"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!
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!
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.