The Help: What I Learned from this Wonderful Movie

by pamelawright on September 30, 2011

 
“No one had ever asked what does it feel like to be me.” –quote from the Help
 
 
I didn’t know what the Help was about when I went to go see it.  I hadn’t read the book and I wasn’t planning on going to see it.  I don’t watch TV much anymore so I hadn’t seen any trailers for it.  However, every now and then I’d see a print or banner ad online somewhere about it.  And I’d hear it mentioned on Facebook.
 
Word of mouth about this movie certainly built curiosity for me and sparked my interest.  Whenever I’d see a print or banner ad for the movie, I’d just stare at the picture of these 3 women.  I’d heard that the actress Viola Davis was really good so I thought it was probably going to be a pretty good movie since she was in it.
 
As I sat in the theatre watching the Help it hit me that this was my family’s story too.  You see my great grandmother Irene was a maid for a wealthy family in the Detroit suburbs in the 60s and 70s.  She’s not alive anymore but she worked for them until she died and from what I’ve been told from a relative —  she was treated well by this wealthy family. 
 
I didn’t get to spend lots of time with my great grandmother because I grew up in Las Vegas and she lived in Detroit.  Even when I was visiting relatives in the summer I don’t remember seeing her much because she was working.  I might not have gotten to spend much time with my great grandmother Irene but I am so grateful for her because she took care of our family as the matriarch by working consistently.  She really inspires me!
 
Here’s a post I put on Facebook this week on Monday, September 26, 2011:
 
“My great grandmother Irene took responsibility for her economic situation. She got a job as a maid for a wealthy family in the 60s, worked that job consistently, and did well economically. She made the most of HER opportunity.”
 
Did you see the Help?  Were you impacted too?  Do you have a relative who worked as a maid for a wealthy family in the 60s or 70s?  Or, maybe your family employed domestic help.  I’d love to hear your story or what you thought of the Help.  So, please feel free to leave a comment below. 
 
I really enjoy going to see a good movie.  It makes me happy!  What do you enjoy doing that makes you happy?  Can I make a little suggestion?  Do more of that whenever you possibly can.  Have fun! 
 
P.S.
Oh… one last question.  Are you making the most of YOUR economic opportunities? 

{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

Scarlett Von Gunten September 30, 2011 at 12:53 pm

I really enjoyed this movie, but I loved the book even more! The book was so much more descriptive and I really enjoyed getting to know the characters better. I’m so glad they persevered in writing their story. “The Help” made me laugh and cry! Great story! :)

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pamelawright September 30, 2011 at 1:05 pm

Hey Scarlett! You’re inspiring me to read the book now. Have a great weekend!!

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AJ September 30, 2011 at 2:01 pm

Is this a chick flick? No guns, or action? Oh mannnn!!!!
Nice post Pamela;0)
AJ

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pamelawright September 30, 2011 at 2:31 pm

AJ, you’re so funny! Yes… this is a chick flick!! But, I do have a good chick led action flick for you — Check out Angelina Jolie’s SALT. : ) Now… that’s a good ACTION flick!

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Michele September 30, 2011 at 2:38 pm

Loved the book and the movie. The characters in the book were much deeper as is usual comparing the book to the movie, but the visuals of the interaction between the Help and the people that employed them was so striking.
The fact that the characters were brave enough to persevere and write their book made the story so powerful.
What a wonderful collection of women.

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pamelawright September 30, 2011 at 2:47 pm

It was a wonderful movie! Michele, I’m gonna have to check out the book now for sure.

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George Hamilton September 30, 2011 at 3:10 pm

I loved the book and reviewed it at my blog, but haven’t seen the film yet. I grew up with my grandmother for my first six years, and she worked as a servant for a Chinese Jamaican family. I remember going to work with her and while she washed and ironed I played with their kids, but the experience was nothing like The Help, from what I can recall.

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pamelawright September 30, 2011 at 3:16 pm

Thanks for sharing, George!

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Hughie Bagnell September 30, 2011 at 3:49 pm

Thank you for sharing Pamela! I agree with AJ…’chick flick’! Thanks for sharing the motivating story about your Great Grandmother! …Hughie

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pamelawright September 30, 2011 at 4:49 pm

Hey Hughie! You and AJ are cracking me up. Yes… it’s a chick flick!

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Jandi Theis September 30, 2011 at 9:11 pm

I loved the movie! Haven’t read the book, but I think I might… I’ve had many people say they love the book & the movie. Like you, I also laughed & cried at this movie… The women were great role models… they were all so strong & didn’t let fear stop them. :)

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pamelawright October 1, 2011 at 9:14 pm

I loved the movie too, Jandi! You’re right… the women were great role models. I also liked how Skeeter’s mom played by Allison Janney had a change of heart!

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Tamarah October 1, 2011 at 7:55 pm

I have heard to much about this movie and so many good things about the book. I might just have to wait till it’s a rental, but I am excited to see what all the buzz is about.

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pamelawright October 1, 2011 at 9:15 pm

You’re going to enjoy it, Tamarah!

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denny hagel October 2, 2011 at 9:20 am

I too loved the movie, however I was also shocked at the depths of the human being…on the one hand the strength and determination and on the other the shallow self-centeredness. Laughed and cried, cheered and jeered. Thanks!

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pamelawright October 2, 2011 at 5:58 pm

Me too, Denny! I think the realness of all those emotions was so impacting because people really do feel or have felt that way. All those emotions made me go… Wow!!!

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Solvita October 2, 2011 at 9:58 am

Great article, however never watched the movie..I might get it now ;) …thanks for sharing!

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pamelawright October 2, 2011 at 5:59 pm

Thanks, Solvita!

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Claudia Looi October 2, 2011 at 2:05 pm

Pamela, I’ve never heard of the book or the movie. I’m curious now and will get the book and the movie…power of social media and recommendations from friends.

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pamelawright October 2, 2011 at 6:01 pm

I was in your camp, Claudia. I had never heard of the book and wasn’t planning on going to see the movie. It was totally because of social media and friends’ recommendations that I went. So glad I listened!!

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Olga Hermans October 2, 2011 at 9:14 pm

Pamela, I haven’t seen the movie yet, but I will. Last night we went and watched “Courageous” and that was also one of those movies that you HAVE to see. But since reading your wonderful post here, I will go and watch “The Help”.

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pamelawright October 2, 2011 at 9:39 pm

Hey Olga, you’ll enjoy it!

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Nancy October 5, 2011 at 4:33 pm

I’m reading the book The Help right now and loving it! Growing up on Orange County, CA, I experienced being a white child surrounded by lots of colored help, but not African Americans. Mostly Mexicans who were (and still are) considered second-class citizens in most of Southern Califormia. And there is something about the characters in this book that are so real, so right on, fragile, strong and loveable.

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pamelawright October 5, 2011 at 7:36 pm

Wow… I really gotta read the book now!!

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