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Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Kind. Smart. Important.

Sunday before this past one, TLC and I had a truly memorable day with our dear friend, Clara, and her two charming daughters, Lee and Anna. Clara and I have known each other for eons. I watched Lee and Anna grow up. Then they all watched TLC grow up. We had decided months ago that, when the movie, The Help, finally opened, the five of us would go see it together. I’d read the book last summer and had encouraged these four gals to read it, too. They did. We were like kids anticipating Christmas!

The movie had been out for almost three weeks before we could get our schedules in sync. I went to town and picked Clara and Anna up. Then we went to Lee’s home, thirty-ish miles away, to fetch her. We met TLC at the Movie Tavern on 7th Street in Ft.Worth. We’d heard nothing but good things about this movie. From real people. Not professional critics. I don’t know about y’all, but I like to listen to my friends’ opinions or judge a movie for myself. Call me cRaZy.

Once settled in our comfy, rockin’ seats (they literally rocked), we got the requisite popcorn and Coke Zeroes (Anna’s fav). We muddled through an eternity of previews, although I’m happy to report we actually enjoyed the majority of them.

Finally, The Help. Over the next two hours, we cherished every second of this masterpiece. No, we didn’t enjoy the inhumanity, insanity and cruelty. It’s unbelievable—and, yet, we know it happened. Still, we marveled at the way it was portrayed on the big screen. In our humble opinions, each actor was PERFECT for her (or his) role. The “look” of the film (is that the cinematography or production design?—not sure of the exact lingo) was amazing. We were there—with the characters—in the 60s.

We’d been advised to take lots o’ tissues. I passed them out when we sat down. We cried. Laughed. Smiled. Frowned. Cringed. Giggled. Shuddered. Laughed some more. Cried some more.

My question: How are any of us ever going to like Bryce Dallas Howard again? How? She made us despise Hilly even more than we did while reading the book. (I’ve been down this road before. After Fatal Attraction, I never could enjoy Michael Douglas movies—or even Glenn Close’s. In fact, I totally avoided seeing movies they were in. I couldn’t forget how despicable he was/how evil she was in that chilling movie. Yes, I get it. That’s simply how fantastic they were/are as actors. Still… my anger at their characters is burned into my brain forever.)

At the end of the movie, the five of us headed to Tillman’s Roadhouse—TLC’s and my most favourite (fancy spelling) Ft. Worth restaurant. It’s across the street from the Movie Tavern. If you’ve never been, and you live anywhere close by, you must make a reservation asap! The food, service, décor, ambience—all exquisitely fabulous. And very reasonable.

Of course we discussed, at great length and over our two-hour lunch, everything about the movie. We had several questions for each other. We tried to remember where the movie had veered off from the book. It seems too short of a time frame to present such a complicated story. We all agreed, though, that they did a superbly excellent job at condensing and adapting it to the screen.

If you haven’t read the book, you really should. Then go see the movie. It’ll touch your heart and make you so mad your face will sting with heat, your hands will shake, you’ll want to punch a few peeps out (mostly Hilly) and you’ll cry (or, as in my case, sob). You’ll be tres relieved when you get to laugh—which, gratefully, is often. It’ll embarrass you—inspire you—hurt you—transform you. If it doesn’t—well, something will be wrong. Just sayin'.

The Fab Five have decided to make this a semi-annual tradition. Clearly we can’t go see The Help each time—(or, could we?). But we’re certain there will be other kind/smart/important movies (if you don’t get this reference, you’re behind—catch up!) and memories.

Faretheewell . . .


Autumn said...

I have to admit I loved this movie, so much more than I thought I would.
Really good representation of the book. If there aren't a couple of Oscar noms forthcoming, then something just ain't right!

The Leightons said...

ABSOLUTELY, Autumn! We're on the same wave-length. If I had the power, I'd nominate at least five of the actors. Yes, Bryce Dallas would have to be one of them. I've seen her on Chelsea--she's a nice person. And a Mom!

You are smart! (And kind. And important!!!)