The Vow (2012) -vs- 50 First Dates (2004)

February 9, 2012 Jackie Zabel

Artistic women with memory loss and the men who love them — that’s the premise of both The Vow, out this weekend with Rachel McAdams and Channing Tatum in the lead roles, and 50 First Dates (2004), starring Drew Barrymore and Adam Sandler. These films play against the standard boy-girl movie cliché, in that it’s the guys who know they’ve found their true romantic matches, and the women who, after seemingly falling in love, treat them like they’ve never seen them before. Of course, there’s a reason for that, and it has to do, in both cases, with brain trauma. Love may conquer all, but only if you can remember you’re in love. […]

Big Miracle (2012) -vs- Free Willy (1993)

February 3, 2012 Nicole Marchesani

After sitting at home, wiping the tears off of my cheeks as a boy goes over and beyond to liberate a killer whale from its tank, and then sitting in a movie theater crying my eyes out over the giant rescue mission to save three whales from suffocating in the ice, I had to wonder why humans care so much about their seafaring brothers-in-mammaldom. Why was it so believable that these characters would go to such great lengths to protect some whales? And why did I use a whole box of tissues over it? Drew Barrymore’s character explains it this way in Big Miracle: “Even though they’re big and powerful, they’re so much like us. We’re vulnerable, and we get scared, and we need help sometimes too.” […]