Tuesday, February 21, 2012

My Take On The Vow!

Hey blog followers! So it's been a week since Valentine's Day. Have you recovered from the overdose of chocolates, flowers and love proclamations? Yeah, me, either. Although I prefer my candies and flowers for no reason at all, Valentine's Day still gets me...which is why I dragged Radio Man to 'The Vow' last week. You know, the Channing Tatum/Rachel McAdams tearjerker about the aftermath of an accident on a couple.

And my grade: B-. Mostly because I couldn't connect with Rachel's character Paige. Warning: Spoilers ahead.

Okay, the premise of the movie: Paige and Leo (Channing Tatum) are rebel-artists in Chicago where they meet cute (he sees her on line at the DMV and asks her out), fall in love uber-fast and get married in a spur-of-the-moment ceremony at the Chicago Art Institute. Fast-forward a few weeks and they're in a car accident from which Paige loses her memory. And apparently her common sense. Leo, following his wedding vows, vows again to woo her back because 'we'll always find our way back to one another'. *sigh* And, okay, the Leo voiceovers are hokey but he totally made me get all *happy sigh* several times.

Paige, though, mostly annoyed me. Why? Because she was too quick to go back to her life - a life she hadn't lived in 5 years. Yes, I get that she didn't remember her life with Leo, but from the moment she woke up she had no interest in even learning about that life. She didn't ask questions. She didn't try to get to know him. She ran to her mom as often as possible. I just couldn't connect with that. Maybe I'm too much of a cynic? Naah, it was just...unbelievable. She didn't ask any questions, whatsoever. No questions about why she dropped out of law school 5 years before to attend art school, she showed no interest in learning about the art that was commissioned by a major new developer, no interest in her friends...no interest in pictures or mementos of her life with Leo. And I couldn't get past that.

It didn't totally kill the movie for me - I do give it a B- - but it did leave me scratching my head. A lot. And I think what was missing was the motivation for Paige. There was a lot of Leo - through his voiceovers we learned how hard he loved Paige and how committed he was. From Paige there was. . .nothing but the newly-overwhelming need to run home to Mom & Dad, dress in preppy clothes and revert to her high school days. And leave hunky Leo behind. I mean, who does that?!?

So, my grade is a B-...but what I took away from the movie was a better understanding of why we, as writers, need to twist the drama and emotion with every scene. Because otherwise our readers will be left as I was after the movie. Having enjoyed most of it. . .but thinking it could have been so much better.

How do you wring the emotion from your scenes?