Monday, March 19, 2012

THE VOW - Lacks The Wow Factor

THE VOW (romantic comedy)
Cast: Rachel McAdams, Channing Tatum, Jessica Lange, Sam Neill, Jessica McNamee, Wendy Crewson, Tatiana Maslany and Scott Speedman
Director: Michael Sucsy
Screenplay: Abby Kohn, Marc Silverstein and Michael Sucsy
Time: 105 mins
Rating: *  *  1/2  (out of 4)

Channing Tatum and Rachel McAdams in THE VOW
PREAMBLE: If someone were to ask me what appeal The Vow has for the romantically-inclined women out there, I would say that it offers them the pleasure of watching a man court his wife twice - before and after marriage. Most women don't get to see a man woo his wife after they are hitched.

WHAT'S IT ABOUT? Paige (Rachel McAdams) and Leo (Channing Tatum) are a happily married couple living in the artsy side of Chicago. He owns a recording studio while she is a sculptor. One night, after attending a play, a car accident sends Paige through the wind shield and into the hospital in a coma. When she awakes, her memory is reset to the time when she was in law school and engaged to a guy named Jeremy (Scott Speedman).

She has no recollection of Leo or her experiences with him. This mishap opens the door for her estranged Mom (Jessica Lange) and Dad (Sam Neill) who are on hand to provide care and comfort - but no help with her memory of Leo . Rather than seeing Paige's amnesia as a chance to start a new life, Leo decides to woo her and win her heart again!

The biggest problem with any rom-com is that the leads lack chemistry. In this 'based-on-true-events' caper directed by Michael Sucsy, Tatum and McAdams are more like eye-candies to lure people to the movie. We see banter and sensual vibes between Tatum and McAdams but no romantic chemistry throughout the numerous scenes of them together. Ironically, there is more chemistry between Tatum and Tatiana Maslany (the girl who plays Lily, his assistant at the recording studio) in their few scenes together, making us wish that Leo would forget about Paige and turn his attention to this woman who keeps his business going while he woos his wife. 

Through no fault of her own, McAdams appears somewhat self-centred: her Paige is shown to be always in need of wooing - and Paige lacks warmth and the ability to reciprocate love. The audience, especially the men, may sympathise with Leo but Paige will always be just a pretty face - and a heavenly bod in bra and panties by the Lakes.

The love-triangle (Leo-Paige-Jeremy) subplot turns out rather lame, and an attempt to demonise Sam Neill's character falls flat. Still, I am glad that Sucsy has resisted the temptation to go for soppy writing and wring the tear drops out of women in the audience.

Also, there is a very sloppy piece of writing that goes against the law of nature. When a truck hits you from the rear, nobody is going to fly out of the wind-shield! You'll get a nasty whiplash, any secondary science student can tell you that!

Predictable and rather corny.


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