Monday Morning Quarterback Part I

By BOP Staff

February 13, 2012

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With fewer and fewer soap operas on the air, people were missing their amnesia stories...

Kim Hollis: This was a dazzling weekend at the box office, as four new titles all opened very well. The strongest of these is The Vow, A Rachel McAdams/Channing Tatum romance that debuted to a stunning $41.2 million. What are your thoughts on this result?

Bruce Hall: We all know the whole "based on a true story" thing is supposed to give a movie instant credibility. But this is a Valentine's Day flick starring C-Tates and Rachel McAdams, two of the loveliest bad actors on the planet today. And the screenplay boasts no fewer than five writers (including the people who brought us such dreck as He's Just Not That Into You and Valentine's Day), which seems excessive for a story that's already supposed to have happened. Seriously, it took five people to come up with lines like: "I vow to fiercely love you in all your forms, now and forever."

Oh my God...hang on while I get a bucket.

Credibility is irrelevant. Resistance is Futile. What's important here is that Valentine's Day is this Tuesday. What's more romantic than a story about a woman whose amnesia causes her to forget her husband, and that same husband's dogged attempt to persevere against catastrophic head injury and comically shallow in-laws through the power of True Love and Massive Abs? Fact is, this 104 minute slab of over produced, vacuum packed treacle was the clear (and only) choice for starry eyed girls and their reluctant boyfriends this weekend. Plus, its two leads were already hot properties, and now that The Vow has raked in $41 million against a $30 million budget, the property just got hotter. Like it or not, here's to the power of Massive Abs. Now...where did I put that bucket?


Shalimar Sahota: That's a brilliant opening! Looks like soppy, sentimental romance is back! I have to admit that the set up is slightly similar to 50 First Dates, which also opened close to $40 million over Valentine's Weekend back in 2004. I wonder what variation we'll get next? Maybe another "based on a true story" romantic drama where the wife tells her husband that she used to be a man, and they find themselves falling in love all over again.

Brett Beach: My overall impression is that this was "climate change" weekend at the box office where a summer-like atmosphere settled in and four films all came out winners in a big way. I saw The Vow described, perhaps accurately, as "The Notebook has a hot 'n' heavy makeout out with Dear John." I think several factors play into its impressive total: It marketed itself as the must-see Valentine's Day 2012 offering; It was Nicholas Sparks by proxy, with the stars of two of his biggest movie adaptations teaming up. And, as Shalimar noted, it played with a formula that, odd as it may seem, was a success for Barrymore and Sandler nearly a decade ago. I have to vehemently disagree with Bruce about McAdams' (lack of) acting talent, however.

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