Rachel McAdams is one of my favourite actresses. Honestly, I could watch her read the phonebook. This makes it all the more inexcusable, then, that I found The Vow to be such a totally soulless piece of filmmaking. I rarely end up seeing these Nicholas Sparksesque films (the last might’ve been Charlie St Cloud) because the trailers always look awful and I hope that my website’s audience won’t ever actually go to one of these films. But I went to see The Vow and was taken aback by the filmmakers’ total contempt for their audience’s intelligence and levels of emotional sophistication. I will cry when I want to, not when your third rate script tells me I should!
And that’s one of the film’s biggest problems: the script. Crass and manipulative in equal measure, the script seems to lift all the corniest lines without throwing in any sort of endearing humanity. There’s one particular moment where that façade of vulgarity drops but it’s clear that it was an accidental moment caught on camera and the fact that it stands out so clearly is an indication of how contrived the rest of it feels. Rachel McAdams’ glamorous head injury, which renders her unable to remember the last five years (i.e her relationship with Channing Tatum), is a slightly absurd plot device but the fact that it’s explored in such a vague, superficial way is surely inexcusable.
The acting doesn’t help. There’s a moment (where Tatum signs away his life) where I, momentarily, felt for his character but the next scene sees him feeding a cute cat, topless. It’s stupid emotional porn for couples with extremely whipped guys. Tatum struggles to make his character seem anything more than moronic and it’s not helped by the sitcom style shooting that primarily takes place in what looks like the apartment from Friends. And, for God’s sake, shallow depth of field does not mean the same thing as emotional resonance! Yes, there are fucking fairly lights but they look nice when they’re in focus as well, you cinematographical whore!
Bad writing, acting and direction mean that this sentimental story never leaves the ground and ends up burying its head in the sand. Does have Rachel McAdams though.
|Starring:||Rachel McAdams, Channing Tatum, Sam Neill, Scott Speedman, Jessica Lange|
|Running Time:||Oh, I don't know, a million hours?|