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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.
    • Actually, in adds more than you think. It's not there to show that Celia is tough, but to show how far she's fallen in her isolation.
  • 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.
  • Crowning Moment of Awesome: Mrs. Phelan stands up for her daughter.
    • When Aibileen delivers Shut Up, Hannibal! and "The Reason You Suck" Speech to Hilly.
      • And more specifically within that scene, Aibileen to Hilly: "I don't know. I been told I'm a pretty good writer. Already sold a whole lot of books!"
  • Crowning Moment of Heartwarming: Celia cooking a special feast for Minny to say thank you.
    • Some of the maid's stories about their kinder employers
  • 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 whose made enemies with the local white Alpha Bitch. Doesn't seem like things have improved much.
  • Fridge Brilliance: Celia was able to carry a child after Minny starts teaching her to cook. Prior to that, she was probably subsisting on Coca-Cola and alcohol based on what we see of her habits, not an environment conducive to pregnancy.
  • Fridge Horror:
    • During a background moment in the movie, Mae Mobley answers her mother by saying "Yes, Ma'am" (the same way the maids reply to her). Elizabeth has no qualms about this.
      • That's not as alarming as it sounds — in the South, though much less so nowadays, children do call their parents "Sir" and "Ma'am" out of respect.
    • Given we know that the KKK is active in the town, Hilly need only have a discreet word with the right people and most of the sympathetic characters are going to develop bad cases of burnt-out homes and gunshot.
    • Maybe not. Hilly strikes me as someone so oblivious to her own racism—recall her comment "There are real racists in this town!"—that she might be genuinely horrified at the idea of lynchings and burnings, yet have no problem demanding that blacks use different facilities from herself.
    • Even if Hilly did try to sic the KKK or somebody on them, she would run the risk of them revealing that she was the one who ate that pie as detailed in the book, which she is not going to let happen. That's why Minnie insisted it be put in there.
  • 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.
  • Hollywood Homely: Skeeter, apparently by early 1960s standards.
  • Never Live It Down: Sure, Hilly was a real rhymes-with-witch, 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.
  • Tear Jerker: The very end, as Mae Mobley cries and begs Aibileen not to go.
    • When Skeeter finds out what happened to her old maid.
      Skeeter: (sobbing) You broke her heart!
    • Celia's miscarriage.
      • When Celia is burying her miscarried baby in a shoebox in the backyard, with a rosebush to plant over it... and the camera pulls back, revealing three other rosebushes.
  • The Woobie: Aibileen and Celia are the biggest candidates.

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