THE BLIND SIDE (2009)

the blind side

Elizabeth

So, The Blind Side is one of those rare, somewhat glorious movies that was a huge deal that I absolutely cannot understand how it got made. Because it is fucking terrible.

What do you think the most important things are to a film’s story? Or any story for that matter? I would say the two biggest things that come to mind for me are A.) Character development and B.) Conflict. The Blind Side has neither. That’s right. The Blind Side has ABSOLUTELY NO CONFLICT. Well, let me correct that. THE BLIND SIDE HAS ABSOLUTELY NO CONFLICT THAT ISN’T IMMEDIATELY RESOLVED WITHOUT CONSEQUENCE.

So, obviously, the biggest and most advertised conflict of the movie is the fact that Michael (Quinton Aaron) is a homeless teenager. Well, I hate to break it to you, but that conflict is resolved in maaaaybe the first 30 minutes of the 2 hour and 10 minute long movie, when Leigh Anne (Sandra Bullock) and her husband Sean (Tim McGraw) see Michael walking alone in the cold at night and take him in. They later adopt him, and have no issues with that. There’s a scene where Leigh Anne, Sean, Michael, and Leigh Anne and Sean’s kids Collins (hilariously played by Lily Collins, daughter of Phil Collins) and S.J. (Jae Head) are all sitting around their giant, empty dining table. Leigh Anne and Sean propose to Michael that he officially become a part of the family and they adopt him. Michael looks around at the family, at the literally giant smiles, glowing faces, wide eyes of his new family. It’s the perfect illustration of how there is absolutely no conflict: the family adopts him so lovingly and so easily, and they all look at him like he’s a puppy/Jesus. We see slight resistance from Sean when Leigh Anne first brings up the adoption issue, but all it takes is a conversation that maybe takes 2 minutes of screen time in which Leigh Anne just tells Sean it’s a good idea, and he agrees, and it’s done. So are we supposed to believe this rich, white, Southern family of 4 individuals (one of whom is a teenager) all completely, without question, accept this HUGE change to their family with huge open arms? Give me a fucking break. Because even if that’s how it exactly went down in real life, it shouldn’t have been made the central conflict of the movie.

And here’s another issue: Leigh Anne’s bigoted friends. We don’t have any context on how Leigh Anne feels about race. From what we’re told, Leigh Anne reached out to Michael because she’s a mother and felt like he was a child in need, totally separate from anything to do with race. So it’s surprising to me when we see Leigh Anne go on a couple of lunch dates with a group of friends that are so stereotypically racist and Southern that it’s totally unbelievable. Did Leigh Anne have racist tendencies before she took in Michael? If so, why wasn’t that ever mentioned? If not, why the hell is Leigh Anne friends with these people who stand in such complete stark contrast to her? We’re supposed to think Leigh Anne is a strong woman who stands up for what’s right no matter what, but her involvement with this group of friends makes me really question that.

Even though she somehow won the Oscar for it, I think Sandra Bullock is a real problem in this movie. First of all, except for Tim McGraw (who does not look like Tim McGraw in this movie), Sandra Bullock is by far the biggest name in this movie and it shows. She just kind of outshines everyone else, and I don’t really mean that as a compliment. Her accent is also, to put it lightly, laughable. She just sounds like Sandra Bullock trying to do a Southern accent. It’s bad.

There are plenty of other issues, like how the movie opens with an interrogation that, you guessed it, ends up being not a problem at all, or how all the adults call Michael “Big Mike” as if that was his birth name until he finally asks them to stop, or how Michael’s football coach never actually coaches anyone . . . but it’s not even worth it. This movie is a total, not-worth-it mess.

Christopher

I went into this movie not expecting to like it and that’s exactly what happened. I understand why people would be into this but it was not for me. I thought the story was very weak, the characters felt like they were characters of what their real-life counterparts were probably like. However, there was one element of the movie that both had no sense to me and was super funny. What I’m talking about is the high school football coach in this film.

This movie is about Michael Orr and how he overcame many life obstacles to become an NFL player. One of those obstacles, based off this movie, was easily making it past his high school football coach. I say this because his coach did absolutely nothing to coach him . . . in any way. This would be a good time to say that he LITERALLY never taught Michael a damn thing about football. From the moments you first see the coach with Michael on the field, he’s standing on a raised platform on the side of the field yelling at Michael to play football better. That’s all he does. Never, at any point do you see the high school football coach say anything constructive to Michael other than, “Why can’t you play?” All we know about Michael up to this point is that he might be mentally handicapped so why would this guy automatically assume he could just play football? I mean from the beginning of this film the coach was the main reason Michael even went to that school! The first time we ever see Michael improve with his football abilities is not until Leigh Anne played by Sandra Bullock intrudes on a practice session to actually tell Michael some pointers. Why did the coach need a parent to help him coach?

The coach character just stood out so much to me. To a point where I really thought it was a joke in the film that he was so shitty, but apparently that was just a part of the film that felt that way to me. Watch this movie for laughs cause it has a ton of them, even if the creators didn’t plan it that way.

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