The Vow (Rachel McAdams, Channing Tatum) : Movie Review
As far as tortured love stories go, Michael Sucsy’s The Vow ticks all the right boxes.
Based on a true story, this sappy romance follows married couple Paige (Rachel McAdams) and Leo (Channing Tatum). After a car accident Page loses the memory of the last five years of her life, including Leo. In her mind she’s still in law school and engaged to Jeremy (Scott Speedman); in reality she dropped out of law school, broke up with Jeremy and became an artist.
While Leo at first convinces her to come back “home” and attempt to spark her memory she soon flees to the comfort of her parent’s home (Jessica Lange and Sam Neill), but it doesn’t take long before she realises she’s neither the person her parents or Leo want her to be.
It’s hard to fault McAdams in films such as this, in a way she’s made for these by-the-numbers romantic dramas. It’s perhaps in her pairing with the meaty Tatum that the believability of these characters falls apart. There’s absolutely zero chemistry on screen between these two and while Tatum tries his hardest to pull off the sensitive, brooding husband role, no amount of chunky, cable knit sweaters can get him over the line.
The screenplay, written by Jason Katims, Abby Kohm, Marc Silverstein and Michael Sucsy, based on a story by Stuart Sender, crowds the central romance with a mish-mash of hipster friends and preppy family members.
There’s some experience behind these names, with Katims a writer on the terrific television series Friday Night Lights, and Kohn penning successful cheese-fests such as Never Been Kissed and the questionable but popular He’s Just Not That Into You, but this experience doesn’t translate to a solid story on screen.
First time feature director Sucsy, who had previously directed the HBO Grey Gardens, clearly struggles with the material though delivers some beautiful, if not clichéd, shots of Chicago.
An overall lack of tension and depth in the story, and a case of bad casting, sees The Vow miss the mark on several occasions. But for those looking for something romantic to enjoy this Valentine’s Day, the film is enjoyable if not disposable.
WATCH OUT FOR | RATING : 2.5 OUT OF 5