I realize I’m a year late to the party but, this weekend, I watched The Blind Side. I enjoyed the film and thought Sandra Bullock was very good in it. Whether or not it was an Oscar worthy performance is debatable…but I liked her frosted hair, her feistiness, and that twang.
While watching, Tyler and I often rolled our eyes and said, That would never actually happen. Yeah. Right. Like that’s believable. So, imagine our surprise when we got to the end credits and discovered that it was based on a true story (I told you I was late to the party). I frantically googled Michael Oher and read his life story and it was, indeed, true.
This threw me for a bit of a loop.
My biggest complaint about the film was that it did not feel believable at all. Here are 2 reasons why:
1. There was absolutely no conflict in the film.
2. There were no setbacks or obstacles for any of the main characters
This is a story that is inherently riddled with conflict. Here’s your logline: Rich family takes in boy from the projects.
Here’s how the film went down: Rich family takes in boy from the projects, their children become best friends with the boy, the boy calls his new mother Mama and doesn’t miss his real mother, and each time a small conflict arises, the boy or the mother immediately overcome it without struggle, ending with both of them thriving in every aspect of their lives.
And I didn’t even mention the race conflict because, frankly, there was none, despite the fact that it takes place in an area of the country that still flies confederate flags.
Was it refreshing to see a story told like this? Sure.
Was it even more refreshing knowing it was true? Sure.
Did I still find the story completely unrealistic? Yes.
The element that the film lacked was complexity. I now believe that you can tell a story in which every scene ends in triumph. This film proves that it can be done. But how much fun is that? Even the romance novels and romantic comedies I read and watch have a lot of setbacks and confusion that keep the lovers from getting together until the end.
Despite the fact that I enjoyed the film, I feel it missed a big opportunity to tell an even better story. A story that could have triumphed over greater odds instead of relying on conflict that was simply ‘a given’ (Rich family takes in boy from the projects) What were the writer’s afraid of?
How do you feel about stories that have no conflict? How do you feel about a character succeeding at everything he or she does?