I love a good inspirational story – especially when I’m feeling down in the dumps. So yesterday when it rained for maybe the twentieth day in a row and I kept thinking about everything that was wrong with my WIP, I was pretty desperate for something inspirational.
And along came The Help.
I read the book a couple of months ago and approached the film like I do every film that adapts a book I enjoyed – nervously. The story if you don’t know it by now is about black maids in 1960′s Mississippi who look after white children. When Miss Skeeter, a young white woman just out of college, decides to tell their story she forms a unique friendship with two of the maids and rocks the town of Jackson and the publishing world. Although the story looks at racism and Civil Rights, it focuses on friendship and the inspirational women who lived in that time and place.
The film captured the heart of the book for me – it was funny, moving and a brilliant character study. The actors were who I imagined the characters would look and sound and act like and the setting was perfect on screen. I had tears in my eyes at the end.
The story of The Help is inspiring in itself but so is the story behind it. The author Kathryn Stockett was rejected by over sixty literary agents but she never gave up, so determined to tell the story. She in turn was inspired by her own black maid growing up. The film also has its own inspiring story – her friend decided to film the story even before she had an agent or a book deal but no studio wanted to back it. Once she got published and the book started selling, the big-wigs read his screenplay and backed him. Again, they could have both given up but they didn’t and they got a best-selling books and Oscar-winning film in the end.
In an interview with the author on the DVD, she says that when anyone tells her she can’t have or do something, it makes her want it even more. If that isn’t inspiring, I don’t know what it is
Did anything inspire you this weekend?