The Help Movie Versus The Book

Spoiler alert:  I’m going to talk about the plot of The Help by Kathryn Stockett in book and movie form. If you haven’t read or watched them look away!

I realize that I’m behind the times but I just got around to seeing The Help on DVD. I was suprised by the fact that while they changed up the movie it didn’t bother me as much as previous books-into-movies translations.

The movie adaption simplified several of the plots: Eugenia’s boyfriend did not get that much screen time and they never got engaged; the final nail biting to figure out whether the book would get published was skipped over entirely. The previous changes helped focus the purpose of the story on the relationship between the help and their employers without the distraction of other character interactions.

I thought the movie conveyed a better sense of urgency and fear about the events happening in Jackson.  The movie helped create a context for the story with the visual detail:  wood paneling in the houses, the news on tv. The size of the help’s bathroom, and the fear that Minnie and Abileen lived with every day.  To that the point, the movie made me cry several times and the book did only once.

Despite the fact that the movie conveyed the story well, there were several details that I missed from the book.  Some of these details include: the additional maids gave their money from the book to help Yule Mae’s sons;  Eugenia’s maid. Constantine was fired because her daughter was perceived as white when she was not considered to be white and that caused embarrassment; Eugenia’s physical tranformation at the end of the story, and the fact that she gave her newspaper column to Abileen.

Have you read and watched The Help? What are your thoughts?


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