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The Help

by Meghann on August 23, 2011

Have you read The Help yet? If not, what are you waiting for?

It will make you laugh, it will make you cry, and it will make you think about how different life was in the 1960s. Buy it. Now. πŸ™‚

I had purchased The Help on audiobook a few weeks ago hoping it would entertain me through a few long runs. After about 10 minutes I was hooked and couldn’t put it down. Over the next week or so, my ipod rarely left my side. I would listen as I cooked dinner, as I settled into bed at night, as I cleaned the house, and I even plugged it in every time I drove my car. After I finished, I started it over and began listening again. Addicted. I was addicted.

I couldn’t wait to see the film adaptation and, luckily, neither could Courtney.

We agreed to see the 11:00am showing as soon as I got back in town.


Surprisingly the 11:00am time slow was a sold out showing. I’m not sure if it was the $6.00-before-noon tickets or the retirement home bus parked outside, but it was a packed house!

Of course, it goes without saying that the book was better than the movie (but when is that ever not the case?). There were a few creative liberties taken to tie-in some stories within the two and a half hour time span and I wonder what people who hadn’t read the book lost in character development because of it. You could tell a vast majority of the audience had already read the book when Minnie appeared on the screen with the pie and everyone started giggling. I’m sure the others who hadn’t read were wondering what was so funny. πŸ˜‰

The movie really played up the funnier portions of the book and turned The Help into more of a comedy. I always thought the book had a darker undertone, but they only vaguely touched on that – quickly churning over some of the darker moments with laughter and not fully explaining the tension between the maids and their white employers.

The casting was wonderfully done and Bryce Dallas Howard made a mean Hilly. My favorite casting was for Minnie – the actress nailed her perfectly. However, don’t get me started on Emma Stone’s (Skeeter’s) hair. You could tell their attempts at ‘frizzy curls’ wasn’t working in the hot and humid weather. Don’t worry, Emma. I feel your pain.

I’d say if you’re looking for a good laugh – go see The Help. It’s not the same as the book, but I thought they did a good job.

The movie ended around 1:30 and by the time I walked in my door around 2:00 – I was starving.


I quickly made a snack plate to nibble on as I typed this post.

There was tabbouli and hummus


tomatoes and carrots


fresh figs <– my grocery splurge for the week


and pita wedges



I have a lot of work to catch up on this afternoon. Booooo…. I guess I had to return back to real life eventually? ;0

Have a great Tuesday everyone!

1 Sweet and Savvy August 23, 2011 at 3:19 pm

I love snack plates! I don’t even have enough snacks in my house to do that though.. πŸ™

2 Casey @ Pocket Full of Sunshine August 23, 2011 at 3:20 pm

Maybe I’ll try to catch a show this weekend. I know this is very much against popular opinion, but…I started the book and didn’t like it. I know. I never like any of the books anyone else is in love with!

3 Brittany (A Healthy Slice of Life) August 23, 2011 at 3:20 pm

I liked the movie, but agree that the book was way better. In fact, I think I liked the book so much that it made me describe the movie as so-so.
I do love Minnie, though- agreed- NAILED the character
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4 Jessica @ Sushi and Sit-Ups August 23, 2011 at 3:20 pm

I’ve heard such good things about The Help, but I think I want to wait to read it first before seeing the movie. I feel like I’d appreciate it even more!
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5 kristy @ kristyruns August 23, 2011 at 3:21 pm

Snack plates are my new lunch of choice now that I’m working from home! Thanks for the book/movie rec!
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6 Mallory @ It's Only Life August 23, 2011 at 3:22 pm

I have been wanting to see The Help for days now. Loved the book.

And fresh figs are my favorite. They are a staple in my Italian grandmother’s fridge (when affordable and in season, of course πŸ˜‰
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7 Lindsey August 23, 2011 at 3:26 pm

I am soo close to being done and book and can’t wait to watch the movie! I agree that 98% of the time I like the book better than the movie. However I usually read the book, then watch the movie so I am wondering if I watched the movie, then read the book would I still like the book more? Maybe I am over thinking this but only a thought!
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8 Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat August 23, 2011 at 3:27 pm

I totally want to see The Help! Loved the book but long movies and I don’t get on so well… no matter how good they are, I always end up falling asleep! Maybe I should wait for this one to come out on DVD!
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9 Cait's Plate August 23, 2011 at 3:31 pm

Agreed that the casting for it was AWESOME. I felt like it was a little long and some details were definitely changed but otherwise really enjoyed it!
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10 Lauren @ Team Giles August 23, 2011 at 3:33 pm

I’ve heard so many great things about that book. I never thought about doing an audio book, what a great idea!
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11 Meghann August 23, 2011 at 3:36 pm

Listen to it on long runs. It. Will. Change. Your. Life. πŸ˜‰

12 Lauren @ Team Giles August 23, 2011 at 3:38 pm

Noted! πŸ˜‰
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13 wymberley August 23, 2011 at 3:37 pm

Im going to snag some figs off the tree today! Im going to download The Help today. I have been eyeballing it for weeks!
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14 Ashley O. @ The Vegetable Life August 23, 2011 at 3:42 pm

I started reading the book last summer and could not get into it… but maybe I did not give it a fair shot. I shall have to try again!
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15 Nikki August 23, 2011 at 3:43 pm

I bought the book on my way to BC this week. I can’t wait to find some time to read it! One of my friends are from the south and went on and on about how great the audio version was, it reminded her of home!
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16 Alexa @ Simple Eats August 23, 2011 at 3:44 pm

I love snack plates! I never thought of adding figs to my snack plates, I’ll definitely have to do that!
I can’t wait to see the movie, although I loved to book so much I’m sure it doesn’t live up to it!
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17 Whitney August 23, 2011 at 3:47 pm

I thought the book was better as well. But then again, the book is REALLY long. Although the movie was 2 hours plus, I still thought they left out a ton of stuff. Then again, it was a touching movie. (You is kind, you is smart…) πŸ˜€

18 Annette @ EnjoyYourHealthyLife August 23, 2011 at 3:56 pm

ahhh this is just a reminder to me that!!

I loved the book, so I am stoked to go and see it-thanks for a nice recap!
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19 Laura August 23, 2011 at 4:00 pm

I just bought the help on my Kindle today, can’t wait to read it!

I just finished read The Cellist of Sarajevo, it is AMAZING. Heavy subject (the seige of Sarajevo) but it is so beautifully written.
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20 SaraRM August 23, 2011 at 4:00 pm

I didnt read the book but thought the movie was one of the best I have seen in a long time! I thought it was really well done but dont have the book to compare it to. Im curious now about the “dark undertone” you were talking about. …

21 Ali @ Ali Runs August 23, 2011 at 4:02 pm

I love love loved the book!! I read it last fall and could not put it down! I really enjoyed the movie too. I can’t wait to buy it when it comes out on dvd πŸ™‚
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22 Emily@SavoryandSavage August 23, 2011 at 4:09 pm

I am excited to see that movie. I loved the book!

Your lunch was so colorful πŸ™‚
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23 Lisa August 23, 2011 at 4:25 pm

I loooove audiobooks! They’re also good if you have trouble falling asleep. They really focus your mind on one thing until you fall asleep. You just have to remember where you left off the next day!
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24 Erin @ The Grass Skirt August 23, 2011 at 4:35 pm

I read the book and saw the movie and loved both! I definitely thought that the book was better than the movie, but isn’t that always the case? πŸ™‚
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25 Hillary August 23, 2011 at 4:50 pm

Loved, loved, loved the book and am dying to see the movie. Gotta get there this wkend!
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26 Beth B. August 23, 2011 at 4:55 pm

I loved the movie! I felt bad for dragging my husband with me to see it, but he really liked it too!

27 Maria August 23, 2011 at 5:00 pm

The book and the movie were awesome! I was nervous to go see the movie only because the book was so good and I didn’t want to be dissapointed (as I often am with book turned movie). I’m so glad I went!

28 katie August 23, 2011 at 5:00 pm

I loved the help! I read it in 3 days, could not put it down!!

I really want to see the movie, but I will be going solo, lol! Mike will not want to see it ; p
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29 Kate (What Kate is Cooking) August 23, 2011 at 5:43 pm

I can’t wait to see The Help! I was going to take my mom, but she saw it yesterday without me πŸ™‚
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30 Coco August 23, 2011 at 5:58 pm

Books being made into films can often be disappointing. I am going to read the book before I see the film I hope. Oh and your lunch looked yummy!
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31 Lisa (bakebikeblog) August 23, 2011 at 6:01 pm

oooh I will have to keep an eye out for this!
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32 Cheryl August 23, 2011 at 6:37 pm

OMG, I had the SAME reaction! LOL! I totally went to Publix for deli fried chicken after seeing that movie!! Loved the book and th0ught the movie did a good job of “condensing” the story without losing anything in the process.
Now you must read Sarah’s Key!!

33 amanda August 23, 2011 at 7:47 pm

sarah’s key was so good! seriously disturbing and sad, but a really great read. i think that movie is going to be rough to watch. but obviously, i will.
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34 heather August 23, 2011 at 6:38 pm

Loved the book, movie was good but not as good as the book. I just moved from “way out I Madison county north of Jackson, so it was interesting when they talked about places that I knew of, have been to, etc. Loved the casting of hilly!

35 Army Amy* August 23, 2011 at 6:51 pm

I agree that the casting was great! I particularly like Sissy Spacek as Hilly’s mom.*
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36 Jamie @ Food in Real Life August 23, 2011 at 7:00 pm

I feel like I’m the only one who didn’t like that book. I kept waiting for it to get “too good to put down”, but it never did for me. πŸ™
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37 maria @ Chasing the Now August 23, 2011 at 7:31 pm

I’m currently reading The Help and can’t wait to finish to see the movie, too. Loving it so far.
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38 Mary August 23, 2011 at 7:34 pm

Loved The Help also, but I don’t plan to see the movie. After the movie adaptation of My Sister’s Keeeper (worst movie adaptation ever!) I may never see another movie of a book I have already read. I am so jealous of your figs! My grocery store was all out yesterday :(. I can’t ever get enough fresh figs!!!

39 Emily @ Life on Food August 23, 2011 at 7:36 pm

I have 200 pages left. It’s so good! I cannot wait to finish and go see the movies.
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40 amanda August 23, 2011 at 7:46 pm

LOVED the book. and i LIKED the movie. i thought the flick started kind of slow. it took a little bit to actually jump into everything. but i agree, i felt like it didn’t have as dark of a feel as the book did. and like you said, the books are always better. {in most cases} i actually maybe liked the notebook better in movie form. maybeeee.

41 Gina @ Running to the Kitchen August 23, 2011 at 7:56 pm

I haven’t seen the movie yet and am actually contemplating if I even want to. I loved the book so much I kinda don’t want the movie to ruin it.
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42 Sana August 23, 2011 at 8:35 pm

You missed the East Coast earthquake while you were watching the movie!
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43 Caitlin (the quest for fitness) August 23, 2011 at 9:08 pm

Do you really like listening to audio books? I’ve been wanting to try it but afraid I will get too distracted. What a GREAT idea for runs! I think I may try it…

44 Meghann August 23, 2011 at 9:37 pm

It’s a new obsession of mine! I love it! It’s great for long runs.

45 Natalie @ Will Jog For Food August 23, 2011 at 9:18 pm

I LOVED Bryce as Hilly! She was so friggin good as a total b1otch! haha
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46 Nikky August 23, 2011 at 9:35 pm

I haven’t read the book yet but here is a fun fact: the character of Minny was written with that specific actress in mind. The actress (Octavia Spencer) is a friend of the author and director and the inspiration of Minny. So when they made the book into a movie she was the only one they wanted to play the part.

Sorry I’m a celebrity news nerd….glad you enjoyed the movie, it’s a must see for me!

47 Shaya (Eye Girl Eats) August 23, 2011 at 9:57 pm

I LOVED that book! And I agree that it had a darker undertone that the movie sort of glossed over. But I’ve heard a lot of controversy over how it may not have been even that accurate of a portrayal, side the author herself is a white woman.
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48 Irina August 23, 2011 at 10:10 pm

So I just returned home from Costco where I bought The Help and what do I see the moment I open up my Google Reader? You telling me I should go buy the book! Perfect timing πŸ™‚ Can’t wait to read it!

49 Jessica @ Bay Bay Bites August 23, 2011 at 10:24 pm

I agreed about the book having a darker undertone. I was disappointed when I saw the previews that made it seem very comedic and light. I’m going to see it in a week with my mom so we shall see. πŸ™‚
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50 Lorin August 23, 2011 at 11:01 pm

I was suprised that in the movie they took out the part when the random guy tried to break into the outcast, “hilbilly’s” house ( I forgot her name) and was trying to attack Minny and she ended up kicking his ass. It seemed like an important part for their relationship.

51 Cate August 23, 2011 at 11:18 pm

I have fallen in love with listening to audiobooks while running too! πŸ™‚ The first book I listened to while running was actually The Help. Such a great story and the audiobook was so well done!
I haven’t seen the movie yet, but it is on my list to see.
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52 Sophie August 24, 2011 at 7:35 am

I have been looking for some new things to read and am DEFINITELY going to search this out before seeing the film!
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53 TJ August 24, 2011 at 9:17 am

I feel your review of the movie is completely off! The movie is NOT a light comedy, although it does have a few laughs in it, the subject matter is very deep and controversial for that time period. It’s sad that you totally missed that.
Stick to planning summits and creating “meals”, movie reviews are not your forte.

54 Molly August 24, 2011 at 8:05 pm

thank you!
i’m kind of amazed at how much attention the book & movie have received. this statement from the association of black women historians pretty much sums up my feelings.

and yes i have read the book and just saw the movie and still feel this way

55 Allison August 24, 2011 at 1:02 pm

Snack plates have been my go-to meals for the past couple of weeks- busy, busy= no time for a real meal [except when I cook a special dinner for my Dear and I]!

Silly question… I’ve never bough fresh figs before, only dried- is there any special preparation or can you just clean them and eat?!

56 Brooke August 24, 2011 at 4:31 pm

By “mast majority” do you mean VAST majority?

57 Meghann August 24, 2011 at 4:39 pm

sure did. it’s fixed.

58 Katie G> August 25, 2011 at 10:07 am

i still need to read it, although it’s tempting to just skip and see the movie!
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59 Karolina August 25, 2011 at 12:10 pm

I haven’t read the Help, but went to the movie right after it opened, and I LOVED IT! I’m really motivated to read the book now, as everyone says it’s even better!
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