Film Review: The Vow
Wait, this isn’t a Nicholas Sparks movie? Fuck, that ruins about half of what I was going to say.
Oh well, moving on.
TL;DR Predictable and bland, this entirely obvious romance is saved only by some earnest performances from Tatum and McAdams. 2 out of 5 stars.
I was going to start by having a bitch about how Channing Tatum and Rachel McAdams have both done Nicholas Sparks movies before, but I guess that’s out now. Fuck.
Anyway, I had two major problems with this movie that I just couldn’t get over. And they both have to do with McAdams’ character Paige.
Firstly, who the fuck wouldn’t want to wake up and find themselves married to Channing Tatum? Are you fucking insane, bitch? He’s hot as hell, and his character Leo is sensitive, successful enough to support your dreams, and has hipster friends that aren’t douchebags. He’s goddamn perfect, and little miss dickface just wants to go back with her obviously evil parents, a sister she hasn’t spoken to in 5 years, and her much less hot former boyfriend. Get the fuck out.
Secondly, there’s much teasing from the movie about why Paige left her upper class lifestyle and chose sexy bohemia. Spoiler alert, it’s because her dad had an affair with one of her school friends. That is literally it. The friend in question is in a total of two scenes, and is never brought up apart from those. Paige literally rage quit her life to study art (let me tell you, not a good move. Unless you snag Channing Tatum) because she found out her dad had an affair. Even her mother doesn’t really give a shit about it, telling Paige that she thinks all the things he did right trump his one error. And she’s right. Grow the fuck up, Paige.
Keep in mind, assuming Paige is around 30ish, she would have done this rage quitting when she was 25. She wasn’t a kid. Fuck.
Oh, and another GLARING plot hole is the convenient absence of something that would tell Paige everything she needs to know about her life: Facebook. Early on, the movie makes a point to establish that she has no journals, and she finds snippets of her wedding video and a voicemail on Leo’s phone to help her remember what she was like. The movie never states what time period it’s in, but the level of technology suggests contemporary. Just look up your fucking Facebook account, bitch.
What held me in this until the end, though, was the performances from the two leads. Tatum, in particular, gives a truly earnest go at his downtrodden role. You can only look at those sad eyes for so long. I’m not made of stone (not all of me, anwyay).
He really was kind of fantastic. Sure, it was a simple role, with really only one note (“I’m hot and sad”), but I wanted more.
McAdams does a decent job, despite the fact her character is a ridiculous bitch the whole time.
Why I hate this movie:
Check your fucking Facebook!
The opening is long-winded. The Vow goes to great pain to show us how perfectly in love Leo and Paige were before the accident. They’re far too perfect, and it’s boring.
Tatum does a bit of narration at the start, and it is horrifyingly bad (think Meredith from Grey’s Anatomy, but written by Nicholas Sparks. You now understand my confusion). This pops back up at the end to spoil an otherwise decent ending.
There are a few predictable moments. The awkward family dinner at Paige’s parents’ house was so obvious. Likewise, Leo’s run-in with Jeremy (Paige’s first fiancee) at her sister’s wedding. You know from the second they’re both in frame together that Jeremy is going to be a dick and Leo’s going to punch him. We’ve all watched The OC, haven’t we?
Paige is an incredibly uncaring bitch when she first wakes up. I know it’d be pretty freaky, but come on. She is such a little brat towards Leo that I kind of didn’t care when she started becoming herself again.
There’s a spelling mistake in the divorce contract. It flashes on screen twice. It says “…true and correct to the best of may knowledge and belief.” Come on, guys.
And seriously, how much support does your fucking sister need to organise her wedding? As far as she knew, you weren’t even coming, let alone helping get it together. Terrible excuse, Paige. Go fuck Channing Tatum, for God’s sake.
Reasons to watch:
I kept picturing myself offering a consoling hug to Leo. Every. Goddamn. Scene. He. Was. In. I am not ashamed.
Leo actually has a go at standing up for himself when Paige gives him the stink eye for the zillionth time. Sure, it’s pretty much just so he can grovel and get her to fall in love with him again, but at least he’s proactive. If he’d just been sitting around crying the entire time, that would have been pretty fucking boring.
The effects for the car accident look great. I believe that head injury.
I have to give kudos for the writers at least trying to be a bit subversive. The mother’s speech about staying for all the stuff he did right is pretty awesome. I’m sick of rom-coms (or dramas, in this case) being so black and white. Nice to see a movie, especially one as treacly as this, try to be mature and sensible.
And apparently this was inspired by a real life story. They show a photo of them at the end, which I think adds a nice touch of reality.
This really isn’t a Nicholas Sparks movie? Pseudonym. Has to be. 2 out of 5 stars.