'The Blind Side': Appreciate the Real Meaning of Family
"The Blind Side" is a classic Cinderella story—albeit one where Cinderella is a 300-plus-pound lineman and the fairy godmother wears designer sunglasses. Granted, Michael Oher, who serves as the film's not-so-Disney-fied damsel, has no evil stepmother to deal with, no jealous step-siblings. In fact, he doesn't have much of anything at all—just an extra shirt in a paper bag and a nickname he doesn't like.
Right on cue, in sweeps Leigh Anne Tuohy—a Memphis firecracker with bleached blond hair and finger-wagging snap. Before you can say "Ol' Miss," Tuohy ushers Oher off the streets and sets him up in the Tuohy mansion, giving him a truck, a family, and a future. They give Oher (who, in real life, now plays in the NFL) a chance, and showed him what it means to be loved.
But perhaps Leigh Anne and the Tuohys, for all their generosity, aren't this film's primary heroes. Michael, through his gentleness, consideration, and quiet dignity, evolves from charity project to family member—teaching the Tuohys what "family" really means. When one of Leigh Anne's friends tells her that she's changing Michael's life, Leigh Anne says, "No, he's changing mine." And in the end, we know it's true.
Photo: Ralph Nelson/Warner Bros.