Having worked in the film and TV industry as an exec and producer, it wasn’t easy being a Christian. Christians are a minority in the entertainment industry and most stay “in the closet,” fearing discrimination due to a post-modern, unbiblical worldview that permeates the business.
Because of a lack of understanding of true biblical Christianity, Hollywood perceives that Christians are blind, racist, sexist, intolerant, gay bashing simpletons, not to mention hypocritical. As a result, it often portrays evangelical characters as such in numerous films and television series.
Conversely, Hollywood will also create a character who claims to be a Christian and appears to be a “good person”, but in fact does not embody biblical principles.
Case in point: The Blind Side. Most major studios shy away from “feel-good” dramas as they’re not high-concept enough (think action-packed, 3-D, & based on a comic book) to attract a huge audience, especially males.
For years, Hollywood ignored its female audience until movies like Titanic, Twilight, and Mamma Mia revealed the power of the purse. The Blind Side enjoyed huge commercial and critical success due to its top-notch performances, an uplifting and inspiring message, and the fact that it was based on a true story.
Not only did it attract a female audience, but the backdrop of football made it palatable for husbands and boyfriends who reluctantly tagged along.
For all we know, the real-life Tuohys may have a wonderful marriage based on biblical principles. However, a biblical marriage is not as interesting to explore because it seems old-fashioned, backwards, and sexist, making the film a tougher sell than it already is.
As noted in Rick’s review of the film, Leigh Anne Tuohy’s character is a domineering and strong-willed woman, surrounded by a bunch of passive, inept males (her younger son being the only exception to this rule). Since this film was created as a vehicle for a major actress, the writer/director and/or studio may have taken fictional liberties in order to make the part more attractive for a bigger-name star.
Stars like Julia Roberts (the director had purportedly written the part with her in mind) and Sandra Bullock would most likely have passed on the role if Leigh Anne had been a helper to her husband with a quiet and gentle spirit, rather than how she’s portrayed in the film. After all, being a complementarian doesn’t win Academy Awards; being sassy and ruling over others does.
Sadly, The Blind Side is only one of many films and TV series that depict unbiblical marriages, which is a product of the curse (Gen 3). How many times do we see the shrill, contentious, and overbearing wife married to the emasculated husband who seems obsessed with sex and sports? Why?
The Bible states in Genesis 3:16, “Your desire shall be for your husband and he shall rule over you.” I personally, hold to the interpretation, held by many commentators, where the desire of the woman is to rule or control her husband.
This curse of the fallen woman is simply being portrayed on the big screen as the wish-fulfillment of powerful women and the reality lived out in the lives of many male screenwriters.
Biblical Manhood & Womanhood: Our View
The biblical view of marriage is that a wife is to be a helper to her husband (Gen 3:18). Her priorities are to love God, submit to and respect her husband (Eph 5:22, 33), and care for her children and household (Pro 31; Titus 2:4-5).
As sinners, it is impossible for women to abide by these commandments. It is more natural and common for a woman to want to dominate and disrespect her husband, and to seek her own good over placing the needs of her family first. However, all things are possible with Christ (Phil 4:13).
No one deserves an Oscar more than an actress who can portray a truly biblical wife—to play such a role is a stretch for anyone and a performance of a lifetime.
The Gospel: The Point for All of Life
It’s ironic that Hollywood seems to denigrate and misrepresent biblical Christianity since many of its greatest hits benefit from biblical stories. Christ figures, sacrificial atonement, and redemption abound, as we’ve seen in the finale of television’s Lost, the critically acclaimed The Dark Knight, and even in the still popular Star Wars series.
Hollywood doesn’t seem to learn from these successful films, nor from overtly Christian-themed films such as The Passion of the Christ or Fireproof. Everyone craves a story with redemption because we’re all lost and we know it (Rom 1).
The greatest story of all time is the redemption and salvation of sinful, broken people who deserve the worst punishment. The writer and creator of that story is none other than Jesus Christ Himself. He deserves the greatest acclaim and honor that no critic or award can ever bestow.
For further reading about biblical manhood and womanhood, please go to The Council on Biblical Manhood & Womanhood site.