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Would your partner fall in love with you again?

Paige – Rachel McAdams
Leo – Channing Tatum
Rita Thornton – Jessica Lange
Bill Thornton – Sam Neill
Gwen – Jessica McNamee
Dr. Fishman – Wendy Crewson
Lily – Tatiana Maslany
Kyle – Lucas Bryant
Jeremy – Scott Speedman

Well it’s Valentines week and looky here. The number one movie at the box office is The Vow starring Channing Tatum and Rachel McAdams.
Really, this film could be called Good Looking People In Crisis. They take some of the best looking people in Hollywood and put them through the ringer.
I liked this film. Not fan girl liked as I was accused by one of my staff, but enjoyed the look of it in a very macho heterosexual way.
There’s a couple of reasons for that I think.
For one thing, it’s directed by Michael Sucsy who also directed HBO’s Grey Gardens. I watched the original documentary and it was my own personal moment of impact. I couldn’t take my eyes off the film even though there were much more pressing matters that needed addressing. Sucsy directed the film based on that source material and it’s also a good watch. He brings that sensibility to The Vow. It’s nice to watch. It looks good. Clean. Big. Visually, I got lost in it. He also underplays some of the cheesier moments. More on that later.

I also really like Rachel McAdams. She’s becoming something of a Canadian legend, not just for her excellent performances in some of the better films of the last near decade, but also for not going Hollywood. My first recollection of her is in Wedding Crashers. Great film, great performance. It’s not easy standing out in a comedy where you’re not featured. She did and her body of work is becoming impressive. Ok maybe they’re not Streepesque but I’m a whore and her movies make big money. She also has this reputation of being down-to-earth, still rides her bike around Toronto and is apparently kind to puppies.
Then there’s Channing Tatum. I have it on good authority that he’s good looking, a fact I could have lived my whole life without knowing.
He’s interesting and looks like he could easily cross the line between nice guy to ‘Let’s go hunting humans’, but at least in this film, nice guy wins.
Our story so far.
Leo and Paige meet randomly at the DMV. He’s smart enough to recognize his moment of impact, as he describes in a seemingly ever present voice-over. Right from the start we like them. She really does have charisma and who knows, maybe he’s every man who ever dated above his expectations. There’s real chemistry and the next series of “moments” show us the sweet courtship and eventual marriage of these two crazy kids.
The next moment is when a snow plow drives into their vehicle from behind sending her through the windshield and triggering the real story arc of this film.
Paige has memory loss.
Not all of it. Just every moment she ever spent with Leo.
She remembers up until her time at law school which includes dating a good looking loser named Jeremy who is pretty happy she doesn’t remember why they broke up and lets her good looking parents Sam Neill and Jessica Lange take over her life despite the fact that five years earlier they had a total falling out and she was estranged from them from that moment on.
With good cause, I might add but of course, she doesn’t remember that either.
It’s an interesting snapshot of the open season that apparently comes once you’re in a coma and have a brain injury.
Through it all is Leo, trying to make Paige happy and acting altruistically, occasionally at his own peril.
He really does love her and will move anything to ease her journey.
Here’s the thing.
It’s an interesting concept. Would your partner fall in love with you again if they didn’t know you? Is it you, is it the moment?
There are a lot of moments in this film that are so close to making this an over-the-top-cheese-monster, but the fact that it’s based on a true story helps keep it between the lines. The fact is that Leo has to come hard and come correct because Paige really is pretty sweet on Jeremy and the parents don’t want her to get her memory back so they’re invested in keeping her in the past.
For Jeremy, who’s broke and a bit of a scum bucket, it’s an easy ticket to a pretty sweet ride. That part of the film is intriguing in terms of the bad behaviour her accident inspires.
At the end of the day it’s a really nice story.
Not sickeningly sweet and enough of a payoff to keep everyone happy. No weep fest either and at no point did I feel manipulated.
I liked The Vow.
There I said it. I could cop a plea and pretend I had to watch it because I was reviewing, but I wanted to see it. I was looking forward to it.
And while we’re clearing the air, I’ve seen Project Runway Stars and those crazy kids have talent. Oh sure, I had to watch the dirty dozen just to get the love of teal out of my system but I’m not ashamed to admit it.
You got a problem with that send your comments to
Seriously guys, it isn’t horrible and your girl will appreciate the effort. It’s like a kids movie that has adult humour.
For the ladies it’s a great love story but would you? Take a long look at that guy sitting next to you who just backwashed into your drink and laughed.
Would you really?
The Vow is a really nice movie and I recommend it whole heartedly. Happy Valentine’s Day folks.
As always, other opinions are welcome, but wrong. That’s it for this week. The cheque’s in the mail and I’m outta here. Paul

Filed Under: Paul Peterson

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  1. Sharlene says:

    Your review is spectacular Paul!!!! I cannot wait to see this movie!

  2. marsha says:

    I loved your review and will see the movie…it is a must…..thanks for sharing Paul…….!!!!!

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