I love campy garbage -- particularly themed campy garbage -- so naturally after I was so satisfied by the amazing Burlesque, I hesitantly anticipated that Country Strong would be another new entry in the annals of so-bad-it's-good-classics. But, unfortunately, it's just kind of blandly bad, and unforgivably little fun. Shockingly, though? It's not bad because of Gwyneth Paltrow -- she's actually pretty good in it! Life's full of little surprises, isn't it?
There is little worse in the world of mainstream film than movies designed to "inspire" or "uplift" through cheesy clichéd tropes of some poor bastard rising above the impossible through sheer pluck and magical, hidden talents. Moreover, when those stories also involve a white woman helping a minority individual to discover this hidden worth inside themselves by getting them off "the streets" and showing them what books are, it's usually not just bad entertainment, it's also offensive, condescending and harmful. Judging by the atrocious Blind Side trailers, I thought I was in for the worst of both those worlds, but, and I can't believe I'm saying this, it's smarter and more self-aware than that, and honestly, not that bad of a movie.