The Help: Differences between the book and the movie

In my previous review I said the movie The Help included many details from the book. For example, the “Shinalator” that comes in the mail for Skeeter’s hair, or the truck with the motor grader hooked behind it that she drives to her date with Stuart were included in the movie. Like any movie adaptation however, there are always some differences from the book. Here are the biggest differences I noticed:

- The book has a lot more detail about the ups and downs of Stuart and Skeeter’s relationship. The movie tries to include their story in the movie, but it didn’t really work because they didn’t spend enough time on it. The little bit of time spent showing their relationship, I thought ended up being a waste of time in the movie.

-There was more depth to Minny and Celia’s relationship and story in the book. Celia had more than one miscarriage, drank many bottles of something mysterious and spent a lot of time in resting in bed. Many details from this relationship were left out.

-The way in which Hilly found Skeeter’s Jim Crow booklet was different in the movie. In the book, Skeeter left her satchel at the League House during a meeting. In the movie, Hilly saw the booklet peeking out of Skeeter’s bag during a party. This was just a small difference that was meant to speed up the story progression in the movie.

-Although the message might have come across in the movie anyway, an important quote said by Skeeter in the book was left out of the movie. She said, “We are two people. Not that much separates us. Not nearly as much as I’d thought.” This quote is particularly important because Stockett says “in her own words” in the back of the book that this is the quote sums up the point of the book.

Just because there are differences doesn’t mean the movie isn’t worth seeing. It is a good movie which is also getting Oscar buzz from Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer’s roles as Aibileen and Minny. But I think everyone who sees the movie should give the book a chance too.

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  • Wagner Sarahc

    Stuart and Skeeter, not Johnny.

  • A Robins

    Johnny? His name is Stuart, both in the book and in the film.
    There are also other major differences, such as the reason for Constantine’s sacking (her daughter was white) and the way in which the women discover that the book is all about Jackson (it’s broadcast on a TV book-club show)

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  • Rosie

    Also, the part about a friend of Hilly et. al., Lou Anne, treating her maid, Louvenia, very well when her son is blinded in a senseless beating is left out. They really watered down the movie, both the good and the bad. It comes out at the end of the book that Lou Anne had tried to kill herself multiple times, and Louvenia, her maid, was the only person who kept her going. I thought the filmmakers must have assumed that American audiences can’t handle seeing the reality of violent racism, but they also can’t handle seeing a white woman and a black woman really caring about each other, either.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/NVAYJGLHI5DOYDGXZHOTIZERPY Melissa

    Johnny is Miss Celia’s husband and Stuart is Eugenia’s (Skeeter’s) love interest. In the book, Constantine’s daughter was white because CONSTANTINE’S father was white and it was still present in her genes. In the movie, she is portrayed as a black woman. Treelore’s best friend is not even mentioned in the movie.