YMMV / The Help

  • Award Snub: Many people were expecting Viola Davis to win Best Actress that year over Meryl Streep for The Iron Lady (even Streep herself was sure that Davis would win).
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: The scene in the book where Minny and Celia are attacked by a naked man at Celia's house doesn't have any real relevance to the rest of the story and is pretty weird to boot. Presumably it was included to show to that Celia is tougher than she looks and can fight for herself, but it's jarring all the same.
  • Catharsis Factor: Seeing Hilly get her comeuppance is incredibly satisfying, with the 'Terrible Awful' being the crowner of them all.
  • Critical Dissonance: Somewhat. Most reviews of the film were only moderately positive but audiences went nuts for it, hyping it up to be a flawless, must-see movie.
  • Esoteric Happy Ending: The book is published and the maids' stories are out. But Aibileen is now an unemployed black woman in the pre-Civil Rights Deep South who's made enemies with the local white Alpha Bitch. Doesn't seem like things have improved much.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • In the film, Emma Stone plays the main protagonist and Bryce Dallas Howard plays the film's antagonist. So the new Gwen Stacy is facing against the former Gwen Stacy.
    • Seeing Jessica Chastain and Bryce Dallas Howard star together since this was the former's breakout role, and launched the infamous confusion over who is who. According to Jessica, at one point during filming they both looked in a mirror to compare their faces.
    • Octavia Spencer as the rough acerbic Minny is positively hilarious to Divergent fans — where Octavia plays the peace-loving pacifist Johanna, whose Catch-Phrase is "go with happiness."
    • On the flip side, Viola Davis as the nicer one of the pair Aibileen is amusing to Suicide Squad fans — where she's the Anti-Hero Amanda Waller who crosses the Moral Event Horizon by murdering her own staff.
  • Hollywood Homely: Skeeter, apparently by early 1960s standards. In the book, she got her nickname because she resembled a mosquito in her childhood. Emma Stone just wears glasses and has curly hair, which fails to make her look unattractive.
  • Memetic Mutation: "I love x like white people love The Help!
  • Never Live It Down: Sure, Hilly was a real bitch, but you eat one special pie...
  • One-Scene Wonder: Skeeter's boss and editor-in-chief, who is amusingly cranky and is a Sir Swears-a-Lot.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks: A strong criticism of the film was making Skeeter more modern in her views towards racism. In the book, she's still a segregationist who is Squicked out at the thought of interracial mixing — and therefore reflecting the views of the time. This moral ambiguity is gone in the film, which some people attacked as evoking White Man's Burden.
  • Tough Act to Follow: Some reviews of the film noted that it was good in its own right, but it couldn't match the quality of the book.
  • The Woobie: Aibileen and Celia are the biggest candidates.