The Reel Deal with Missy & Molly ‘The Vow’: Just Valentine mush?

Missy Katner

Lumen Assistant Editor

&

Molly Grosskreutz

A&E Editor

“The Vow” is inspired by a true story, as the movie continually re­minds the audience. Paige (Ra­chel McAdams) is an artist living a lovey-dovey life in Chicago with her husband Leo (Channing Tatum). Af­ter a car accident, Paige wakes up in the hospital with no memory of the last five years or her husband. Leo has no choice but to try to make his wife fall in love with him again.

MK: I’m going to throw this out there: Yes, ladies, Tatum is a fine specimen of a man. But does any­one really think it’s a good idea to cast him in a starring role? It’s like throwing a gorilla in front of the camera.

MG: I completely understand why the producers wanted him for the part—as far as heartthrobs go, he’s a home run. But personally, I found it really hard to believe that men of Tatum’s carefully manufactured ap­pearance and physique roam the streets of Chicago, ready to be chat­ted up at the nearest parking meter. And as far as his acting is concerned, he’s just a face. Note to producers: Having Channing Tatum in your film does not by any means indicate you have produced fine cinema.

MK: I disliked this movie for several reasons. After the accident, Paige is drawn to the people she remem­bers—her estranged family and for­mer fiancé—instead of her husband. This is understandable, I guess. But Paige begins to avoid and ditch him while she giggles with old girl­friends. You’re still married to him, dingbat.

MG: As always, I will come to Ra­chel McAdams’s defense, and say only that while she is beautiful and endearing, the role does not give her much opportunity to be very like­able.

MK: I thought McAdams might be able to carry this movie on her charm alone. Not this time. The movie insinuates that straighten­ing your hair, having conservative ideals, and wanting to be a lawyer automatically makes you a shallow, borderline mean person. It bugged me that Paige is such a b— (fill in the blank) in her “old” life. That’s quite a drastic change in five years. Were you convinced, Molly?

MG: I was not. The writers could not have come up with a more cookie-cutter, Stepford “bad girl.” I was disappointed that they relied so heavily on using the “preppy” stereotype to construct Paige’s back­story.

MK: Leo and his hipster friends with their clothes straight off the racks of American Apparel are laughable. No offense to hipsters. But the movie tries too hard to convince the viewer how quirky! and exciting! and free-spirited! these characters are.

MG: The same application of ste­reotypes, on the opposite end of the scale. The eclectic apartment, the flannel and plaid…each character is so “individually” stylized that they end up looking and feeling all the same.

MK: Indeed. Also, the plot drags, twists, and jumps in very strange places. All of it feels forced. Much of it doesn’t even make sense. I found myself just having to go with it. Random cuts to Paige’s abandoned piece of art. All right. Leo feeds a piece of pizza to a stray cat. Okay.

MG: This may be a spoiler alert, but the abandoned piece of art is such a red herring! And I agree that it is just a…weird…ride the whole time. Leo is singing now? So be it, then…

MK: A moment to savor, for sure. During a silence in the film, one audience member spoke aloud my feelings toward this movie: “Wait—what!?”

MG: I had a bad feeling about this film from the start. I wanted to be­lieve the best because I absolutely adore everything Rachel McAdams is in, but her character’s shallow­ness and Tatum’s predictable “I’m sad and brooding”-ness were disap­pointing.

MK: There are worse chick flicks out there. Much worse. However, “The Vow” isn’t memorable enough to deserve such notoriety. After Val­entine’s Day week, girls will stop dragging their boyfriends to go see it, and “The Vow” will fade away…like it never happened. So if you have a Y chromosome or high cine­matic standards, I discourage seeing this movie.

Final Verdict:

MG: Thumbs Down.

MK: Thumbs Down.

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