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Grab Bag Review: ‘The Vow’ Wants You To Fall In Love With It, And You Will

You know what is sadder than sad? Going to see a “date” movie alone. Walking into a movie theater in the middle of the week, late at night and it is packed with couples is somewhat depressing. I have put off going to see The Vow for several reasons. One, I don’t really like movies like that. Well lets be real, that is the only reason. I very much enjoy almost all types of movies; however these romantic cliché films are just not my cup of tea. With that said, I loved The Vow.

If you have seen a preview for The Vow then you know what it’s about…guy and girl meet, fall in love and tragedy happens. In this case, Rachel McAdams character Paige gets into a car accident late one night with her husband Leo played by Channing Tatum. They both wake up in the hospital, him with minor scrapes and bruises, her several weeks later with severe brain trauma which impacts her memory and she remembers nothing of the past five years, including the life with her Leo. He tries to get her to fall in love with him. She wants to figure out who she really is. They eat a lot. The apartment they live in is fantastic. Good things occur. Bad things occur. There is a wedding. Some bribery. Lots of food eating. A face punch. And lots of tears. I don’t know why this theme did not interest me when I saw the preview week after week. It just doesn’t sound believable to me. For some reason I thought this was a Nicholas Spark’s film (which btw I have never seen one of those movies). The Vow is actually based on a true story. Who knew things like this really happened?

Channing Tatum has never done it for me in the acting department (and his teeth are awful, they look like chiseled down Chiclets…I’m thinking veneers). Any movie that he has been in (She’s The Man and yes folks, even G.I. Joe…what can I say, I am easily entertained) that I have seen I’ve actually enjoyed, BUT not because of him. The guy can actually act. Or at least he did in this picture. Perhaps he should stick to romantic dramas instead of being the tough, pursed lip macho-man he tends to portray. Rachel McAdams, the ever sweet talented ingénue she is…love her.

Both actors brought depth to their characters and you actually feel for both of them (oh my gosh I am turning into a girl). Regardless if they end up together or not, as a viewer you get a sense of what they are going through and you want what is best for the situation. If I woke up from having severe brain trauma and remembered my past up until five years ago I don’t think I’d fair very well. Hell, I would still be in a relationship with a prescription drug using, passive-aggressive alcoholic (man those were good times) and in college. Tatum and McAdams play off each other very well in almost every scene they are in together. The audience can relate to them because you want to be them. Not the situation per say, but the deep heartfelt love which is represented on the screen.

The supporting cast is awesome as well. Jessica Lange is gorgeous. Sam Neil is getting really good at playing jerks. Scott Speedman portrays the swarmy “other guy” very well. Not sure if I really like him or not, but he has this character down and he did a good job with what he was given. The rest of the cast I can not really vouch for because I honestly don’t think I have ever seen any of them in anything, but the film makers cast appropriately.

The only downside to the movie (besides sitting by myself) was the clichéd family stuff. The rich girl/guy gone rogue and marries a bohemian because their life was so horrible is played out. Every family has their drama and secrets. Why does it always have to be the same thing in movies (and if you don’t know what the family scandal is I will tell you…infidelity). Come on Hollywood, shake it up a bit. Give us something new.

If you want a good date movie, or if you are pathetic like I am (I didn’t even get Junior Mints this time…dang dieting) then please go see The Vow. If you have no heart or soul then go see something else.

4.5 Bags

About the author

James Fitzpatrick

A self-appointed non-conformist movie enthusiast, I enjoy everything from films depicting alien robots transforming into transportation devices(awesome), thrasher film victims running away from their walking attackers (comical) and overweight individuals over coming domestic violence (engaging). Growing up in the smog induced skies of Southern California, I am the lover of good, bad and horrible movies of all types. The quintessential movie fan whom happens to be (in whispered tones) gay, who would rather watch action movies then musicals (even though I like those sing-along films) any day. Presently living in the Valley of the Sun (Phoenix), I hold a B.S. in Family & Human Development, a B.A. in Sociology and a MAS in Infant Family Practice. I have a deep care and understanding for people and am very knowledgeable about culture and society... with all my brains, compassion and academic know how, I can admit to my love of atrocious 80’s film (The Pirate Movie).