Anyway, basically, if a movie doesn't contain blood, monsters, soldiers, action, swords or zombies - or some combination thereof - I'm not usually interested.
Except when I am.
You see, there are times in life where what you need is really not legions of zombies bent on destroying humanity, or a creature from space running amok in New York City (as awesome that is.)
What you need is inspiration. What you need is hope - to feel that maybe humanity isn't completely worthless after all.
Fortunately, possibly because of the economy, Hollywood seems to have gotten that message, and they're offering several feel-good movies this holiday season. Since most of them revolve around sports, I feel better about my need to soothe my psyche with them.
First up was The Blind Side.
This is based on the true story of Michael Oher, who has just been signed as a rookie with the Baltimore Ravens. He was a homeless teen in Tennessee who was taken in by a wealthy white family who helped him succeed in school and football, and eventually became his legal guardians.
Sandra Bullock plays the mom in this story, and she's absolutely pitch perfect. First of all, she has the accent down (I think she's actually Southern) and she definitely has the look for it. (Lord, she's pretty.) But it's more than that...
How easy would it have been for this story to become about white guilt? How hard is it to show a mother and a family who have a lot of money, and who are still healthy and whole and like to be together? Think about it - most of the time, white, well-t0-do people are one-dimensional and shallow. Her Leigh Anne Touhey is certainly bold and a little brash, but she is so deep. She takes Michael in not because she feels some obligation to, or maybe she does at first - but she asks him to stay because she truly grows to love him.
Michael, also, is deep and multi-dimensional. The teachers at the exclusive Christian school he attends at first treat him like he's retarded. He's not; not at all. He's very smart, he just has never learned to learn. Watching him open up as he warms up to his new family is truly touching.
In a way, the movie's almost too perfect. It's a little hard to believe that everything fell into place just so for this young man, and that he just happened to find a family who truly loves him and sees him as a part of their family.
And yet that's exactly what happened.
And that's why it's so inspiring. Because you know what? Sometimes good things do happen. A lot of times they don't, but they can. They really can.
And at Christmastime, especially this year, that's a good lesson to be reminded of.
See The Blind Side. I don't think you'll regret it.
Note: Please note that this movie opens with a replay of Washington Redskins' quarterback Joe Theismann breaking his leg. This is one of the worst, most painful-to-watch injuries in all of sports. It makes total sense why they did it in context of the movie (and they actually tie back to it at the very end in a great way), but just be prepared.
Next up in the inspirational holiday sports-movie lineup: Invictus.