We Bought a Zoo
A widowed father played by Matt Damon moves to the South Californian country and purchases a zoo with his family
On Film4: 31 Aug 6:25PM
When a recently and happily married couple are involved in a car crash, Paige (Rachel McAdams) wakes with no memory of the past four years - including of her husband Leo (Channing Tatum).
The premise of The Vow is a solid, if soaptastic one: what if you woke up unable to remember the last four years of your life? And what if there was a stranger next to you who seemed to know everything about you and claimed to be your husband?
The obvious answer if he looks like Channing Tatum would be to just go with it, but that would make for a less suspenseful romantic drama. Besides, it would also mean having to accept an insufferable posse of carefree Bohemian art school friends, and really, even Channing Tatum may not be worth that.
Of course, one might expect one's family could be relied upon to smooth the path back to marital stability. Not so here, and despite being based on a true story, we have a sense of a narrative obliged to perform some slightly ungainly sit-up-and-beg tricks in order to prettily complicate matters without compromising our lovers.
But don't worry, it will all turn out ok, with Rachel McAdams' considerable natural charm just about seeing her through a rather unsympathetic role - apparently four years ago Paige was a Waspish preppy nightmare, and now she's regressed, the bitch is back. She doesn't think much of her soulful hubby who works in an old-fashioned recording studio holding onto the analogue dream in the face of digital technologies, naturally. Still, right when you think you're getting fed up of the pair of them, there's a nice shot of Channing Tatum with his top off cradling a kitten. Screengrab, market, and presto! Athena has a L'Enfant poster for the lolcat era.
Like a less successful version of The Notebook, this works as an undemanding date movie; just don't expect much more from it.
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