Here’s my issue with formulaic movies: they’re okay, as long as they offer you a fresh perspective on a tired genre. I mean seriously, how many times have we seen the rags-to-riches sports story? The down and outer gets the glory! The poor black kid overcomes life’s grievances and becomes a champ! YAY!
Million Dollar Baby, Antwone Fisher, hell, even Precious would all fit that mold, but these are all bold, original, and often shocking films. Now take a complete farce like The Blind Side, which offers you nothing, has no dramatic conflict, and makes zero effort to challenge you.
Here’s the true story of Michael Oher, a homeless black teen who gets taken in by a well-to-do white family, soon becomes a high school football star, and eventually lands in the NFL (Oher now plays for the BMore Ravens). True story? Who cares. That doesn’t make me appreciate the movie more. Not when it’s littered with clichés, laughable acting and football scenes that have as much flare as two cats sleeping.
My editor thought The Blind Side was “good for a Hollywood movie”. But that is total bullshit. I don’t grade films on a curve. I view each one as its own. I’d give an A+ to The Godfather, Taxi Driver, Pulp Fiction, and The Lost Weekend, to name a few. Every film I grade as A+, I honestly consider it as good as the pre-mentioned movies. I don’t think The Blind Side should be graded higher simply because it is a feel-good Hollywood film with a bankable star. No. I’ll critique this film as I would any other, which makes it easy to give it a solid D.
P.S. If a middle-aged white woman, all tarted-up with her blonde hair, low-cut dress, and perky breasts, shows up in the ghetto, calls a thug a “bitch” and threatens to put her NRA membership to good use… you will fear her. Give. Me. A. Fucking. Break.