Film Review: "The Vow"
Published: Thursday, March 8, 2012 - 2:46pm
Released: 10 February 2012
Directed by: Michael Sucsy
Run Time: 104 min
As I walked into the movie theatre, I wasn't expecting anything too exciting. From watching the trailer, "The Vow" seemed like a bad adaptation of "The Notebook." They even had the same actress playing the main female character! Two hours later, I was proved, if not completely, somewhat wrong.
I felt that "The Vow," starring Rachel McAdams ("The Notebook" and "Mean Girls") and Channing Tatum ("Step Up" series), has earned its place in the world of romantic comedies as a funny and cute movie to watch when stuck indoors on a rainy day, though not good enough to get super excited over.
Based on the true story of Kim and Krickett Carpenter, "The Vow" follows the story of a married couple who must overcome a sudden obstacle that is thrown their way.
Paige (McAdams), a talented sculptor who has run away from her family to follow her dreams, meets Leo (Tatum), a musician who owns his own recording studio. Four years later, they get married in Chicago. Their married life is suddenly derailed when they are rear-ended by a truck, causing Paige to suffer major brain damage and forget the past five years of her life, including every memory she had of her husband and her passion for art.
The two are thrown into Paige's former life, introducing her wealthy suburban family and jerk of an ex-fiance. The problem that comes with it all is that Paige doesn't remember running away from her cookie cutter life and her sleazy ex-boyfriend.
McAdams, who made her debut in "Mean Girls," returns with the talent that made "The Notebook" a hit, starring as girl from a rich family who chooses art over following her parent's plans for her. Her experience in acting in movies similar to this one provided a basis for her strong portrayal of the character.
Tatum, however, could have done better in making his character seem genuinely passionate about his character's job. Leo is said to own a recording studio, a career which was initiated by his interest in music, but there is no scene which shows this said passion for music. However, I enjoyed his performance when he is forced to enter his wife's preppy world, as he thoroughly played being an outsider well.
The one thing that bothered me was how similar it was to "The Notebook." Though the settings and characters differ, the storylines in both movies were too close to each other. The female lead was even played by the same person! In both movies, the characters fall in love, get married, the girl loses her memory, and the guy tries to get his wife to remember him. The only thing that differed between the two was the ages of the characters and the time period. If producers wanted to make a movie that would be a hit for Valentine's Day, they would have benefited by making an original storyline rather than simply imitating a previous plot.
Overall, the movie didn't impress me too much. Though it had all the elements of a romantic comedy, it lacked originality and creativity. The one thing that made the storyline tolerable was the strong performance of the main actors. "The Vow" is the kind of movie that is worth watching at home when in need of cute and funny scenes in a movie, but for the most part, I don't recommend going to the theaters just to see this movie.
"The Vow" AT A GLANCE
- Starring: Rachel McAdams (as Paige), Channing Tatum (as Leo)
- Directed by: Michael Sucsy
- Written by: Jason Katims, Stuart Sender (story), Abby Kohn (screenplay), Marc Silverstein (screenplay), Michael Sucsy (screenplay)
- Genre: Drama, Romance
- Rated: PG-13
- Runtime: 104 min.
- Release date: Feb. 10, 2012
- Summary (from IMDb): A car accident puts Paige (McAdams) in a coma, and when she wakes up with severe memory loss, her husband Leo (Tatum) works to win her heart again.