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African-American Reviewer Dismisses The Help

FishbowlLA is of the mind that certain movies on RottenTomatoes.com demand more than the ability to parse by “Rotten” and “Fresh” reviews. In the case of romantic comedies, it would be useful to be able to quickly quantify male vs. female reviewer ratings. And with regards to The Help, for better or worse, it is going to be extremely enlightening to isolate African-American critiques of the Disney adaptation.

The first such review comes from the Boston Globe‘s Wesley Morris (pictured); at press time, it is easily the most resoundingly negative RT take on a film others are tagging as a 2011 Oscar nominations certainty. Morris starts off with a telling personal anecdote and ends with some bold statements:

The Help joins everything from To Kill a Mockingbird to The Blind Side as another Hollywood movie that sees racial progress as the province of white do-gooderism…

It comes out on the losing end of the movies’ social history. The best film roles three black women will have all year require one of them to clean Ron Howard’s daughter’s house.

So far, Globe reader comments are skewing towards general praise of Morris’ writing abilities. Indeed, though he has waded into touchy territory here, he has done so thoughtfully. The Help opens tomorrow.

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