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look, there's a spider on the ceilin'...just kiddin'...but it is time for some attitude, though!

PG-13

Sandra Bullock, Quinton Aaron, Tim McGraw, Jae Head, Lilly Collins, Kathy Bates

Leigh Anne: You’re right.
Sean: Excuse me??  You’re right??  How did those words taste comin’ out of your mouth?
Leigh Anne: Like vinegar.

An upper class white family takes a large, 17 year old African American high-schooler into their home, helps him improve his grades, and gets him involved in football.

This movie is waaaay too Hollywood.  I think it would have been much more interesting if it hadn’t been so slickly made.  It’s so filled with formula and cliche that you forget it’s a true story.  Though, I have to wonder what kind of liberties were taken in the telling of the tale of Michael Oher (Aaron).

I know they wanted to make this one family friendly, but I would have preferred to see something more rough around the edges.  I’m sure Oher’s real story was messier than what we see here.  Of course, we don’t actually see a whole lot of his story, as the movie focuses more on the Tuohy family.  First and foremost, Leigh Anne Tuohy (Bullock).  This is the role Sandra Bullock won the Oscar for, and now that I’ve seen it, I must say…seriously?  She’s not bad, but I can see why she seemed embarrassed to accept the award over some of the other nominees.  Maybe she just seemed better because she stood out contrasted against some kid actors, a guy that barely says anything in the movie, a bunch of college coaches, and a country music star.  Yeah, Tim McGraw just wasn’t working for me in this.

Quinton Aaron is fine as Michael Oher, but I never felt like we really knew him all that well.  He’s basically just a big gentle giant, like Fezzik in The Princess Bride.  A little more personality wouldn’t have hurt.

I won’t get into the whole racial controversy surrounding the movie too much.  The idea that it’s some sort of product of white guilt, or whatever (which is a point brought up in the movie).  I will say, though, that I can see how some of it could be seen as offensive.  You’ve got the rich white people on one side, trying to save this poor abandoned kid from being sucked into the dangerous evil world of his black friends that will just drag him down to their criminal level.  There’s way too thick of a dividing line here, and I wouldn’t blame somebody for being upset a little by the implications one could draw from it.

All in all, it will probably elicit a tear or two here and there, but the slick, Hollywooded up style of it makes it seem much more phony than it should.  Watching an ESPN special about the real Michael Oher is equally, or more, moving.

Oh, but I will give them props for showing former Florida State offensive lineman Walter Jones at the beginning when they were talking about how important a good lineman is for the success of a team.  Always good to see Seminoles in the limelight.

College football coaches can’t act.

10 – 2.5 for being way too Hollywood – .4 for a couple less than stellar performances – 1 for not concentrating on Oher enough = 6.1