Film Review – The Vow

The Vow (PG)

Directed by: Michael Sucsy

Starring: Channing Tatum, Rachel McAdams, Same Neill, Jessica Lange

Two stars

Review by: Julian Wright

In one of the most painful performances to watch since anything Jessica Alba has attempted, Channing Tatum awkwardly works his way through this heart string tugging true story. While his inability to act was never really questioned (I hope), he does demonstrate here a whole other level of bad. Which is a shame because despite this being another overly sentimental entry in the tear jerking genre, it could have been a decent time passer had it not been for his distracting horrid performance.

Insanely happily married couple Paige (Rachel McAdams) and Leo (Channing Tatum) are thrown a curveball in life when the pair, on a romantic, nostalgic car ride, are involved in an accident that puts Paige in a coma. When she later wakes up, she doesn’t remember her husband at all. Her memory stops at a point five years ago when she was a law student (she is now an artist) and engaged to Jeremy (Scott Speedman).

Paige’s doctors recommend she goes home with Leo to get back in to her old routine to hopefully jog her memory, but she is hesitant to live with a man who she only knows now as a stranger. Leo then goes to great lengths to try to make her fall back in love with him so they can pick up where they left off. The problem is, Paige feels more comfortable flirting with the life she remembers – the one she had before she met Leo.

The script and direction take the schmaltzy route to try to appeal to the crowd that lapped up weepies such as The Notebook, but despite the presence of McAdams (who starred in that one) it will not reach the same heights of popularity. It is difficult to get lost in the story when Tatum struggles so desperately with the material, which, lets face it, is not all that complex. If he cannot even carry a sugary film like this, how can we have any confidence in him as a performer?

McAdams is the one saving grace as the confused and frustrated amnesiac. Her appeal outshines Tatum and her capability in conveying basic emotions leaves his in the dust. With so many strikes against this film – Tatum’s bad acting, formulaic script, underused Lange and Neill as Paige’s parents, obvious directorial choices – its entire watchability ends up sitting firmly on McAdams’ shoulders.

This sweet story that had so much potential, and could have been bearable had it not been for Tatum’s miscasting, will have you wishing you could only remember your life before you saw it. It was, indeed, a better time.

One Response to “Film Review – The Vow”

  1. I saw this film and I disagree. Channing wasn’t even bad. He did decent job and seems like he’s improving. Seriously understand this dude hate.

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