Here's another. It wasn't until midway through "Secret Life of Bees" that it hit me how much the film reminded me of Alice Walker's, "The Color Purple". As very young girls, both Lily (Dakota Fanning) and Celie long to know why they have experienced so much pain so early in their lives. Rejected by heartless fathers, both are separated violently from the one person they cherish the most, and both unexpectedly receive the love they long for from strong women they hardly know. And eventually they both become strong enough to stand up to the one that hurt them the most and forgive. So, if you loved "The Color Purple" then you'll probably love "The Secret Life of Bees" as well. And that's a third reason to hit the box office to see this film.
And if nothing else I've written compels you to see this movie, then my last selling point is the cast. Queen Latifah, Dakota Fanning, Alicia Keys, Jennifer Hudson, and Sofie Okenedo--all that Oscar worthy talent and creative energy in one film portraying characters as rich and layered as your mama's best homemade triple-deck cake--should pique your interest a little. It's definitely worthy of all the buzz it's been receiving.
I saw it again opening night not only to support it financially, but also to catch glimpses of my own upbringing. Though the story is set in 1964 South Carolina, the film was shot in Burgaw, NC during the winter. The trees, the house, and the distinct personalities of the Boatwright sisters all remind me of home, and especially of my grandmother and her sorority of strong women always dropping by the house. And just like in the Boatwright house, the piano, black history artifacts, doilies on furniture, and the always present and tempting cake or pie on the kitchen table were also customary in my grandmother's home. (Happy Birthday, Big Mama! I miss you! Rest in Peace!)
Whatever motivates you to see "The Secret Life of Bees" I don't believe you'll be disappointed. But if you need more convincing visit the official website HERE for cast and crew interviews and behind-the-scenes footage. To learn more about Sue Monk Kidd's book from which the film was adapted click the book cover.