The Observer is a Student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame & Saint Mary's. Learn more about us.



Rom Com Not Worst Movie Ever

Kevin Noonan | Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Yeah, I saw “The Vow” this weekend. Big whoop, wanna fight about it? And you know what? It wasn’t very good. But you know what else? I didn’t mind that much.

As with many things in my life, I walked into this movie with such extremely low expectations, that it would’ve taken a Justin Bieber cameo and a Nickleback inspired soundtrack in order to fail them.

And since neither of these things happened, this was a decidedly average romantic comedy. Of course, and it goes without saying, an average romantic comedy means that’s it’s a pretty terrible movie by regular standards, but that’s neither here nor there.

Rachel McAdams (Paige) is, as always, a likeable leading lady in this film and plays her part, sappy and unchallenging as it is, well.

Channing Tatum (Leo) is, as always, completely ripped, but plays his part, sappy and unchallenging as it is, with a complete lack of acting ability.

On some levels Tatum’s continuing inability to portray any believability or deliver lines without sounding like he’s in a high school drama class production has a certain endearing quality to it. His completely unabashed lack of acting skill gives him an unexpected likability that someone like Ben Affleck (who at the beginning of his career also couldn’t act) lacks.

But on another level, come on. The guy can’t act. And in romantic comedies, despite the fact that many moviemakers see acting ability as optional at best, the ability to make the audience care about your situation is the most crucial factor to success. And if you can’t act, you can’t make anyone care that your wife doesn’t remember whom you are and that your life is really hard.

This movie elicits little to no emotion, and if you’re not going to make me secretly want to cry (à la “The Notebook”), then I’m not going to enjoy your movie very much.

The only time any kind of reasonable emotion is felt is when the resident jerk of the film mouths off to Leo enough that we get to see Tatum, who makes up for all lack of acting ability with his generally shredded physique, break the guy’s face. I was pretty pumped about that.

The plot isn’t that interesting, but at least the surrounding characters are really, really annoying. Leo’s friends are as stereotypically hipster as it gets. Leo and Paige get married in an art museum using vows they wrote themselves on the back of café menus.

It’s supposed to be endearing and original, but it came off as just kind of pretentious and stupid. But hey, that’s hipster for you.

Paige’s family is all wealthy out of their minds and act like it. But they made up for all of their annoying personalities by being completely uninteresting characters.

Despite all of this, this is not the worst movie I’ve ever seen, which surprised me so much that I even decided to give it one whole shamrock. Guys, if you’re in the doghouse because you didn’t do anything for your significant other for Valentine’s Day, there are worse options than “The Vow.” There aren’t many, but I’m sure there are some.

1 shamrock