On a scale from one to ten, the intensity with which I didn’t want to see this movie was a sturdy 9. I’m not interested in football movies, I’m not a fan of movies that intend on pulling your heart strings the whole time and I was pretty sure that this was going to blend the two into one, but I walked away from this movie very pleased with what I saw. This movie really surprised me, it wasn’t all about football and it wasn’t constantly trying to make you reach for Kleenex and Zoloft.
The story is about an enormous, seventeen year old boy named Michael or “Big Mike” (played by Quinton Aaron), who’s mom is hooked on crack. His dad was never in his life, he had eleven siblings and he’s had to live a rough life in the ghetto. He moves from friend’s house to friend’s house, sleeping on their couches. One day, the father of one of Mike’s friends tries to get them both into Wingate Christian School. The man’s son is a shoe-in, but Mike’s previous struggling grades and bleak future make him a tough decision. Finally, he gets in because the football coach guilts the school board into it, saying it’s the “Christian” thing to do.
Leigh Anne Touhy (Sandra Bullock), a rich, southern designer/housewife/mom of two, starts to notice this poor child around the campus. One particularly cold night, the Tuohy family is driving home and spot Mike walking in his T-shirt and shorts (his only clothing, excluding one spare shirt that is kept in a plastic sack). She takes him home like a puppy, and allows him to stay on their couch for the night. Well, one night turns into two and two turns into three. After a while, she digs into the history of this underprivileged kid and he makes his way into this family’s heart. The rest of the movie is about how the Tuohys and the teachers at the school help Mike escape from his previous life and get him into a better life with a good future.
What really caught me off guard about this movie was that it wasn’t all about football. Sure, football was a subject in the film, but it didn’t really become a main focus until the last fourth of it. I was so relieved to see this, because they marketed it like another Friday Night Lights or Clash of the Titans. They focus more on the development of these characters becoming a family and the trials and tribulations following this.
They had the standard stereotypes of the rich white people looking down on him and the Tuohys for taking him in, but I appreciated the fact that there were plenty of white people who were open-minded and kind. This movie was actually really surprising by being one of the first movies I’ve seen that portrays Republicans and Christians in a good light. Normally Republicans are the snotty, old, white people that hate change and Christians are the crazy people who want to sacrifice a child to satiate the Almighty’s bloodlust. The Blind Side showed them as people like you and me, who were compassionate and kind at heart. The movie was full of “Awww” moments and it got pretty hokey at times. Sometimes, it was like peeking into a Kodak Moments photo shoot, but I wouldn’t say that it was a serious issue with the film. Also, the humor in the movie was hit and miss; there were plenty of moments where they’d throw out some one-liners or have a joke set up, but I really only laughed a few times. Fortunately, the movie isn’t a comedy at all, because this would be a very different review if that were the case.
The acting was, for the most part, believable and easy to watch (shockingly, even Tim McGraw). When the movie first started, I was extremely skeptical of Sandra Bullock playing a ballsy, tough love, southern woman. Thankfully, she did an outstanding job. She was believable and made you forget altogether that she wasn’t actually Leigh Anne Tuohy. My only complaint with it was that Quinton Aaron (Mike) was not that great in this role. He did a very great job of looking sad and moping, but once he started talking, it turned a little sour. Although, Mike and the Tuohy’s youngest child, Jae Head, had great chemistry. They had quite a few scenes where they would be goofing around or training and it was fun watching them become more like brothers and have a good time. The dialogue and acting made you get really attached to the characters, which got pretty stressful during the more intense scenes. Whenever the family or Mike were in trouble, it has you pulling your hair out over the situation.
Aside from a few hokey moments, an unexceptional soundtrack and some lame jokes, I really liked this movie. It’s a good film that your whole family can see and the movie’s heart is definitely in the right place. It’s good for sports fans, but (thank God) they’re not the target audience for the movie. Anyone can enjoy this movie and it has a positive message to give to the general public.
I give The Blind Side 4 “Rapping White Kids” out of 5