Kerry Hayes/Vow Productions
Channing Tatum and Rachel McAdams star in The Vow.
Channing Tatum and Rachel McAdams star in The Vow. Kerry Hayes/Vow Productions
This weekend marks the release of The Vow, which is not based on a Nicholas Sparks novel, despite having all the gauzy, drowsy look of a Sparks creation. Based on the real-life story of Kim and Krickitt Carpenter, The Vow tells the tale of a woman (Rachel McAdams) who loses part of her memory after a head injury and doesn't remember her husband (Channing Tatum). The trailer shows you the terrible moment where she remembers him so little that she assumes he's part of her medical team, which didn't apparently happen in real life.
[Note: Perhaps the best line I've heard about this movie comes from my pal Tara Ariano, who noted on Twitter, "The hilarious thing about The Vow is that, even for one second and with a head injury, Rachel McAdams thinks Channing Tatum is a doctor."]
What's remarkable about this particular trailer is how many romantic-drama cliches are crammed into a two-minute tease, other than amnesia itself. (Cliches about the treatment of amnesia, however, are allowed.) Let's count them.
1. Quirky wedding where quirky friend is wearing top hat
2. Wacky and romantic escape from the authorities
3. Kiss in front of city buildings
4. Trying on hats while
5. Smearing food on each other
6. Skinny-dipping while
7. Man picks up woman and she shrieks
8. Man serves breakfast
9. Man uses food to communicate feelings
10. Woman doesn't understand man's attempt to (sort of) propose
11. Man wears understanding cable-knit sweater
12. Thoughtful narration by romantic man
13. Happy dancing
14. Kiss delivered while tenderly grabbing face of partner
15. Couple lying in rumpled sheets
16. Couple kissing in the snow
17. Terrible accident
18. Amnesiac woman is like, "Who are you?"
19. Amnesiac woman pulls back from man's touch
20. Man frustratedly runs hands through hair
21. Man slumps miserably to floor in artsy wide shot
22. Woman sits on table to denote feeling scattered
23. Woman sits among photographs to bathe herself in memories
24. Credits strain for prestige state Rachel McAdams is "from The Notebook" (which: for this audience, sure), and that Channing Tatum is "from Dear John" (which: better than She's The Man, I suppose)
25. Woman watches video of herself to ponder her life
26. Man and woman have earnest discussion while in formalwear in outdoor location strung with twinkle lights
27. Woman walks in slow-motion in the snow wearing adorable fuzzy hat
28. Man stands with tear teetering on eyelid
29. Man asks ponderous rhetorical question about their relationship
30. On-screen question recasts highly personal story in emptiest, most generic terms possible
31. Couple shares box of candy
32. Man smiles lovingly
33. At reflection of wife in window
34. In the rain
35. Man punches rival (HEY, IT'S SCOTT SPEEDMAN! WHY ISN'T THIS MOVIE ABOUT HIM?)
36. Man runs earnestly and urgently
37. Man kisses woman's cold hands
38. Man and woman conclude song they've been singing.
One movie, one trailer, two minutes, 38 cliches on top of amnesia. That is impressive.