You probably know this much about The Help: Emma Stone and Viola Davis star in the film about a white woman in 1960’s Mississippi who gathers the stories of black maids, revealing the racism they face every day. But here’s something you may not have considered: what does the movie taste like?
In a merchandising tie-in much weirder than it sounds, The Home Shopping Network has been presenting a two-day extravaganza of Help-inspired clothes, makeup, fragrances and – here’s the weird part – food.
Now, if you’ve read Kathryn Stockett’s best-selling novel, or seen the movie in advance – which the HSN hosts claim to have been in floods of tears over – you know that one of the comic twists involves a homemade pie made by Minnie (Octavia Spencer, above) with a secret ingredient you would only serve to your worst enemy.
But no mention of that as the hosts made some tenuous connections between the film and the products. In an hour on Friday called “A Taste of the South,” the channel was selling stuffed pork chops, biscuits, two kinds of chocolate cake. One of their guests was Martha Hall Foose, the food stylist for the movie. The other was Octavia Spencer herself! Yet not a word about Minnie’s special pie.
Here’s the trailer with just a glimpse of Minnie and the pie in question.
The hosts were also selling retro-style dresses (no maids’ uniforms), and body lotion that smells like Magnolias – all promoted with the idea that they capture the “essence” of the movie. But I’ve seen that movie (UPDATE: here’s my review) and the essence of the food issue is Minnie’s pie. There are more Help tie-ins on HSN on Saturday, but I’m guessing they’ll continue to ignore the metaphorical dessert in the room. I can’t imagine what HSN was thinking, but I can see they have no sense of humor.