As regular readers of this blog know, “The Unenthusiastic Critic” is my girlfriend, N., who normally sits down with me—under protest—to watch movies that I feel represent unforgivable gaps in her movie education. This week, however, we're departing from the format, as N. joins me to watch a recent release that neither of us has seen before.
The truth is, I was pretty unenthusiastic myself, and had deliberately avoided going to see The Help in theaters. But I'm an awards-show addict, and when The Help received several nominations—not just from the (notoriously dubious) Hollywood Foreign Press Association, but also from the more respectable Screen Actors Guild—I knew I was going to have to watch it. You see, I make it a point to see as many nominated films as possible, so that when they win awards they don't deserve I can rant about them with a clear conscience. This year, I had a strong feeling I'd want to throw a proper, well-justified fit if The Help should happen to win anything, and so I decided I'd have to give it a look.
And because I couldn't face it alone, and because I thought the perspective of an African-American woman might be helpful, I approached the one person on the planet I knew wanted to watch The Help even less than I did: my girlfriend.
"You have fun with that," she said. "I'm not watching that shit." (To be fair, this is what she always says whenever I suggest we watch something for this blog.)