Movie Reviews. From the Hip.


"What should we see this weekend?"

"Will that be any good?"

"What would DORIEN SAY?"

... Here's what DORIEN SEZ.

Welcome to the premiere movie reviewer that JUDGES FILMS BEFORE THEY COME OUT! Armed only with a few previews and a crack-shot snap judgment, I bring you the most succinct, accurate, and cocksure film reviews this side of the River Wild... which sucked!


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

THE VOW (February 10th)

Here's what's wrong with this movie.  It's based on an interesting and poignant true story, but the details and idiosyncrasies of that story have been trimmed and thrown away like so much toenail, and substituted for familiar characters, corny lines, and the sentimental tone of your run-of-the-mill rom-dram.  In 1993, a married couple was involved in a major car accident.  The husband got out okay, but the wife was thrown into a coma, and when she awoke, she had no memory of her husband, or of her life for the past two years.  The marriage damn near fell apart, but under the advice of a therapist, the couple began their courtship anew, fell in love all over again, and remarried in 1996.  The Vow will bring a tear to some eyes, and touch the hearts of many.  Not mine.  It's enough to know that this happened, and to stay cautious behind the wheel.  I'm not into sitting through a whole film that plays "will they or won't they?" with my patience until it ends exactly how I knew it would.

The Vow is a Valentine's Day release, which is good news for those who love sentimentality!  The forgetful wife (Rachel McAdams) withdraws further from her man (the effervescent Channing Tatum) because she believes she's still engaged to some other asshole ("Quick" Scott Speedman).  Tatum's mission to win back his wife's heart becomes a race against time -- the Speed Man don't have scruples about swooping in to steal a mentally disabled woman!  In fact, everything this guy does makes you hate him and know in your heart that McAdams isn't meant to be with him, which is why grafting his character onto the plot is such a typical and unnecessary move.  His function is to usurp Tatum's place, treat McAdams sweetly, but with an air of dickheadedness, talk smack, get punched, and finally be dumped.  Yay, the big guy won and kept his vow to be with Rachel Mc. forever!  But the true story is all the more diluted, and my disdain grosser.  On the plus side, though, these "Other Guy" subplot scenes make for excellent bathroom breaks, and opportunities to stroll the theater halls, looking at posters.  But make it back for Sam Neill as the father!  He is pure!

Rachel McAdams is very good, and I'm not altogether opposed to Chandler Tatum.  The writing is passable, but not without dumb, and there's nothing especially wrong with a Hollywood movie with a sweet and earnest message about the bonds of love.  But there's nothing very compelling either, and I've had my fill of cinematic strawberry ice cream.  I would have preferred the pop music soundtrack toned down, have the cast uglied up a bit, lost the ex-fiancee red herring, and brought back the weirder details of the story.  (They were really into Jesus!)  But, like the man said, it is what it is, so if you really must, swallow your critical faculties, bring a date, throw in a yawn-squeeze, and enjoy an uncomplicated evening at the movies.  As fluffy romance goes, you could do worse than The Vow.

But if While You Were Sleeping is on TV, stay at home and catch that one!  It's basically the same story!

Dorien Sez: C+
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