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The MFF Debates 2012: The Vow

December 22, 2012


Greetings, folks!  Today we introduce our first debate over whether or not a movie is good or God-awful.  Strangely I, founding father of John’s Horror Corner, am assuming the pro (or “good”) role for The Vow (2012).  I (John) will begin with an opening statement…

The scenes from this movie will roll men’s eyes and swoon women’s hearts; straight out of the Cosmo article: “How you know you’ve met Mr. Right.”  Our young lovers exchange a glance, she accidently leaves something behind, and he suggests that they owe it to the universe to have a drink —barf, right guys?  Then we cut to her waiting tables with the sniffles and she finds a gift waiting for her at a vacant table and there he is watching from outside, soaking in the rain with a mild-mannered smile.  The contents?  Tissues for her nose, Advil for her head, a photo of him for her heart, and a negligee for later.  He’s every bit as spontaneous and thoughtful as any women’s magazine could imagine.

Every girl’s dream: a soaking wet Channing Tatum.  Let’s get you out of those clothes.

After the accident he fights for her–even against her manipulative parents.  They fight dirty, but he keeps it clean.  The ride is bumpy and frustrating, but cuddlingly warm and fuzzy by the end.  Tatum is convincing as a man who desperately, if not fearfully, needs to get his wife to fall in love with him again.  Give Tatum a shot on this one.  Even you simply think he’s some good-looking punk from Tampa, choosing his movie is probably getting guys laid as we speak!   This movie has everything women want and is guy-friendly enough to be a winner on date night.  I vote:  GOOD MOVIE!


Don’t get me wrong because I am all-in for the Tatum-McAdams relationship. However, I think the movie could have been twenty minutes long. here is how it goes:

1-5: Establish characters

6-10 – Meet cute and fall in love during a montage.

10-17 – Evil parents, evil ex-boyfriend, hipster friends and another bump on the head.

17-18 – They get back together, another montage and everything is good.

18-20 – Credits and cheeky photographs of the two in love.

This is not a 20 minute movie. Instead, we get like 178 minutes of quite possibly the worst characters in recent memory. McAdams parents are worse than Hannibal Lector and Buffalo Bill combined. They are manipulative turds who try to get back in their daughter’s heart. They also introduce a greasy Scott Speedman who fully knows of her memory condition.

Add in some stereotypical hipsters, farting in cars and a very confused McAdams and you have yourself a full on “groaner.” What do I mean by “groaner?”  There are so many bad scenes keeping the two likable leads apart you will find yourself “groaning” constantly in annoyance and confusion.

Viva la 20 minute directors cut!!!

the vow Channing tatum


Okay, yes.  The parents were down right evil; like Event Horizon (Sam Neil) and American Horror Story (Jessica Lange) evil.  But it’s their twisted desperation to correct their past mistakes with their daughter that make their frailty so…well, honestly credible.  Credible in a way that wouldn’t be the expected behavior, but let’s not pretend that we or someone we know hasn’t witnessed some patriarchal subterfuge laced emotional manipulations, bribes of comfort or wads of money to cushion a fall?

Great movies aren’t about what’s “expected.”  They’re not about protagonists who don’t face unreasonable odds.  And they’re not about heroes who fight dirty–at least, not in romantic dramedies. Tatum fights a good clean fight and delivers a tingling kind of feel-good that I think RomDram enthusiasts are looking for! That kind of 12-rounder takes more than 20minutes.

You may have groaned at those twisted in-laws. But then you were wooed by Tatum’s carefully disheveled hair as he swept Rachel McAdams of her feet again.

Cue the “awwwwwwwwwwwwwww.”


You are right. The Vow could have been five minutes long.

1-2 They meet cute

2-3 hair is disheveled

3-4 McAdams smiles REAL big

4:00-4:30 – They marry.

4:31-5:00 Credits and part of a Jason Mraz song.

Watch Serendipity instead!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. johnleavengood permalink
    January 1, 2013 8:36 pm

    Low blow, Marko.

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