Movie Reviews & Interviews from Washington

‘The Vow’ Review: A Sweet Attempt at an Unusual Story

Do you promise to love your wife, to have and to hold, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, while she suffers through grievous memory loss as long as you both shall live?

That is the main dilemma that Leo (Channing Tatum) must face after his wife Paige (Rachel McAdams) suffered serious brain trauma causing a tremendous loss of memory after a car accident.

The Vow, which is supposedly based on a true story, tells the standard tale of a young couple who met, fell in love, got married to live their happily ever after, only one person falls out of love, just not in the usual way you expect.

When Paige awakes in her hospital bed, she thinks she is currently engaged to ex-boyfriend Jeremy (Scott Speedman), still in law school and is in close contact with her estranged parents (Sam Neill and Jessica Lange); so basically, a completely different person than who she is now.

So artsy Leo hardly seems her type and her parents seize the opportunity to re-enter her life again. Can Leo win back the heart of the love of his life?

What happens when you’re loved one loses the last 5 years of their memory and can’t remember you at all? Well, it probably wouldn’t go down exactly the way it did in this film, but director Michael Sucsy did a sweet job trying.

I know this is only based on true events and whenever that pops up in the trailer, it means the scriptwriter has taken an idea from a true story and made it into a film. I was very much in love with The Vow until it took an unexpected turn midway through. Paige turns into a whiny and annoying female, when she started out so likable, fun and relatable! I just couldn’t sympathize with her.

One minute she wants to be with current hubby Leo, then the next she’s fighting her feelings for ex-fiance Jeremy. This story’s been said and done and frankly, we didn’t need all this mixed feeling crap in the middle of the story. We should’ve seen more of Leo and Paige’s back story and current struggles the couple was having while trying to reconstruct her memories. It would’ve been much more of a realistic touch than how the film eventually was played out.

McAdams is a truly talented young actress, but don’t expect to see her charismatic character from The Notebook in this film. She did what she could with the part, I just didn’t agree with the scriptwriter’s wishy washy tone.

As for Tatum, the handsome star certainly has impressed me this year kicking butt (literally) in Soderbergh’s Haywire and coming off strong with his performance in this film. If nothing else, it’s he who really carries the heartfelt tale all the way to the end.

The Vow isn’t this year’s best romantic drama or the Valentine’s Day film us girls were hoping for, but Sucsy tells us an unusual story in a very pleasant and watchable way. If only certain subplots were left out altogether, the film could’ve been remarkable to watch versus just mediocre.

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