October 03, 2011

The Help-Clifton Commons 16

Erica: We saw The Help in our favorite Jersey theatre, the Clifton Commons 16. As usual, the crowd was a delight.
We went with Mike's parents who, unlike us, were alive during the civil rights movement. I think it is more interesting to see the film with someone who lived in this era to get a take on its accuracy.

The movie was really good. I think the casting was spot on and so was the costumes and mise-en-scene (what appears in front of the camera). I thought the interaction between each character just worked really well. I mean this in the best possible way, I felt like I was back in history class (That is a complement because I enjoyed history class).

I normally find Emma Stone quite annoying (her voice gets to me-sounds like she smokes a carton a day and sounds like she's 40) but in this movie, she was actually tolerable.

Mike: I really enjoyed The Help. I think it has been painted as a Blind Side-like guess-which-one-doesn't-belong 10-pic Best Picture nominee that Academy voters drool over. But that's not a fair comparison. It's not nearly as cheesy as Blind Side. A little too sentimental and 80s-TV-movie-with-a-message at times, but an excellent cast keeps and an interesting story make it a very worthwhile watch. Most of all, I was surprised how funny it was. Seriously. Rip-roaringly hilarious. It even has its share of toilet humor that you'd expect to see in an American Pie or Hangover movie.

Like Erica, I don't like Emma Stone either, and I hate her cigarette-smoking Lindsay Lohan voice. I also had a tough time sympathizing with Stone's character and her luxury problems. Thankfully, despite her being front and center, the movie is really about the maids and its their stories that you walk away with at the end of the film. All that said, Stone was a bit more bearable than usual.

The running time is a bit long but the film breezes through... at least until the last 15 minutes or so, when we're treated to a Return of the King style series of about five different endings. No stone is left unturned and every question you might have had about anything is answered.

The crowd was fairly pleasant, although there was at least one selfish bad parent who brought a baby, who cried a few times. As much as you might love the movies, when you have a baby, either you get a babysitter or you just don't go to the movies for a few years. My brother and sister-in-law had a baby a year and a half ago. Number of films they've seen in a theater since then: Zero.

Also, at one point a phone started buzzing and an older lady sitting a few seats to my left opened her purse (taking her time of course) and answered it. She hung up very quickly, but it still baffles me whenever people do that. Number one, your phone should be on vibrate. If it vibrates loudly, like some phones do, you should set it to buzz once or just turn it off completely. And if you absolutely have to answer it, walk out of the theater and take care of it in the lobby.

To my painful embarrassment, the lady in question was actually my mother. Yes, yours truly, Mr. Movie Theater Etiquette's very own flesh and blood. Can you imagine how mortified and humiliated I felt? It wasn't even an important call. Needless to say, the lady with the phone got an earful from me after the movie.

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