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  • Writer's pictureSteve

The Vow (2012)

To quote Tatum's character Leo, I also have a theory; If anyone needed to be put through a windscreen against her will, with enough speed to land her in hospital, then Paige (McAdams) appears to be today's deserving soul. These two young lovers are so perfect, you can actually see the sun shining out through the back of their trousers. Incidentally and conveniently bohemian, beautiful, artistic and creative, they just make you want to spit balls of flaming sarcasm at them. Endearing from the outset, they are not. It is not until the accident that their lives begin to become more interesting and less bile inducing for the audience.

Okay, let's not kid ourselves, this is chick flick 101 really. Boy meets girl, boy and girl fall in love, get married, have a life-changing car accident, split up because she has lost her memory and so on and so on.... It's all too twee to be kosher, frankly. This does not happen to people in real life, which is why they put it on film for women everywhere to dream that their boyfriend/husband/significant other was just like that.

But you know all of this already as you have seen this done just as well, if not better, before. Aside from the predictable plot with a suitably estranged and yet grasping family, working feverishly in the background to get back the daughter they once knew at the expense of a husband that they have never met, there really isn't alot of originality bubbling away here. Stand alone, this is not a bad effort and has hints of one of my favourite films, 'About Last Night' though the writing here is not on a par with anything that David Mamet would come up with.

One of the greatest differences between the two, and what makes The Vow a much lesser experience is its soul. Mamet's play 'Sexual Perversity in Chicago' from which About Last Night adapted its screenplay had similar veins, but with the addition of humour and characters that were relatable to the audience. Here, it starts badly and improves a little, but you never feel compelled by the character's plight. When you see Rob Lowe standing in the rain, telling Demi Moore that he loves her, you actually feel like he does. The same cannot be said here, no matter how much you may want it to be true. In all honesty, it's just not convincing enough, be it by the acting talent or the words that come out of their mouths.

What honestly began as an eye-rolling potential waste of time did indeed have some merit and will appeal (surprise) to the more feminine members of the audience, casting as it does, a besotted (albeit naïve), well-meaning hulk of a man in Tatum that knows what true love is and does everything he can to secure it, despite many obstacles. The acting is not great on average, though McAdams puts in enough of a performance to rile over and then silently revel in by the end.


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