Directed by Michael Sucsy. Starring Rachel McAdams, Channing Tatum, Scott Speedman, Sam Neill and Jessica Lange. 120 minutes. 14A
I saw this movie on Valentine’s Day (hold your judgement) and on a discount Tuesday, so needless to say, there was a line wrapping around the movie’s entrance. And while I can’t say it was completely worth the wait, it wasn’t entirely regrettable. Actually, I can’t say I hold any firm stance on this movie at all.
I love romances. But that being said, I’m extremely picking about the romances I see. I’m not really into rom-coms, unless it stars Drew Barrymore, though I’ve seen nearly all the Jennifer Aniston, Jennifer Lopez and Kate Hudson ones, plus more. I’m into what I feel is a representation of true, honest, passionate love, ie. the likes of Moulin Rouge!, Cold Mountain and such. Truthfully, I probably wouldn’t have seen The Vow if not for some convincing from my own real life love (and when else better to be lovey dovey than on Valentine’s Day). Turns out, it’s watchable. Though that’s about it.
The story follows young married couple Paige (Rachel McAdams) and Leo (Channing Tatum) who are truly, madly, deeply (cue the Savage Garden song) in love, until she smashes her head through the wind shield in a car accident and forgets who he is.
Full disclosure: I became a Channing Tatum un-fan just prior to seeing this movie. For me, and I’d think most, hosting SNL the weekend before this movie came out probably hurt it more than promoted it because he was so utterly unfunny. I fell asleep after I could take no more of the stripper jokes. Had The Vow actually been really good, I might have been convinced that I was wrong about him, but instead, I’ve discovered that he’s neither good at comedy nor romance. I’m not betting on drama or anything else really.
McAdams was cute and charming as usual, though that wasn’t enough to make it through bad writing. The movie a much sadder concept than its execution. I could get teary just thinking about it. I didn’t feel for these characters, yet I felt for the real-life couple whose actual story I never really knew. Meanwhile, Jessica Lange could use more screen time (as she always could).
Admittedly, it wasn’t as corny as I’d expected. It had potential. It just wasn’t executed well. I have an idea! Let’s rewrite it! Ryan Gosling can star as the lead, it’ll be set in the 1940s in South Carolina and they will share a very passionate kiss in the pouring rain. Ah, much better. B-