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Erin Collazo Miller

The Help Book vs. Movie

By August 9, 2011

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'The Help' by Kathryn StockettThe Help by Kathryn Stockett has been a runaway bestseller since its debut in 2009. My book club loved it, and we can't wait to see the movie adaptation that comes out tomorrow. I enjoy historical movies for the costumes and scenery, and I am looking forward to seeing how the story translates onto the screen.

If you see The Help in theaters, let us know what you think. How does the movie compare to the book?

Cover Photo Courtesy Penguin


August 12, 2011 at 7:52 pm
(1) Pam says:

The movie was unable to completely portray the characters as described in the novel. Relationships among the characters lacked the depth achieved by the novelist.

August 14, 2011 at 11:56 pm
(2) Sara says:

I read the book when it first came out and LOVED it. Saw the movie today and LOVED it more!! I laughed and cried and even snorted because I was trying to laugh and cry at the same time. The entire over filled theater (there really were people sitting on the steps)were right there with me – totally involved in the movie. Bravo to Kathryn Stockett for a fabulous book. And if all of the actors don’t get awards for their perfomances it will be sad. I may go see it again this week and I can’t wait till I can watch it at home. One final word – WOW!!!

August 15, 2011 at 6:54 am
(3) Betty Batcha says:

Although the movie hit the same emotional buttons that the book did (yes, I did cry) it was disappointing on how choppy it was and how underdeveloped the characters were. I barely had a sense of who Skeeter was and Emma stone lacked the depth and experience to play the character. Some parts of the movie seemed hollow. Perhaps it should have been longer so that there was more depth.

August 15, 2011 at 9:27 pm
(4) MimiK says:

Having not read the book, I went to see the movie with great hopes. Both my husband and I agreed it was a disappointing film, very Hollywood, overdone and caricaturist. So none of these white ladies liked their children much, only the nannies were full of love. And so many things like that. The joke about the cake is really gross and not funny at all. Is it in the book ? She could have put something else in and it would have been OK and funny. That was way too much.

Anyway, we did not walk out, so this is a sign it is at least watchable, but we agreed that we could not recommend it to our friends.

This is only the opinion of two people… :-)

August 16, 2011 at 11:11 am
(5) Sharon says:

A wonderful,inspirational movie. It depicted the ’60s perfectly. I loved the clothes and the movie sets. But most of all the acting. It was a faithful adaptation of the book. I know it will be an Oscar winner.

A minor character to look for is the newspaper editor–what a fabulous job he did.

I am definitely going to see it again.

August 18, 2011 at 9:39 am
(6) Dorine says:

I listened to the audio book a few months ago and absolutely loved it. And I saw the movie last night. It’s unusual when a movie even comes close to being as good as the book, but this one did. Looking forward to seeing in again in my living room.

August 19, 2011 at 11:18 pm
(7) Thaise says:

Not so crazy about the book, but really liked the movie.

August 20, 2011 at 11:30 am
(8) edward reichbach says:

Having lived through the 60′s and taught in the first integrated schools, this film brought it all back to life accurately. A sure winner.

August 20, 2011 at 2:28 pm
(9) Gail O says:

I was a white girl who grew up in Mississippi in the 1960s. I thought that the book and the movie captured perfectly the balance of good and bad of living in the south during this time.

August 24, 2011 at 12:01 am
(10) JEP says:

Loved the movie and the book!
The casting was dead on.
Varied a little from the book but also added scenes that made the movie that much more enjoyable.
Sound have a lot of Academy Award nominations!
My advice, take your friends, family or book club and go see it!

August 24, 2011 at 8:33 am
(11) Heather says:

I hate to burst your bubble but I read the book and then saw the movie and did not feel the movie accuratley portrayed the book. The story about Rachel was completley off (they made her black in the movie and the story was thrown apart) also, Skeeter’s mother ended up coming to her rescue and doing a 180 in the movie. No such thing happened in the book. Although I liked the movie I wouldn’t say it portrayed the book and I honestly wish I had seen the movie first and read the book second, I probably would have been able to enjoy it more.

August 25, 2011 at 2:52 pm
(12) Tee says:

The book was an excellent read…even though it brought up much more painful family memories that I have been told. I know the book was based on fiction…but fiction has to come from somewhere, right? The story made me laugh, smile, cry, and in a couple of section I literally broke down as if a few of the characters were one of my family. I sometimes get a weird feeling when reading or speaking on the extreme harsh racism my own people had to endure of those times–and yes racism is still alive and well today; But as I read comments online about how harsh it was, or how “cruel” it was of Minny’s character to make a “chocolate poo” pie…I don’t understand that. Even in the book, the author “brushed” over a few of the racial situations they encountered, and a poo pie is NOTHING near as harsh as lynch a man all because he was black. I was HAPPY Minny served her up right!

August 30, 2011 at 12:34 am
(13) Adri says:

I completely agree with Heather! I read the book first and saw the movie this weekend. I was a little disappointed when every other scene was something that did not happen in the book. The story about Rachel made no sense. And the ending was forced. If you’re going to create a movie based off of a book, stick to the story.

September 3, 2011 at 10:01 am
(14) Laura says:

Saw the movie yesterday. Loved it. Laugh, cry, laugh, cry. One of the best movies I’ve seen lately.

September 3, 2011 at 2:52 pm
(15) Jo says:

NB the central characters (Abi/Minny/Skeeter) did not think the Poo Pie thing was funny. However, it is realistic. Setting aside race issues that sort of thing happens today…in the food service industry (anyone who ill treats people who serve them food is at risk)

September 7, 2011 at 12:26 pm
(16) ruby arthur says:

Loved it to the MAX!!!!!!!

September 9, 2011 at 8:52 pm
(17) Dave Norris says:

Wife and I both saw the film, then read the book, then saw the film again. We agree the film is better. For one thing, the performances (obviously not a factor in the book) are outstanding. Another, the plot is more coherent and flowing in the film. Some details are superior in the film as well, e.g., the incident leading to the firing of Constantine is much more poignant in the film, how Hilly’s mom tells her off as she is leaving the benefit is more powerful in the film. The plot had to be streamlined for the film, but nothing of real importance is lost by deleting the light complexion of Rachel, the tension re whether the book would make the deadline, or the subplot re the political parents of Skeeter’s boyfriend in transition to the film.

September 10, 2011 at 7:43 am
(18) larryette says:

Saw the movie last night. I never read the book, but there were so many parts of the movie that were so familiar, I wonder where I saw/read about them, ie, Skeeters name and the fact that she was single and her friends were trying to get her married, the “chocolate” pie, the incident with Constantine. Could this have been published as a condensed version somewhere?

September 17, 2011 at 11:53 pm
(19) jannie says:

I saw the movie today with my best friend and we both absolutely loved it. We laughed so hard we cried, we cried during certain parts. Very touching yet funny. To the person who took offence to the cake part, I believe it was a pie and although gross, I found it quite funny. Something some people wish they could do, but never do. I don’t know if the book indicates whether or not it was actually the case, or if she just said it for the shock factor. I would hope she did it for the shock factor. Loved the movie though and will take my husband to see it next week.

October 1, 2011 at 7:41 pm
(20) pam says:

I found the book to be to slow paced and the black dialect very difficult to read fluently. Really didn’t enjoy the subject matter, found it hard to believe that white women hated their children and the black help loved them so much, so I probably will not see the movie.

October 5, 2011 at 3:25 pm
(21) Patricia says:

As an African American woman-who lives in the south- I must say I was disappointed in the movie. I saw the movie first and read the book afterward. Initially I enjoyed the movie. I thought it was funny and presented the subject matter delicately but in a way that all audiences could relate to. My great grandmother was a maid in Louisiana. I can remember my mother telling me my great grandmother talked more about the family she worked for than of her own family. Those who felt the blacks loved the children more than the parents of the children need to consider that the maids had these children for the better part of the day. They did everything for them…just like the movie depicted. But after I read the book I was disappointed in the movie. I feel there were some issues in the book that should have been in the movie. Namely, why did they change the story of Constantine’s daughter? My guess is that they felt it would be a little too uncomfortable for white audiences or just unrelatable to them. Or maybe they felt it had been done ie. IMITATION OF LIFE. I would recommend the book but not the movie.

October 5, 2011 at 4:05 pm
(22) Melinda says:

I read the book last year… Loved it. Grew up in the south rather poor late 60′s early 70′s. The book depicted a time and a horrible treatment of people. I believe it was Tee that said fiction has to come from somewhere. The book portrayed it accurately and it was a fantastic book. I wish the movie would have developed the characters more. People who don’t enjoy the movie should give the book a chance. Perhaps if we are all sickened from things that happen in this book, we will begin to change how we treat others.
I have to write a paper on a video about discrimination I have chosen this one… I hope I portray it well.

November 4, 2011 at 11:14 pm
(23) Babs says:

I read the book and and within the first few pages I felt as though I had been “punched in the gut”. Although I was born five years before Mae Mobley, I lived that child’s life. My mother was born and raised in Mississippi and later lived in the North and had colored help. The book brought the memories flowing back to me. Kathryn Stockett has excellently portrayed the era. Yes, some mothers of that time did behave like the characters in the book! I am fortunate to have had a loving and nurturing nanny. As an older child I had so many questions for her, all unanswered. As an adult I never had an opportunity to tell my “nanny” how dearly I loved her, to thank her. She drew the line, that barrier that was not supposed to be crossed, even though I wanted to cross it. I can relate with the character, Skeeter. I do not know what became of my beloved nanny, or how or when my nanny passed away. I do know, though,she would have loved to meet my babies. Thank goodness, because of her, I knew how to rock them, cuddle them, and sing songs to them. I knew how to accept my babies as they are. And now, I have a beautiful grandson who is bi-racial, black and white. I am blessed.

March 27, 2012 at 4:57 pm
(24) Tara says:

I listened to the book and now I am excited to see the movie…The book made me very emotional…both happy and sad. I did not want it to end…after 15 cds I was Abi’s and Minny’s family too. The worst feeling was when Abi had to say goodbye…This story had many lessons that today we can use in our lives…I am going to teach my 1 yr old baby girl that she is smart and kind and beautiful everyday.

September 3, 2012 at 1:03 am
(25) Riley says:

I have to disagree on some points with both parties here.

I didn’t think it seemed the mothers “hated” their children at all, just didn’t get to spend time with them because they had other things to do. This is a reality today and in the 60′s.

And the pie was admittedly disgusting, but considering all the horrible things Minny and the other help in this story went through, not even mentioning the racism blacks had on the streets, and the murdering of blacks in this time period, it’s hardly fair to say that she’s the only one at fault.

Finally, I really did like the movie, although I felt that some character stories were not wrapped up. Not only Aibeline, but Ceila Mae, Hilly, and other characters. However, this didn’t hinder the movie’s overall effect, which was incredible.

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