I finally saw "The Help." It was on a day when I was not feeling well and I needed a little entertainment. I read the book (and blogged about it). And I wanted to see the movie, because, you know, Emma Stone. But then the movie came out. And then the firestorm. You know, white woman, black women, inaccuracies about Civil Rights. I don't want to belittle those concerns. Those are legitimate concerns. I want to talk about those things. I do. And I have.
But here's the thing: I liked the movie. I enjoyed it. It was hard to watch. I thought Octavia Spencer and Viola Davis were both amazing. And Emma Stone was good. And it made me cry.
After I returned the movie, I sat on the couch and wondered if I was a bad person for liking this movie. Am I ignorant? Unfeeling? Stupid?
My guilt over enjoying this movie made me think about when I saw "The Last Temptation of Christ." I was a student at the University of Oregon in 1988 (good lord, I am old!) and when I went to see it, at a little theater, there were a bunch of well-meaning Christians and their children with signs about how the movie was bad and I shouldn't see it. I remember thinking, "Rambo III is playing across town. Wouldn't it be more appropriate to protest that?"
I have somewhat the same response to objections to "The Help." On the one hand, I understand the objections. Yes, it is inaccurate in some aspects. Yes, it's not right that a book by a white women about black women gets more attention then the numerous books by black women about black women. I get that.
But, if the book and the movie, get us (as a culture) talking about race, and how messed up we still are about race in 2012, isn't that a good thing?
I mean, many, many, many movies come out and they are good, but they don't cause us to think about who we are as Americans.
So, I guess my question is, how is that a bad thing?
And also, I just want to like it. Okay?