The Vow Reviews
Married in front of a handful of friends in a beautiful Chicago art gallery (without their permission), Leo (Channing Tatum) and Paige (Rachel McAdams) sincerely vow (written on matching menus) to fiercely love, tenderly hold and never forget their once in a lifetime passion for each other.
On a thick snowy night their life and vows are shattered when a car accident lands the pair in hospital. Leo makes a quick recovery from minor cuts and bruises; Paige however is placed into an induced comma to aid in the recover from severe head trauma.
When Paige awakes, she cannot remember either the accident or Leo. Suffering from retrograde amnesia, she shies away from Leo, asking for her now estranged family, former fiancé and information about law school of which she left five years earlier.
Unable to trigger any memories of their life together, Paige is set to leave the hospital and return to a life pre-leo. Her narrow-minded lawyer dad (Sam Neil) and obsessive mother (Jessica Lange) come to 'bring her home'. Determined to reclaim his wife, Leo interrupts by replaying a voice message from before the accident and the ultimately happy tone convinces Paige she should at least try, and leaves with her stranger husband to their apartment.
Attempting to defy medical science and break through Paige's mental barrier, Leo's endless patience in explaining the details of their life as Paige pulls back to the only life she remembers is an emotionally complex and painful journey.
Retreating from her friends, her career as a sculptor and Leo, Paige has not only lost the memory of herself, but the will to find her. Showing only a willingness to re-claim the life she abandoned and fled years before, confusion and estrangement sets in.
Can Leo find a way to make her remember herself? If not, can he make her fall in love with him all over again or by chance will she make the same discoveries again and guide herself back to their life together?
Many critics will find this film easy to judge, chalking it up to little more than a made-for-tv drama, unable to digest the premise that someone can simply forget who they love. However, speaking from personal experience, there is nothing that comes remotely close to the heart breaking feeling of greeting someone who you love unconditionally that subconsciously shies away from your touch with blank recognition.
Softly portraying the anguish and perseverance of Leo, Tatum is quite convincing as a loving husband that simply just wants to embrace his lost wife, McAdams makes Paige real with a genuine sense of self-doubt and personal insecurities. Endearing and touching with authentic people, situations and dilemmas, sadly both the characters and the film are hindered by the screenplays shallow exploration of topic.
The Verdict: Not on the same cinematic level as The Notebook, there is something beautifully innocent about this quirk of fate film. Slightly over-simplified and suffering from a few shortcuts, The Vow strikes a balance between grace, pain and commitment without feeling heavy with overt sentimentality.
Published: The Queanbeyan Age
Date of Publication: 24/02/2012
Saw this on 31/3/15
The vow starts off well, but it becomes shallow and ordinary in it's last 20-30 minutes. However it's watchable due to the earnest efforts of Channing Tatum and Rachel McAdams.
Honestly, I can't see why.
To me, this movie is a touching romantic drama that discusses some of the most important aspects of Love.