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The Vow

The Vow

Released 10 February 2012
Director Michael Sucsy

Channing Tatum, Rachel McAdams, Scott Speedman, Jessica Lange, Sam Neill

Jason Katims, Abby Kohn, Marc Silverstein, Michael Sucsy

Roger Birnbaum, Gary Barber, Jonathan Glickman, Paul Taublieb

United States, Brazil, France, Australia, United Kingdom, Germany
Running Time 104 minutes
Genre Drama, romance
Rating 12A

For better or worse.

The real-life true story that this film is based on would melt your heart – a powerful example of two people who love each other, get married and will do everything they possibly can to protect that promise for the rest of their lives. Now, with the help of copious amounts of mushy material, two easy-on-the-eye lead actors and a dollop of Hollywood drama, The Vow should be an emotional roller coaster, right? Wrong!

Well, let me rephrase that. It is of course an emotional roller coaster – but one of boredom, cliché and, most important of all, terribly annoying performances from on-screen couple Channing Tatum and Rachel McAdams. The pair have experience with this genre before with the latter successfully making audiences weep in The Notebook. Unbelievably, eight years have passed since and it is quite clear that McAdams is lambasting the fact that her career has arguably not progressed much further in that time after a relatively unconvincing display.

The Vow is about Leo and Paige, a newlywed couple who suffer a near fatal car accident soon after their wedding. Leo, played by the robotic Tatum, emerges from the crash unscathed but Paige awakes from a coma with severe memory loss, unable to recognise her loving husband. Scared and confused, she reluctantly accepts to move back in with Leo and the pair, in typically tumultuous fashion, attempt to rebuild their fragmented relationship together.

For what it is and, really, for what it is trying to be, this movie is okay and will probably meet the requirements of those who go to watch it and make peace beforehand with what they are bargaining for. Fair enough. But if a deeper perspective is being sought then there really is no point. McAdams, who undoubtedly has talent, is simply disappointing and it doesn't help that her character can be extremely irritant while Tatum is there for his looks alone – very little about his acting is ever believable.

It's funny, the story is quite implausible but turns out the general premise is true and it is for this reason that it isn't an embarrassing flop. Otherwise, it is just another formulaic love story that can be thrown into the pile.

- David Caulfield