Homefront movie
7.25 out of 10
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire movie
8.75 out of 10
Disney's Frozen movie
10.0 out of 10
Delivery Man movie
6.75 out of 10
8.25 out of 10

Thursday, February 9, 2012

The Vow

Points of Impact

Rated: PG-13  Sexual content, partial nudity, some language and an accident scene.
Release Date: February 10, 2012
Runtime: 1 hr 44 mins

Director: Michael Sucsy
Writers: Jason Katims, Abby Kohn, Stuart Sender, Marc Silverstein, Michael Sucsy
Cast: Rachel McAdams, Channing Tatum, Jessica Lange, Sam Neill, Jessica McNamee, Scott Speedman

SYNOPSIS: A car accident on a snowy night puts Paige in a coma. When she wakes up with severe memory loss, her husband Leo works desperately to win her heart again.

REVIEW: Michael Sucsy, the writer and director of the Emmy and Golden Globe winning TV movie Grey Gardens, takes a script from the collaboration of Jason Katims (Parenthood, Friday Night Lights), Abby Kohn (Valentine's Day), Stuart Sender (Power of Peace) and Marc Silverstein (
Valentine's Day) to create a story based on true events. 
Paige (Rachel McAdams, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows) and Leo (Channing Tatum, Haywire) share a 'once in a lifetime' love with each other. On one random evening, on the way home during a snowy evening after taking in a film, their car is rear-ended and both Paige and Leo are rushed to the hospital emergency room. Paige is kept in a medical coma in order to deal with the head trauma she suffered from the accident. When she wakes up the doctors and her husband Leo realize that she is missing her memories from the last five years of her life, including her entire relationship with Leo. While Dr. Fishman (Wendy Crewson, The Seeker: The Dark Is Rising) urges Paige to return to her daily routine with Leo, Paige's father Bill (Sam Neill, Daybreakers) and mother Rita (Jessica Lange, American Horror Story) want to return their daughter home with them to recover. Paige considers Leo a stranger and their apartment a foreign place but tries to make a go of what the doctor recommended. After he takes Paige home, Leo tries to rekindle a love with her that he still feels and that she cannot remember.

Based on real people and true events The Vow offers a tender but somewhat heart wrenching view of a man completely in love with a woman, his wife, whose last vivid memories include a fiancee named Jeremy (Scott Speedman, The Strangers) that she remembers still being in love with, and a family she has no memories as why she hasn't spoken to them in several years. Without the points of impact of memories that have shaped her life in the past five years, Paige reverts to a remembered life where she in interested in a law degree instead of a career in art. She finds everything in her life with Leo inconceivable and foreign. Even the choice of the shape of her hair confuses her. Why did she abandon her family? Why did she dump her former fiancee? What decisions and life choices brought her to Leo and sparked their love for each other? And how can Leo rekindle that love without the combined memories that have made her the person he fell in love with to begin with?

Channing Tatum and Rachel McAdams have both starred, separately, in Nicolas Sparks books turned films. In fact, The Vow was billed as such, referencing Sparks' The Notebook and Dear John in the film's trailers. While not a Nicolas Sparks movie, The Vow would appeal to audiences that appreciated those earlier efforts. For most of the ladies, there will be a couple tears. For any guy brought along as a date or support system, the movie will hold interest but will not cause any embarrassing water work moments. Let's face it, The Vow will not hold the emotional pull for guys that a war-torn The Dirty Dozen has (just ask Tom Hanks in Sleepless in Seattle!).

Channing Tatum uses the same acting chops a little bit in The Vow that he exhibited in Dear John. Both happy and content with the love of his life, and desperate to recreate the same life with a memory-devoid wife, Tatum's Leo gives it his all to reignite Paige's love for him to match the love he feels for his lost wife. Rachel McAdams, no stranger to romantic dramedies, plays Paige with the same confidence and competence that she has brought to other roles. Sam Neill plays Paige's father with a grim determination and patriarchal defensiveness. Jessica Lange as Paige's mother plays the dutiful wife eager to reunite her family by any means necessary. And Paige's former fiancee, Jeremy, played by Scott Speedman, adds enough smugness and cockiness to play both the victim from Paige's dumping and the villain who wants to take advantage of Paige's memory loss as a way to reconnect with her.

Not overly comedic as a romantic comedy/drama, The Vow does deliver some funny lines through Leo and Paige's dialogue and from awkward input from the stable of Leo and Paige's current friends, including former roommates Kyle (Lucas Bryant, Haven) and Josh (Joey Klein, American Gangster). Moreover, Channing uses a little stammering and stuttering to endear himself to the 'new' Paige, as well. And to the ladies delight, the story strategically places partial nude screens with Tatum to maximize his six-pack abs and rear-end.

The Vow works as a chick flick in a season barren of any romantic comedies. Based on true events and the people who have endured those events, this film follows in the style we have come to expect from films sourced from Nicolas Sparks books, but also may disappoint because it is not a Nicolas Sparks adaptation at all. Life is a culmination of series of events that make us who we are at any given moment. Take those events away by way of stolen memories brought on by head trauma, and you may find yourself unable to recognize yourself in the mirror. 

WORTH: Matinee or Rental

No comments:

Post a Comment