Gather round, children, and I will tell you of a time -- it was, like, at least 50 years ago -- when there was racism. Those days are over, of course, and in the bright future of today all humans live in perfect harmony with no economic or institutional discrepancy whatsoever, but there was a time when black people were in danger of not being able to use the same restrooms as white people. Luckily, they were compelled by God to help a naive but well meaning white lady write a book, and then white women hugged black women and vice versa and racism was solved. Don't believe it? It's all here in the trailer.
In a way,The Help
is the perfect movie for right now; at a time when a black man can attain the highest office in the land and have competed vigorously for it with a woman, there's nothing like a comforting pat on the back with all assurances that this whole racism thing is behind us, andThe Help
is exactly that. What's even more comforting is the terms racism is reduced to -- inThe Help
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, racism is not some crazy complex sociological problem, it's just a contest of wills between some uppity white stereotypes and some soulful black stereotypes in a bright, cotton-candy world with attractive people and only abstract concepts to fear, but not too many abstract concepts, because that would be confusing.
I mean, that's not to say that shit doesn't get pretty real around 2:05, but luckily by 2:14 there's a gospel choir and some interracial hugging to let us know it's all going to be okay. I mean, that's pretty much what the March on Washington was, right?