Up to you to decide whether that’s a good thing —
but if you don’t buy the Proposal DVD, she just might use it on you.
For in the course of the film, we are made to understand that Oher can be saved only by divorcing himself entirely from any people who look like him (or indeed anyone who isn’t blond). The other black men in the movie are, without exception, thugs; his mother is a crack addict. The one and only time Oher embraces his own culture — singing a rap song — he wrecks the car he’s driving and nearly kills his white stepbrother, played by a Quinn Cummings clone.
By the time we get to the end of the picture, we have met only one black character who is intelligent, educated, and gainfully employed, but she’s so unsympathetic that I’m not sure what we’re supposed to make of her.
This isn’t to say that the picture isn’t entertaining, and even I found myself rooting for Bullock, who remains a charismatic presence onscreen, despite the plastic surgery. (She’s a few years younger than I: does this mean I need a facelift, too?) And if The Blind Side encourages other Southern, white, Christian, Republican bourgeoises to take real action to help their less privileged neighbors, I’m unlikely to complain much.
Yet, as I say, the timing made me uncomfortable; the film has been released just one year after a man who identifies himself as black achieved an unprecedented position of power in the United States. Granted, President Obama doesn’t behave like a drug-dealing gangsta, and surely that accounts at least in part for his success. But are we as a society really saying (or worse, believing) that African Americans can’t succeed on their own, without the Tarzan-like intervention of white people? Haven’t we come further than that?
Hollywood loves a remake, and I’m eager to see this movie remade — with Angela Bassett in the Bullock role.