The Vow review by Alyse Garner - Cinema Paradiso
Based on a true story the lives of a young American couple are turned upside down after a serious car accident leaves a wife with no memory of her relationship with her husband.
With the casting of two highly accomplished stars of the romantic drama the Vow should be as captivating and moving as The Notebook or as exciting as G.I Joe; despite having the same undercurrent of tragedy and pain that gives the Notebook its depth, whilst McAdams and Tatum are both adequate performers, the Vow ultimately lacks both the emotion and entertainment value of either of the performers previous movies.
Tatum’s attempts to revive his wife’s memory are predictable and contrite, seeming to lack all imagination and shamelessly making no attempt to appear genuine or realistic. Thanks to this and the surprisingly colourless performance from McAdams herself The Vow remains a rather obvious romantic drama that even lacks the appeal of its bawdier rom-com peers.
The characters are painfully stereotypical, McAdam’s Paige a law school drop out, estranged from her parents after choosing to take up a rather unconventional form of clay sculpting at art school, whilst Tatum’s character is shockingly one dimensional. The car accident that leaves Tatum’s Leo temporarily hospitalized sees Paige in a drug induced coma from which she returns with absolutely no recollection of the last few years, her marriage, her choice to leave law school or her move to the big city. As far as she’s concerned in fact she still lives with her parents and is engaged to suburban blue blood Jeremy (Scott Speedman).
There is nothing real about The Vow; the genuine anguish that must have been felt by the real life Paige and Leo is quickly swept over, leaving room only for dull romance ploys. Had the movie included a little honest pain and uncertainty then Tatum and McAdam’s may have had more to work with, as it stands however The Vow is somewhat of a let down.