This Week at the Movies: The Vow

It’s that time of year again – the last minute dashes for cards for loved ones and the overconsumption of chocolate. Valen­tine’s Day is here once again! As the movie industry clearly wants you to do, perhaps this holiday you’ll head down to the newest romance in theaters. This year, that movie happens to be The Vow. Starring Rachel Mc­Adams (The Notebook) and Channing Tatum (Dear John), the movie follows a couple hap­pily married and in love. The only problem is that Rachel McAdams’s character, Paige, forgets all about her husband after she gets into a car accident and loses her memory of the last few years, including meeting and marrying Leo (Channing Tatum).

The premise of the movie (inspired by a true story, as they proudly state at the beginning) is certainly a tough one. What to do when half of the couple in a romance movie forgets she is in love? There is an interesting dynamic presented because Leo remembers everything, from the couple’s first meeting to the accident itself, while Paige is wondering why she has such odd hair and is wearing a wedding ring when she wakes up in the hospital. McAdams does an impressive job with a character that is supposed to be pretty much clueless for the majority of the movie. Ta­tum, who I always have a hard time grasping in a romance movie, does an admirable job in the role of heartbroken Leo, who just wants his wife to come back to him. The pair certainly have chemistry that comes through in their scenes to­gether. The film has a small supporting cast that includes Hollywood veterans Sam Neill (Jurassic Park) and Jessica Lange (TV’s American Horror Story), who play Paige’s parents. Even in small roles, their talent shines through.

As for the story itself – yes, the moviemak­ers claim it is inspired by true events. However, I am highly skeptical as to how much of it is real and how much is Hollywood melodrama. I had a difficult time believing many things in the movie, especially how certain characters behaved towards Paige after she loses her memory. No one except Leo really seems to want to help her get it back. I’ll leave you with that tease – you’ll have to go see the movie to find out what I mean.

Overall, The Vow is a Hollywood romance movie – melodramatic, full of slow motion hugs and kisses and, of course, starring a couple just trying to find their way to each other if only they could overcome the obstacles! All in all, the general idea of The Vow‘s storyline has been done before and has been done better. But hey, it’s Val­entine’s Day, and this movie was good enough, although kind of a downer (what with one per­son so in love and the other so lacking in any re­membrance of that love). However, that’s all the more reason to cuddle up with the boyfriends that get dragged to the theater.

Contact Margaretta Burdick at

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