.

It's all fun and games until you do the ugly cry in front of the nice lady who'd already read the book and had control of her emotions.

(It looks like this is going to be a long one, folks.  It's 1:24 in the a.m. and I'm tired so I'm extra rambly.  Can't be helped.)

So about the movie itself...

Observation #3:  Evidently cussing was popular in the  1960s.  I always thought my peers invented it, but if this movie is any indication, even back in the olden days when my friends were too young to talk people liked to say very bad words.  This would mean you, Mom & Dad, and your pals.

Who knew.

That being said, and with me officially being on the record of not approving of cussing, I really, really loved the movie. 

It made me feel all kinds of things, often at the same time.  Literally in the same scene I would be laughing at one moment and then feeling kind've broken-hearted the next. 

Hilarious and tragic.

Sorta like life.

I expected it to be mostly funny and less, well...sad.  (I guess this is where reading the book would have had me better prepared.)  It only took about a couple of minutes before I was squirming in my seat.   I loved some of the familiarity with its accompanying nostalgia, but it was not fun at all to see the sheer disrespect that was such a part of that time.  I was really struck by the venom behind the lovely southern manners and pretty dresses.  There is nothing pretty about that kind of thinking and behavior, and I felt like the movie was somewhat unflinching in portraying that, which in turn made me feel very uncomfortable and just sad.  But in a good way.  It's good to be honest about where we were and how we've changed and grown. 

I did feel like it was pretty balanced, though.  Like life, not everyone was venomous, and some of the ones who made poor choices were not particularly evil but mostly weak, and struggling with the complexities of the culture at the time.  There was such pressure from most everyone to keep the status quo. 

I would like to think I would have been like Skeeter and all about standing up and making a difference, but I have to wonder. 

I know I would have been kind because that's the way my heart rolls, but would I have had the courage to inspire change? 

I hope so...

I've rambled on long enough.  In a nutshell for all my buddies who were asking what I thought, here's the skinny.  It's rated PG-13, I'm sure mostly because of the language (and there was one running gag that was a little, umm...coarse). 

I imagine you will giggle quite a bit, squirm now and again...and I dare you to not shed a tear or three.

And you'll likely have a few thoughts of your own.

...and in my opinion, thinking all the thoughts can only lead to better.

Happy Thursday!

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