January 23 is known as National Pie Day! The delicious pastry that has the perfect crunchy crust on the outside, while the inside has a gooey fruit filling. Unless, it is a pie that has no top crust, in which case the yummy filling is right before your eyes. Pie is a dish that has been eaten by many generations, and even made its way into being a delectable treat in movies, especially the 2011 movie The Help. The empowering movie The Help follows a young, yet somewhat naive, college graduate who discover the injustice that her fellow African Americans face. Each day, Skeeter (portrayed by Emma Stone) learns that segregation laws in her beloved state of Mississippi are far from equal.
The movie The Help starts out with Skeeter interviewing Aibileen (portrayed by the sensational Viola Davis) about her daily life. The movie then sends us to a flashback to when Skeeter learned that her beloved maid, Constantine, left the family. Learning that Constantine was fired, an enraged Skeeter wants to do something about it. Using the knowledge she gained from college, she talks to a reluctant Aibileen into helping her out. From their, Skeeter starts gaining the knowledge about the world that she lives and the people whom she is friends with.
One of those friends being Hilly Holbrook, a snooty racist who enjoys stomping on those whom she believes are below her. Hilly’s maid Minnie Jackson ends up getting fired for using the wrong bathroom. Minnie is a far cry from her best friend Aibileen, who does not hold back with what she says. One day Minnie decides to get he revenge on Hilly through baking one of her famous pies. However, when Hilly’s mother tries to take a piece, Minnie tells her no. Clueless, that the pie has Minnie’s own feces in it, Hilly is then informed of what she is eating. This comical scene has strong meaning behind it. Minnie is making a point to her former “master” that she doesn’t deserve to be treated the way that Hilly treats others of her skin color.
Minnie finds herself unable to find a job, going to outcast Celia Foote who is looking to hire a maid. Celia is extremely naive and treats Minnie as an equal, even asking her to teacher her how to cook. Celia and Minnie forge a friendship that is repaid in the movie with gratitude that Minnie has never received before.
Minnie joins Aibileen in giving Skeeter the knowledge that she needs to expose the injustice that the maids and their families face on a daily basis. All of the other maids are reluctant to helping them out, until one of them is beaten in public for theft. From there the other maids join Aibileen and Minnie contributing to the book that would become a national bestseller.
The more Skeeter’s friends read the book, the more they end up talking about hte treatment of their own maids. They seem to think that the content of the book is somewhat foolish, yet some of them begin to realize the error of their ways. Even, if they did not express it openly. Skeeter, Minnie, and Aibleen were able to make a change in the world around them, while following the historical events that catapulted the Civil Rights Movement into changing laws that made everyone equal.
When I first heard that today is National Pie Day, this is the first movie that came to mind. Minnie’s pie in The Help was constantly brought up to make a point in the movie. Minnie’s pie with her own feces in it made a statement to Hilly that she doesn’t deserve to be treated unfairly, yet Hilly never gets the message. The use of Minnie’s pie is brought up, comically, again and again with the same meaning behind it.