Help "The Help" or Can "The Help"?

Help "The Help"
I saw a surprisingly good Hollywood movie last week, unexpected because black working women are rarely at the center of a mainstream film.

There were some well known aging actors as well, and that alone is unusual for Hollywood and its youth obsession.

The Help, based on the bestselling novel by Kathryn Stockett, is a story about a young white woman who writes a book based on stories she is told by black maids working in the South in the 1960s.

...How many more films exploring American racism will Hollywood produce in light of the current racial second-guessing? Will Hollywood run scared? And potential roles for these or other black actors in midlife or older could remain as scarce as ever.

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Can "The Help"
I find that Hollywood is way too bone-headed and self-absorbed to tackle any subject as convoluted and complex as racism. Instead, The Help just throws every stereotype at you at once about black people and white people. Whenever black people have to “act like black people” in movies, there seems to be a disconnect between the reality of the culture and the movie version of black lives.

And it’s not just white filmmakers that have this problem. It’s the same issue I have with Tyler Perry movies: they are just stereotype after stereotype and I think they do more harm for the perception of black people than good. Whenever one of my white friends talks about Tyler Perry movies and what they found funny in the movie, I realize a disconnect between me and them that is only there when race comes into play. It seems to me, sometimes white folks are laughing at us rather than with us.

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