But all that stuff about her family had to be true, right? Yeah, about that: Peggy, Joy's terrible sister, was pulled completely out of director David O. Russell's ass, while her Days Of Our Lives-addicted mother was "made up, a composite of several people." We assume that at least one of the people in that composite was Joy's actual mother, so that's not technically as bad as inventing a family member out of nothing, but real-life Joy's father doesn't look a thing like De Niro, so we don't know what to believe anymore.
The Blind Side: Michael Oher Had Been Playing Football For Years Before He Ever Met Leigh Anne Tuohy
The Hollywood Version:
The Blind Side stars Sandra Bullock as Leigh Anne Tuohy, a Texas housewife who takes in a homeless black teenager named Michael Oher. Oher begins attending the local private school, where coaches recognize his potential as an offensive lineman for their football team (this is another way of saying that they notice he is a giant).
The only problem is that Oher is a meek, gentle kid, reluctant to use his strength even to block for his quarterback. He's basically Ferdinand the Bull, and to reiterate this, Tuohy reads that exact story to him at one point. The film goes out of its way to make it very clear that Oher has a hard time understanding the game of football, period.
"No, Michael. You're not supposed to eat the football. You have real food now."
One day, noticing Oher's sensitive struggles, Tuohy heads out onto the practice field and explains to Oher in front of everybody that the football team is like his family, and as such, he needs to protect them. Realizing that blocking in football is as simple as pretending your quarterback is your mother (a similar lesson to the one taught by The Waterboy, another timeless football film), Oher proceeds to absolutely dominate the game, eventually going all the way to an NFL career and a Super Bowl win.
The real Michael Oher was playing varsity football by the time he was an eighth-grader, well before he met Tuohy, and he didn't love seeing a movie that portrayed him as a gigantic dummy who couldn't wrap his head around the game until the heroically white Sandra Bullock explained it to him. According to an interview, the idea that he would need to be taught how to play football at all "really got to [him] because it was never like that. [He's] always known how to play the game of football."
Leigh Anne Tuohy/Instagram
However, he did believe in Santa well past what would be considered an appropriate age.
In fact, the most difficulty Oher faced playing football didn't occur until after The Blind Side came out, when he became a novelty to be cheered and booed in equal measure. So while Tuohy and her family did adopt Oher, at no point did the task of teaching him how to unlock his superior athleticism (Oher played basketball and ran track in school as well) fall to her. That's just nonsense, Miss Congeniality.
Sam Jackson prays that his eventual biopic leaves out the thing involving Daniel Radcliffe and the truck of llamas. Follow him on Facebook or Twitter. Jordan Breeding is a part-time writer, a full-time lover, and an all-the-time guitarist. Check out his band at http://www.skywardband.com or on Spotify here.
For more movies where Hollywood took a little creative liberty here and there, check out 6 Movies Based On A True Story That Left Out Important Stuff and 6 Movies Based On A True Story (That Are Also Full Of Shit).
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