I read a lot –almost a book a week.  And there are few books I loved as much as Kathryn Stockett’s “The Help. ” I was thrilled when I was invited to see a preview of the movie Monday night.  But I was also concerned.  Would the movie ruin the book I loved so?

It didn’t. The movie is not the book; they seldom are, and there are parts of the book they cut out that I definitely missed, but the core of the story, the backdrop of the Civil Rights movement, the changing of the times, the unlikely friendship between a black woman and a white woman, and the courage to stand up for what you believe in, is all there.

The acting in this movie is top notch.  One of my biggest complaints is that Emma Stone’s Skeeter is by no means ugly, as she was described in the book. She is beautiful, and incredible, in this film. Bryce Dallas Howard, yes, Ron Howard’s daughter, plays a character that is mean and racist and horrible to the core, without being campy, or over the top. Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer as Aibileen and Minny, the two main maids telling their stories, are stoic and heroic without being spiteful.  In fact, at times, they’re laugh-out-loud funny.

It is a “chick flick” you can take your husbands to; it is a movie with a heart and a soul, and you could have heard a pin drop in the audience during some of the weightier scenes.  I really can’t wait to see it again.

The movie, like the book, is full of racial overtones and inequality.  And no, it is not perfect, I really would have liked them to bring out Skeeter struggling with losing her lifelong friendships more, and the pain of losing her own childhood maid who raised her. And yes, the movie does say an awful lot about white privilege.  But it does make you think, and hurt for where we were as a country, and hopeful, for where we are now.

Jodi blogs at Jodifur about life, motherhood, working, and shoes. Mostly shoes.

***I was not compensated for this post but was invited to a free screening of the movie.  All opinions are my own.