Back in the day, most interracial disputes were resolved by thumb war.


Back in the day, most interracial disputes were resolved by thumb war.

THE HELP

The Abridged Script

FADE IN:

EXT. OVERSATURATED JACKSON, MISSISSIPPI

EMMA STONE is a plucky young WRITER with a passion for-

EMMA STONE

Before we begin, I have a question. Am I the only good white person in the whole film?

DIRECTOR TATE TAYLOR

Yes. This is a film, sweetheart, not one of those wordy page folders we got the idea from.

EMMA STONE

A book.

DIRECTOR TATE TAYLOR

Sure, if you say so. Come on, it would be too confusing for an audience to have to deal with diverse characters in a film about diversity! Apart from you, the film's Caucasians are either underdeveloped mutes, retardedly naive or outright bigots.

EMMA STONE

You're frightening me. Where did you hide all of the good white people?

DIRECTOR TATE TAYLOR

On a far-away island, along with all of the bad black people.

EMMA STONE

Well, at least you learned your craft by...

(glances briefly at the director's resume)

...being "Friend at Leo's Party" in the 2001 Planet of the Apes film. Really? Really?! A delicate two-hour long meditation on race relations from a bygone era, and we're about to be written, directed and produced by Frightened Inmate Number Two.

DIRECTOR TATE TAYLOR

Don't worry, I actually got this job because I knew the author. I'm not joking, look it up. I grew up with her in Mississippi, and that got me into this director's chair. Now, let's make some fucking art!

INT. OVERSATURATED PRIVILEGED SOUTHERN ESTATE

VIOLA DAVIS, the KINDLY BLACK MAID, is raising a WHITE BABY singlehandedly.

VIOLA DAVIS

You is kind. You is smart. You is important. I is forced to talk like this for whole movie.

Elsewhere, BRYCE DALLAS HOWARD is a RACIST. She heads a group of RACIST YOUNG WHITE WOMEN, while their HUSBANDS SMIRK and SHAKE THEIR HEADS and DON'T GET INVOLVED.

JESSICA CHASTAIN

How convenient it must have been that bigots were divided by gender in the 1950s.

BRYCE DALLAS HOWARD

I now call to order this meeting of the Racism Plot Device. My legal proposal is that all of the black help should use a different toilet to their white employers; it's science. In unrelated news, I'm running a charity benefit for Africans, whom I'm led to believe are black, or perhaps just haven't embraced colour photography yet. Happy days!

EMMA STONE

That certainly is an amusing irony. Anyway, I want to help you kindly Negro folk, and that's why I'll take your names and everything bad you say about your employers and publish it for all to see.

OCTAVIA SPENCER

But miss, even if we did that in the 21st century, we'd be fired. We live below the poverty line and we need these jobs. Couldn't we just do these interviews anonymously?

EMMA STONE

Never! I need a plush writing job in New York! Er, I mean, you need your stories told!

JESSICA CHASTAIN

Something is ringing hollow about this heartwarming racial togetherness. Could it be, for example, that this film and the book it was based on had to invent a benevolent white protagonist and her tell-all expose to make this whole thing work for a modern audience?

BRYCE DALLAS HOWARD

There wasn't actually a book like this in real life?

EMMA STONE

Nope, this whole film is like a "what-if" comic book spinoff. A little 21st-century revisionist history, with pretty dresses and cake!

BRYCE DALLAS HOWARD

So the movie is completely historically accurate, except for its lead character, the ending, and the whole premise of the story?

EMMA STONE

Yes. We're in the 'Inglourious Basterds' of race relation movies.

INT. OVERSATURATED MANSION WITH SLIGHTLY DIFFERENT CURTAINS

EMMA STONE is talking to her MOTHER, ALLISON JANNEY.

EMMA STONE

I'm deeply saddened by the plight of the black maid.

ALLISON JANNEY

There, there, sweetheart.

EMMA STONE

No, I mean I'm deeply saddened by the plight of MY black maid, Cicely Tyson. She disappeared before she could wash my new dresses. What happened to her, mother?

ALLISON JANNEY

It's a dark secret that haunts both the town and myself.

EMMA STONE

Oh wow. This subplot is actually getting interesting. Could it be she was raped and impregnated by her white employers, as was documented historically? Was she a victim of race violence, unplanned pregnancy, or even - death?

ALLISON JANNEY

She and her daughter interrupted a party thrown in my honour, so I was...rude to her. In public. Two weeks later, she died of a broken heart.

EMMA STONE

...

ALLISON JANNEY

Don't look at me! DON'T LOOK AT ME!

EMMA STONE

If this movie went to school, it would be eating its own gluestick.

INT. DIMLY-LIT YET SOMEHOW OVERSATURATED STUDY

EMMA STONE reads a 1950s PAPER for RESEARCH ON HER BOOK, giving a brief opportunity for REAL-LIFE CHAMPIONS OF RACIAL TOLERANCE to briefly cameo in the FILM.

DIRECTOR TATE TAYLOR

Argh, historical accuracy! My kryptonite! Pump some feelgood music and smash-cut to some toilet humour, STAT!

SMASH-CUT TO:

INT. YET ANOTHER OVERSATURATED PRIVILEGED SOUTHERN MANSION

OCTAVIA SPENCER, the REBELLIOUS BLACK MAID, uses the INSIDE TOILET and gets FIRED by BRYCE DALLAS HOWARD. She RETALIATES by baking her a CHOCOLATE SHIT PIE and tricking her into eating TWO SLICES. This ACTUALLY HAPPENS.

OCTAVIA SPENCER

(actual line)

Eat my shit.

(pause)

Talk about hitting a career high: I actually said "eat my shit" in a film about the Jim Crow South.

BRYCE DALLAS HOWARD

Yes, it's always worrying when your protagonist's revenge plot would fit more naturally in a 'Van Wilder' sequel.

EXT. FREAKISHLY OVERSATURATED SOUTHERN ESTATE LAWN

EMMA STONE and VIOLA DAVIS DEFRAUD a local NEWSLETTER PUBLICATION to get 40 TOILETS sent to BRYCE DALLAS HOWARD'S FRONT LAWN, but it's OK because MORAL HIGH GROUND SCHMORAL HIGH GROUND.

WHITE BABY

Toilets!

(uses toilet on lawn)

The WHITE BABY is ANNIHLATED by her MOTHER'S BACKHAND. She is consoled by VIOLA DAVIS.

VIOLA DAVIS

You is kind. You is smart. You is important. I is getting new agent.

INT. DIMLY-LIT YET SOMEHOW OVERSATURATED STUDY

EMMA STONE, risking nothing of her own except for a vague relationship with an ABUSIVE, STUPID BOYFRIEND visible for THREE MINUTES OF SCREEN TIME, writes and publishes a BOOK that IMMEDIATELY THREATENS the CAREERS, RELATIONSHIPS and PHYSICAL SAFETY of EVERYONE ELSE WHO CONTRIBUTED TO IT.

EMMA STONE

Unbelievable. My character is 100% fabricated, and they still made me as self-serving and unlikeable as the villains. Why didn't they just make me into a female Atticus Finch?

DIRECTOR TATE TAYLOR

I don't know who that is. I don't listen to hip-hop.

EMMA STONE

Oh well, my book has guaranteed me a lucrative writing career in New York. So long, suckers!

EMMA STONE is incongruously airlifted out of the TRAINWRECK she created in what can only be described as a DOUCHE EX MACHINA.

INT. BLAH BLAH BLAH OVERSATURATED

OCTAVIA SPENCER dines with JESSICA CHASTAIN and her HUSBAND.

JESSICA CHASTAIN

Even though Viola Davis was fired for her honesty, you'll always have a job with us. Enjoy your complimentary meal! Then immediately clean up the plates, maid.

OCTAVIA SPENCER

Do you two feel like dessert?

The FILM limps to a CLOSE, HEAVING and WHEEZING as it suffocates on its own BULLSHIT.

DIRECTOR TATE TAYLOR

Well, another gem on my CV. I feel like we missed something, though. The film is incomplete. It's almost like...almost...like...

EMMA STONE

Almost like hundreds of years of racism, intolerance and mistrust can't be properly addressed in a breezy two-hour feelgood comedy?

DIRECTOR TATE TAYLOR

Music! That's it! MORE FEELGOOD MUSIC!

FEELGOOD MUSIC SUFFOCATES THE AUDIENCE with HOPE, and WHITE PEOPLE realise they SAVED BLACK PEOPLE all along.

END

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