The Help Movie will be released in theaters near you today, August 10, 2011. Disney/DreamWorks invited me to preview the Help movie prior to the release this past weekend. The spirit of the movie was also brought to life with a “The HELP movie” theme evening reception with various deserts and cocktails inspired by the movie and main characters. We enjoyed several desserts, including, Peach Cobbler, Humming bird dessert and Pineapple upside-down cake . I didn’t have any cocktails, but the feedback I received from lady friends was that The SKEETER, The HILLY, The CELIA, THE AIBLENE, The MINNY cocktails were very creative and tied in well with the theme of the movie. Bravo!
Imagine living in an environment of abuse and persecution in Jackson, Mississippi prior to the National Civil Rights movement and Civil Rights Bill being brought before Congress. Would you seek revenge against your enemies every time they attacked you? Or would you stare fear in the face and love and pray for your enemies? The Help movie is a humbling story of how several strong and courageous women dealt with the racism and prejudice towards the helpers in the early 1960s. As young girls, they were groomed as the Help for homeowners. Some of the maids were transferred from homeowners to their children like property. However, rather than dissecting the horrid conditions of the era, the movie takes a closer look at the relationships between the families and the Help who would care for the home , prepare home cooked meals and love and raise their children. Growing up in Jackson, Miss., in the 1970s, both director Tate Taylor and author Kathryn Stockett had maids (whom both refer to as their “co-mothers”) who cared for them while their mothers worked. Taylor’s “co-mother,” Carol Lee, has a small part in the film.
“The Help” movie boasts a dynamic cast, including Academy Award® nominee Viola Davis, Allison Janney, Emma Stone, Bryce Dallas Howard, Octavia Spencer, Oscar winner Sissy Spacek and Academy Award® nominee Cicely Tyson. The film is based on the phenomenal New York Times best-selling book, “The Help” by Kathryn Stockett, which sold about 3 million copies in print and remained on the New York Times best seller list for 103 weeks, six of which were at No. 1. Tate Taylor directed and wrote the screenplay for “The Help.” Both he and the author of the novel, Kathryn Stockett, were childhood friends and grew up in Jackson, Mississippi, where the book is based.
This is the first movie I have seen where I truly love and admire all of the main characters and their roles. My personal connection to the movie is that I have several extended relatives that have made a living cleaning homes and caring for others people children. Sadly, some of them suffered injustices of low wages and unsanitary conditions. To say that this movie was powerful and inspirational is an understatement. This movie is a MUST SEE movie. Make sure to bring some tissue and download the recipes at the bottom of the post for your own “The HELP movie” theme reception.
Fun Food Facts:
- While growing up in Jackson, Miss., Tate Taylor, Kathryn Stockett and Brunson Green would regularly be treated to milkshakes and grilled cheese sandwiches at Brent’s Pharmacy soda fountain. The production was able to recreate the real Brent’s Pharmacy as it was back when they were children.
- Local chefs were brought in to make sure foods used in the scenes, from fried chicken to congealed salads, were regionally correct and also correct for the times, and a conscious effort was made to make it all look homemade—not fancy or store-bought—to add to the authenticity of the film.
- The Mayflower Café, a Jackson, Miss. landmark, where Stuart and Skeeter eat oysters in the movie, is one of Director Tate Taylor’s favorite restaurants. It is the place where Taylor ate his first raw oyster as a child.
- The Help Movie – Peach Cobbler recipe – courtesy Campine Catering
- The Help Movie – The SKEETER, The HILLY, The CELIA, THE AIBLENE, The MINNY cocktail recipes – courtesy Snake Oil Cocktail Company