Be it controversial or not there is no denying the power of The Help so much so that it is lighting up the box office through word of mouth. The publicity has been off the hook as well, perhaps not playing to the blogerati but hitting right at the heart of white audiences, right smack dab in the middle of Blind Side territory.
I was sitting at a dinner with about six women (white, upper middle class) and the first thing that was brought up was “have you seen The Help? Wasn’t that so good?” The conversation then checked in with who hadn’t yet seen it. After it died down I brought up the subject of race. Needless to say it didn’t go over well. What did come out of the conversation was how timely the film was in terms of Hispanic nannies (do we say Hispanic or Latina?) and how there should be some rumination on this idea of what determines family and what doesn’t.