Two things you should know: First, I never read the book. Second, I'm not a big movie goer.
The main part of this blog is about General Hospital. I love a good continuing story. This is the main reason I don't watch a lot of movies. I'm left with more questions that answers. I want to know what happens after the happily-ever-after if there is one. I want to know how the characters got to the starting point of the movie. Being a soap fan is a bit like living in a small town, you don't really know someone unless you knew their grandmother. With a movie, you jump in the middle of people's lives, spend 2 hours with them and jump back out again.
So occasionally, I go to a movie. The main reason I went to see the Help was that I wanted to get out of the house and it appealed to me. Everyone I knew wanted to see it and most had read the book.
One of my friends summarized it really well as she had read the book but not yet seen the movie: It is funny and it is serious and in the end, everyone gets what is coming to them - good or bad. This is a recipe for most good movies.
Her analysis was true. I'd like to add that there are good people and bad people in this movie and you know who they are the first time you meet them. The one exception is Skeeter's Mother who has a little more depth to her. It is an enjoyable movie, terribly sad that this was once the way people believed and behaved towards others. It is even sadder that this type of thinking hasn't completely disappeared or has been transferred to other races. We fear what we don't understand.
The movie theater was almost full even though I went on a weekday afternoon. Certain scenes garnered more laughter than was probably warranted so I imagine most of the audience had read the book and were waiting on certain parts.
If you like movies particularly about women's lives and social issues, I recommend it. If you have already read the book, talk to someone who has done both before you decide.