The Vow
Credit: Kerry Hayes

What’s more shocking: The Vow‘s opening weekend exceeding expectations, or the fact that you didn’t cry watching it (or did you? poll below!)? I was fully prepared to tear up, but my eyes never got wet. I ended up seeing the film alone, so the only discussion I was privy to afterward was the one I eavesdropped on in the seats in front of me: One woman thought the film didn’t let you get to know the couple (Channing Tatum’s Leo and Rachel McAdams’s Paige) enough before she was thrown through the car windshield and lost her memory of him to get her emotional. Personally, I think I was just distracted thinking about their mutual stupidity: Did she honestly want to have sex in their car, at a stop sign, during a blizzard? That’s why she took off her seatbelt. It seems like she could have waited until he parked the somewhere. Why wouldn’t he have thought to bring in their wedding video as “proof” that she loved him before the accident — or any of the pictures an artist like her probably would have taken of them over the years? Why would he think inviting anyone over to their place on the night she comes home would be a good idea? Why did it take them so long to figure out they should go on a date to get to know each other again?

That probably makes it sound like I hated the film, but I didn’t feel that strongly about it in either direction. I’ll no doubt sit through it again when it plays on ABC Family or Oxygen after The Notebook a few years from now, even though it’s nowhere as good as that movie, because I innately like Rachel McAdams and, more importantly, I’m a sucker for Channing Tatum playing soft. I have been ever since She’s the Man (which is also more entertaining than The Vow). My favorite scene of The Vow is the one in which defeated Leo tells the story of how it only took Paige two weeks to say “I love you” the first time around, and he cried as he admitted he was giving up. For me, that’s what this movie was actually good for: A reminder that Channing Tatum can act and why women — including my sixtysomething mother — enjoy him even when he’s clothed. He’s not afraid to be vulnerable and cheesy (have you seen him do the Dirty Dancing lift with his dog Lulu?).

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