Seeing a movie that's based on a book I loved is always risky. Few can measure up. I read The Help by Kathryn Stockett a few months ago, and when I heard it was being turned into a movie I knew I had to see it. Of course I fully understood there was a chance it wouldn't follow the book and wouldn't live up to the images in my mind. But I saw previews and read good things about it. And I was pleased to see that Emma Stone, from Easy A, would be starring in it.
The Help is about a young, white woman, Skeeter (played by Stone), living in Mississippi during the tumultuous Civil Rights era; fresh out of college and beginning to realize that her Junior League cronies don't hold the same values as she does. Her friends are wretched, racist snobs (Bryce Howard Dallas nails the character of Hilly to perfection, succeeding in making me want to slap her silly throughout the whole movie). An aspiring writer, Skeeter decides to write a book from the point of view of "the help", the hired black ladies whom all proper Mississippi families depend upon to run their households and raise their children.
Rarely have I seen a movie based on a book that follows the book so closely and which is so satisfying to watch. This one was just as I had imagined it should be. It was funny (lots of laughter in the theater) and heartfelt (a little bit of eye dabbing was going on too). Each part was played to perfection. I can't wait to see it again.