On the Amazon.com thread (now up to 1400 posts!) we’ve had a lively discussion on the stock characters and stereotypes in The Help.
But there’s much about the film of novel that’s similar to other movies and characters.
Jessica Lange won a best actress Oscar for her role as Carly Marshall in the 1994 movie Blue Sky. She portrayed a boozy, too tight clothes wearing but ultimately good wife with a heart of gold. One part screw-up, one part bumbling but lovable woman, Jessica’s long suffering but loyal husband was played by Tommy Lee Jones.
Now, take a look at Celia Foote, who’s played by Jessica Chastain. Almost the spitting image of Jessica Lange, and not just because of her hair, clothing and make-up. Celia is the blonde bombshell wife unable to hold her liquor, socially inept, a bit ditzy but she really has a good heart.
So it falls on Hilly to add some much needed serious bad-ass to this film. Or maybe not.
When I watched the trailer and saw how Bryce Dallas Howard was made up and also how broadly comedic her part had become, I couldn’t help but think of Michelle Pfeiffer in Hairspray.
Ahna O’Reilly reminded me of Ellie Kemper (The receptionist in The Office)
Time to check up on The Help:
Ah well, guess it could be worse. Could be like this:
I’m so glad we won’t be seeing that kind of thing in the mov- . . . oh dear god no. NO!!!!!
Whew, Thank goodness. It’s okay people, move along. Nothing to see here. All the black people are without makeup in order to look like Stockett’s skewed vision of the perfect domestic.
Here’s what the actresses who play Constantine, Minny and Aibileen really look like:
And now for the Star of our Show:
Alas, yet another scene that has become almost as clichéd as black people singing in church, the squealing in delight white girls at the sight of an old friend. And they all manage to shriek on cue.
Can we be real here? Women didn’t do this. This is a man’s idea of how females from the 60s behaved, cutesy and corny. And its been used so much in films and TV (especially comedies) that a collective groan should be heard in a theater whenever it occurs. Especially since it’s now a standard way of portraying ditzy women from past eras, as if to show a difference in behavior between whites and other minority groups. But it’s way past tiresome.
The Help . . . kinda like watching Hairspray, only worse because there’s no singing. And no dancing. And no race mixing. And no man in drag. There’s just fake drama about how black people were treated.
To be continued . . . sho nuff