Arts & CultureFilm & TV

‘The Vow’ is not the greatest romance story every told

I’ve seen my fair share of blah chick flicks. (Let’s just say I went on a romantic comedy kick in high school.) And “The Vow” certainly counts as one of those so-so cute movies you watch when you’re sick as a dog and lie on the couch all day with nothing better to do.@@i don’t feel inspired to read beyond this [email protected]@

It has a promising, sigh-inducing, gushy premise, don’t get me wrong. Paige (Rachel McAdams)@@ is a cute artist living in Chicago, deeply in love with her husband, Leo (Channing Tatum).@@ An unfortunate car accident one night changes everything: Paige wakes up from a coma without any memory of Leo, which makes his lovesick face a total stranger to her.@@:(@@ Leo “vows” to make her fall in love with him all over again. Sounds like the plot to a romance novel, amiright?@@why doesn’t he just explain/show that they are married? end of [email protected]@

But it’s a frustrating story. Paige has amnesia, and yeah, that sucks, and you pity her and poor Leo. But she seems to revert to a juvenile, immature young woman the moment she loses her memory. Paige has wealthy, conservative roots; her mother is a Stepford Wife lookalike, and her menacing, stodgy father dreams of her becoming a lawyer. Paige was inexplicably estranged from them before the accident, but once she loses her memory, she runs back to them with open arms. Admittedly, this is understandable; we all need our mommies and daddies at times, but Paige doesn’t seem to wonder why she stopped talking to them five years ago.@@uh duh…who’s going to be the douche that is going to tell her that she isn’t supposed to get along with her [email protected]@

Paige doesn’t understand herself or the life she doesn’t remember, but at the same time it’s frustrating as an audience member to see her seemingly not put any effort into trying to figure it out. She looks askance at her current, liberal way of living — complete with crocheted dresses, farmers market strawberries and an awesome urban apartment in Chicago — and doesn’t try to understand the change. Her fuzzy, unkempt hair and her art studio seem like foreign objects. And instead of getting to know her Chicago hipster friends again, she revisits her old high-school girlfriends, makes eyes at her former preppy fiance, Jeremy, and gets sucked into helping plan her sister’s lavish upcoming wedding.

“She’s a sweater-set-wearing, blueberry mojito-drinking sorority girl,” Leo says, dumbfounded at her behavior.@@oh [email protected]@

Paige’s treatment of Leo is the most frustrating part of the film. Sure, she doesn’t remember him, but she doesn’t try to get to know him for the longest time.@@so! she doesn’t remember him! did he fail to show her their wedding [email protected]@ Paige cries, tells him to leave her alone and throws tantrums about how “it’s not fair.”@@maybe she is just faking her forgetfulness and inwardly wants to start [email protected]@ I’d like to think that if I or anyone I know suffered amnesia from a brain injury, even though the experience would be terrible, I wouldn’t act like a child.

“I’m trying to help you but I’m not your punching bag,” Leo says at one point. “This is hard for me, too, Paige.”@@”oh, by the way, did i mention that we are married?” this movie would have been over so long [email protected]@

Tatum’s Leo is loveable; however, he doesn’t do much for me as a leading man. Though he’s shirtless in a couple scenes, his painfully dull voice-over narration at the beginning and ending of the film negates any brownie points he earns. There are only so many times I can hear the word or the reference to “the vow” @@before [email protected]@ (re: the title of the movie, also: their wedding vows) or the double meaning behind “moment of impact” (re: the car accident, also: major life decisions).

There are some highlights in the film. Chicago looks beautiful, McAdams looks beautiful, Tatum looks beautiful (I guess). And the couple does have some touching moments, even if more than half of them are sad.

Throughout most of the film, I felt like McAdams wasn’t given much to work with. She’s a much more talented actress than a chick flick like “The Vow” gives her credit for. And, as her third blatantly romantic movie@@i thought this was a romantic comedy, like the intro [email protected]@ coming after “The Notebook” and “The Time Traveler’s Wife,” “The Vow” is definitely not the most charming one. Skip the theater and wait for it on DVD if you still want to watch it.

Grade: C@@i think this deserves a lower grade than a ‘c’@@

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