When Minny bakes up a chocolate pie, mixes in her own feces, and serves evil Hilly Holbrook two “delicious” slices, everyone in the theater where I watched The Help exploded into laughter and applause. I didn’t. But we’ll get to that.
There’s been no shortage of conversation over the last few weeks about the big-screen adaptation of Kathryn Stockett’s best-seller, one of the year’s blockbusters. As entertaining as it is–blacks and whites alike have raved about the film to me—The Help is a re-warmed version of countless fictitious looks at the Jim Crow-era South, where racism is presented like a Saturday-morning cartoon full of laughs and underdogs and superheroes and good prevailing over evil.