wogma rating: Watch when on TV/online (?)
The most clichéd bit of The Vow isn’t the lead pair, the plot or even the look of the film. It’s the background music – the piano interspersed with a part cheerful, part morose violin set. This immediately changes to a peppy pop song when the couple is all romantic and in love. If you learn to ignore this, and romance films are your thing – then The Vow will give you exactly that. However steer clear of the film if you’re looking for a rom-com; The Vow isn’t funny and you’d be better off watching 50 first dates instead.Read more
Channing Tatum and Rachel McAdams look pretty darn good together. He’s handsome and manly, she’s petite and cute. You’ve won your battle by casting right in a romantic film – where the aim is for the audience to feel the love. It makes the job easier when the lead actors make a good looking pair. The Vow then is a love story between two fairly young individuals who find themselves in a bit of a spot.
Everything seems romantically blissful for the newlyweds, Leo and Paige. They seem merrily in love, and their little parade of glee gets cut short when Paige loses her memory in a car accident. She doesn’t remember anything that happened in the last 5 years.
On her part, McAdams does the whole confused bit pretty convincingly. Tatum is madly in love with his wife and through regular flashbacks we see the wonderfully romantic things he does for her – and you want to yank her out of her memory loss. But here’s the movie’s biggest problem: nothing is strong enough.
The love becomes corny every now and then, no emotion (be it the horror of a memory loss, the frustration of a husband sharing an apartment with his stranger wife and so on) is established strong enough. Halfway through any portrayal, you already want to move onto to the main question the film poses: will she regain her memory?
The Vow is based on a real-life incident involving Kim and Krickitt Carpenter, but it doesn’t really grip enough. The first few minutes of the film looks wonderfully bohemian, when we see Leo and Paige’s life. Her art studio with abstract clay cut outs, their apartment filled with color coordinated furniture in different shapes. But really, if that’s the one thing I remember warming my heart, the real hero of this film is production designer Kalina Ivanov.
Unlike similarly plotted film, 50 First Dates, this film doesn’t have a comedy streak to fall back on. Or a goofy Adam Sandler. It could have been a fairly gripping film, with an interesting plot, if it steered clear of the regular cliché: love conquers all. Treated differently, perhaps the film could have focused on how Leo strives to make her fall back in love with him. On the contrary, The Vow leaves much to chance for the lead pair to realize their feelings for one another.
Sure, it’s a well-behaved clean average film. If you’re in the mood for a cheesy weekend flick, The Vow delivers promptly. It could have been a crisp film; free from melodrama had the dialogues been given more attention, but with a good looking lead pair and a regular dose of love, this is your run-off-the-mill romance movie. If you’re into it, it gives you exactly what you want.
This review is by guest reviewer Swetha Ramakrishnan. Swetha Ramakrishnan is currently living and working in Mumbai. She's a self-confessed film enthusiast and can most likely be found talking to anyone and everyone about popular cinema and her love for SRK. Swetha Ramakrishnan also blogs at http://swetharamakrishnan.blogspot.com/.
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