Go See The Help with the Girls

THE HELPI rarely have the patience to see a movie more than once. But I’ll return to see “The Help” with my girlfriends, and again with my daughter.

Set in Jackson, Mississippi, during the 1960s, DreamWorks Pictures’ “The Help” chronicles the relationship between three women who cross race and societal pressures to build an unlikely friendship around a secret writing project that puts them all at risk.

Front and center in the movie is the Civil Rights movement, as seen from the perspective of the “colored” maids who raise the children and do the domestic labor of this southern town.

And yet, while this is the overarching story, I am drawn to return because this movie speaks to me as a mother and as a friend.

Allison Janney portrays Charlotte Phelan, a proper southern woman who spends most of the movie getting her daughter, Skeeter, groomed and coiffed in an effort to marry her off. In this short clip, Charlotte temporarily succeeds in straightening Skeeter’s hair so that she can fit it with southern society at a dinner date.

It’s a short-lived success, as both Skeeter’s straight hair and polish soon fizzle. And as the movie progresses, it is the mother who learns a painful lesson about courage and respecting her daughter’s choices.

I’ll also return to see “The Help” with my girlfriends, those women who have stuck with me through wild hairs and crazy notions. Because at the heart of this movie is a story about creating change;  while it may take one small idea to change the world, it takes support from friends to see it through.

The first time I saw this movie was with a theater-full of female bloggers, those women who are changing the world with their online voices. The cinema, a two-tiered room that must have held at least a couple of hundred women – maybe more, was filled with sniffles and outright sobs.

We cried, we all bawled our eyes out through sad moments. But we shed uplifting, empowering tears, knowing that each of us now has the power to create change everyday and with every blog post.

Yeah, we’ve got the power now.

The Help Cocktail Menu

imageNext time I see this movie, I think it will be at home with friends when “The Help” comes out on DVD. And, because you can practically taste the decadent southern foods that are present in practically every scene, we’ll have fried chicken, ambrosia, and maybe, possibly, a chocolate pecan pie.

For the adult crowd we’ll serve these cocktails, specially created by The Snake Oil Cocktail Company to reflect the personalities of the leading ladies.

Sweet, strong and a little spicy
1 oz. tequila
1 oz. triple sec
½ oz. cranberry
Finish with jalapeno-orange

Subtle, smooth and strong
1 ¼ oz. coffee liquor
½ oz. bourbon
¼ oz. amaretto
1 oz. cream
1 dash coco nibb bitters

Strong, with a kick
1 ½ oz. vodka
½ oz. triple sec
½ oz. lemon juice
½ oz. house-made Tahitian
vanilla syrup

Sugary sweet, a true
Southern treat
1 oz. bourbon
½ oz. peach liquor
½ oz. triple sec
½ oz. lime juice
½ oz. pomegranate juice

Sour and chilled, with
a sharp twang
1 ½ oz. applejack
½ oz. triple sec
½ oz. lemon juice
Fill with dry hard cider


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