Saturday, November 21, 2009

My review of "The Blind Side" and how it showed a great way to do Thanksgiving dinner.

"The Blind Side" is about football. It is based on a terrific book by Michael Lewis which is also about football.

I don't know anything about football. I do know that if you want to play football, it helps to be enormous. And Michael Oher, the hero of the piece (not really but we'll get to that in a minute) is nothing if not gargantuan. He practically has "Football Player" tattooed on his forehead.

But he's poor. And homeless. A well-meaning uncle gets Michael enrolled in a private Christian school in Memphis after which we never hear from the uncle again. Michael has a tested IQ of 80 and a GPA of .04 which apparently means he wrote his name but not much else on every paper. He is not allowed to play sports at the school until his academics are up to snuff. But he hangs out in the gym because a) it's warm and b) he picks up the leftover food after each basketball game presumably because he has nothing else to eat. It is while walking home from the gym one frosty evening when he is noticed by the Tuohy family. Noticed because he's HUGE and also because he's wearing shorts and a short-sleeved shirt in freezing weather.

The Tuohy family takes him home and life will never be the same for any of us. Especially me, because the home they take him to is really a mansion and is so gorgeous that it made me want to kill myself. (The father owns like a million Taco Bells). It becomes immediately obvious that the real hero (heroine) of the piece is the mother, Leigh Ann (Sandra Bullock).

I would like to state for the record that I am exactly like Leigh Ann Tuohy (minus the money, great body, fabulous clothes and impeccable make-up). She is portrayed as determined, hard-headed and ruthless in getting what she wants. I do the same thing and I am portrayed as a nagging bitch. What's up with that?

Leigh Ann gives Michael a room with the first bed he's ever had. She buys him clothes and hires a tutor (the always wonderful Kathy Bates) who confesses that they may not want to hire her when they discover her deep, dark secret - she's a Democrat. Rather predictably, they determine that Michael is actually quite smart and the grades come up to snuff. And so he heads for the football field.

Where he sort of sucks until he is given a pep talk by Leigh Ann who tells him to pretend that he's protecting the Tuohy family when he is blocking the whatever-you-call-those-guys-who-are-trying-to-kill-the-quarterback. And then it's Katie Bar the Door!

We have the obligatory high school football game where the obligatory rednecks on the other team make disparaging racial remarks (Really? They've never heard of Black guys playing football?) and Michael handles it by throwing the smartasses into the next county.

There is a minor sub-plot concerning Michael's attempt to visit his mother who has apparently disappeared. When the Tuohy's decide to become Michael's legal guardians, Leigh Ann tracks her down and we learn that being a crack ho is bad. Very, very bad.

Then it's time for college. Every recruiter in the south is after Michael, promising him the moon. But - the Tuohy's went to Ole Miss, Kathy Bates went to Ole Miss and that's where they want him to go, although they're not allowed to say so for some reason that's not really clear.

You'll never guess where he ends up! Ole Miss! We then gloss over his college career and he's being picked to play for the Baltimore Ravens! Over the credits we see photos of the actual Tuohy family and the actual Michael Oher just in case we thought someone was making all this up.

Sandra Bullock has always been one of those "take her or leave her" type actresses for me. She is very, very good in "The Blind Side". I totally believed her and that is my highest praise for an actor. And I would kill to know the name of the lipstick she wore. Tim McGraw who apparently is some sort of country singer(?) was credible and Quinton Aaron was absolutely heart-breaking as Michael. But the real scene-stealer was Jae Head who played the little brother. Not just another Hollywood adorable child, this kid is a great natural actor with amazing comic timing and priceless facial expressions. If he were an adult, he'd be nominated for an Oscar for sure. Maybe he will be anyway. Hope so. Anyway, it's a good movie and I give it three and a half forks.

And just what does this have to do with food? Just wait - I'll tie it all together.

In the first place, one of the ads shown before the movie was for Hellman's mayonnaise. Did you know that mayonnaise will ensure that your Thanksgiving dinner is both perfect and memorable? It's true! A happy mom is spooning mayo into or onto every single dish - including pumpkin pie! The family is rapturous!

Who knew?

Secondly, the first full day Michael spends with the Tuohy's just happens to be Thanksgiving. As the family is filling their plates, the dad tells the kids to "thank Mom for picking this up from the store". Apparently Leigh Ann just went to the grocery store and bought the already cooked Thanksgiving dinner that I always see promoted at the local Kroger, but never knew anyone actually bought. It looked delicious and the family loved it!

Who knew?

Ah! It's so tempting! But my family would never let me get away with it. They'd just call me that lazy nagging bitch.


Music Mom said...

My husband LOVES football and Thanksgiving and especially Sandra Bullock, and ESPECIALLY if she is wearing great lipstick. I guess we're going to have to go see this one.
So what's the recipe for this week?

How to make Thanksgiving dinner = buy it ready made at Kroger. Thanks, Accidental Pastry Chef!

Here is my Thanksgiving dinner recipe, which I have used every year for the last 18 years:

Drive to Cousin Shelley's way cool house in Salem. Bring one dish to share (corn pudding). She will make the other 57 dishes, for all the million other cousins that show up. Eat all her food - help with the dishes. Laugh. Talk. Go home, with a bag of leftovers she packs for you.

Best Thanksgiving EVER! Happens every year. You may feel free to share this recipe with your readers, but I'm not giving out her address or phone number...

Joshua said...

That's pretty interesting. I've never rushed out to see a Sandra Bullock movie but that sounds like a good one. I was thinking that I was going to end up doing a lot of the cooking this Thanksgiving because its at my Cousin's new house but it seems that everything is taken care of. Just gotta bring chips and dip. My brother got stuck with the turkey so I guess I'm on dish patrol.

R. Ford said...

Well Accidental Pastry Chef, (Can I call you AC?) - Your review was so good, I may actually go see this movie AND I don't even like football, but it sounds like a decent story. Plus,you gave me the ultimate reciepe.... just got buy a premade Thanskgiving dinner at the market. Who would have thought it could be that easy?? Have a great Thanksgiving!!!

Susan said...

Gee, Pastry Chef, I was actually planning to spend my money (ha ha), time, and gas going to see The Blind Side but I no longer need to now that you have told me the entire movie including the end. Have you thought of starting an Accidental Movie Critic blog? I would never have to go see another movie again! How about the Accidental Housekeeper blpg wherein I would never have to clean the house again? or the Accidental Dating get the idea.

Linda said...

Susan - I don't really think there were any spoilers in my review. Michael Oher is playing left tackle for the Baltimore Ravens even as we speak and he had to get there somehow. When you went to see "Titanic", you knew that ship was going to sink, right? Please say, "right". From now on, if I write any more movie review (not likely - I don't get out much) I will alert you to spoilers!

Susan said...

OMG! The Titanic sank???? That's SO SAD. Did anybody die?

Anonymous said...

What's football?

Mayonnaise on pie--who knew, indeed?!

Thanks for the review. I trust you; I shall Netflix it when it comes out on DVD lest the Enormous Football-Playing Man overwhelm me with his Enormousness.

Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving:)