Friday, August 12, 2011

The Yankee View of THE HELP

I know I'm not a Yankee but I do live up here in New Jersey and last time I checked, it was above the Mason/Dixon line and although I grew up in the beautiful state of Tennessee and had a southern set of parents and two sets of southern grandparents, I have now lived away for eleven, yes eleven years. I am still southern at heart and the longer I stay away the more I realize it.

Last night I went with my mother-in-law to see The Help. I read the book and loved it and like everyone else who has read a book then gone to see the movie, I was nervous. I read the night before that the screenwriter/director grew up with the author so I was excited that there was heart behind the movie.

We went to dinner first and as usual, I talked my poor mother-in-law's ear off. She's just a great listener and whenever I leave her company I always kick myself for not asking her questions and making her talk. We arrived to an almost empty theater. I picked the perfect spot, you know, the middle, middle. And I knew people would sit all around us because everyone loves the perfect spot in the theater, right?

I was observing the people who were walking in. I didn't know what to expect with this movie up here in the North. There were a few couples but mostly women coming in (not surprising). But as I watched them come in, I noticed that all races were coming in. I got a bit excited. I mean, action movies pull people from all walks of life. But dramas and comedies? They are usually divided.

As the movie started I was stoked that no one sat directly in front of us. It was like my own personal screening if I squinted the entire time. I did not.

I loved it. I loved the costumes and sets, the way the screenwriter/director brought parts of the characters together. I loved how he didn't waste his time with developing characters that didn't need to be developed in a movie. But more than anything, I loved hearing everyone in the theater laugh together, cry together, gasp together, and scream together.

It was a great experience.

I am a southern girl and always will be. I say "go catch the bath water" and "I need something to bear down on" and "I fixed this for dinner" and "I usta could but now I can't." My children will probably say these things too.

I am not proud of the racial heritage my southern roots held on to and in some aspects still hold on to. But as I think about allowing my daughter (assuming that God gives us at least one) to one day read and watch this movie, I smile to think that our family will be trans-racial with a twist of North and South. And I know my grandparents wouldn't know what to think about this but I do know my God smiles on it. And that's all that really matters.

By the way, I am not a movie critic nor do I claim to be. The last movie I watched in a theater was AVATAR in 3D. That shows you my frequency in front of the big screen. And you will never see me writing something about that film. Trust me.

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