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Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Movie Review: The Vow (2012)

The Vow
Cast: Rachel McAdams, Channing Tatum, Sam Neill, Jessica Lange, Scott Speedman
Genre: Romantic Drama
Worldwide Box Office Gross: over $196 million 

Plot: A car accident puts Paige in a coma, and when she wakes up with severe memory loss, her husband Leo works to win her heart again

'Almost Nothing Movie'

Within the romantic film genre, be it drama, comedy or elsewhere, there is good and bad, and yet in most cases and in my eyes, the bad tends to outweigh the good, sadly but that is usually the general consensus for these movies from pretty much everyone. Or anyone who is not a fan of romantic movies. The Vow is the rom-drama version of 50 First Dates that also kind of reminds me of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind with one of the characters losing their memory- only it is far tamer, blander and so vanilla, even though it is actually based on and inspired by actual events, the way it all unfolds makes one think otherwise. 

A young couple, Leo and Paige are in love, when all of a sudden the pairing is involved in a head-on car collision with a truck, sending Paige through the window of their car. They end up in hospital, with Leo okay, yet Paige has no memory of Leo or of their relationship together. Leo has to go out of his way to make her remember and to win her back. 

I only noticed two of the writers of this movie also did the rom-com turd that is Garry Marshall's Valentine's Day, and so it's no surprise to see that level of mediocrity seep into The Vow as well. 

The film also loses an additional mark for including Meatloaf's ''I Will Do Anything For Love'' from me, & it's a song that I loathe. I guess with The Vow is no different to the millions of other generic and tepid romantic comedies & dramas that rarely go beyond the boundaries & instead stays in its own comfort zone. It's everything one expects: boy and girl meet and fall in love, something happens, they fall out of love, then get back together, blah, blah, blah. 

Rachel McAdams showed early promise in Mean Girls, as well as she did well in The Notebook & The Time Traveller's Wife, - yet but for that, her movie career has been so-so in a way that she never really broke out as a major Hollywood Actress. & in this mediocre movie, it didn't help her here one bit. Both Rachel and Channing are rom-com/drama material - even if he is not as good as Ryan Gosling in The Notebook, but they were clearly undone by a mediocre and drab screenplay, with Paige acting as the spoilt brat after her accident. Neither Rachel McAdams and Channing Tatum could bring anything that was that credible to the screen. Sam Neil and Jessica Lange as Paige's parents had precious little to do and they were mostly sidelined in this movie when the writers should have shoehorned their characters into the story.   

In the hands of a far more capable and consummate director, the film would have something truly meaningful to say; instead, it tries to come across as cute -yet incredibly vanilla and so one-note that is approached with none of the satisfaction and charm and without ever truly showing the actual struggles and hurdles Leo and Paige are going through, and of which they should be going through. It is also far too melodramatic, simple, feels too ordinary and whilst it tries to distance itself from other movies of this type & be kind of quirky, one can dress The Vow up as much as they want - and still, it would still be a mediocre and forgettable romantic movie and the same type of movie that is seen a million times before it. With very little to no tension and conflict thrown into the mix, the journey from A to B just wasn't sufficient enough. It also tries too hard to win the audiences' sympathy and it lacked a deeper understanding of love that wasn't sappy and mawkish. 

Plus, there just wasn't much heart or emotional purity that came through. 

Final Verdict:

Vapid, boring and superficial on the outset, The Vow doesn't change my views on most romantic movies in general and this felt like a sheer waste of the source material that wasn't put to good use at all.

My vow to this movie is never again.


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