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The Vow seems to come from a stable of almost factory assembly line of cinema output designed and tweaked so strongly for a particular demographic that it might almost be considered an insult to anyone with a true love for quality cinema. Right from the glowing poster, to the incredibly good-looking (not to mention zero-fat bodies) leads and a story that though inspired from true events still manages to overstuff itself like a clichd turkey ripe for devouring by an audience fed on the idea of an uber-romantic film. All my ranting might suggest this is an unwatchable piece of trash but honestly it isnt. This film is so well packaged and dressed up, filled with actors (most of them) who deserve and have been part of far better pedigree of work, that youd almost forgive yourself for having shelled out money its banal content; almost.
The plot is inspired from the true events of Kim & Krickitt Carpenter who wrote a book called The Vow based on their experiences. Paige (Rachel McAdams) Is a head-strong young woman who leaves behind her law degree to pursue an arts one instead and in the process ends up souring her relationship with her parents (Sam Neill & Jessica Lange). Leo (Channing Tatum) is some record-label type who happens to sweep her off her feet and the two get married. All seems to be going great but ten weeks later, their car is hit by a truck while waiting for a signal to turn green. Leo wakes up in hospital only to be told that Paige has been put under a drug-influenced coma to allow her head to heal properly. When Paige does wake up from her coma, she has no recollection of Leo, their relationship or the past few years. She thinks shes back in the time doing her law degree, on good terms with her parents and engaged to Jeremy (Scott Speedman). Though Leo doesnt take it well initially, he comes around to trying to help Paige remember all thats shes forgotten. Will Paige get her memory back? Will she chose to come back to Leo? Take a look at the poster and tell me what do you think?
The fluff, light and frothy romantic product mentality is very obvious with a product like this. Just like action movies are designed to pull in guys, movies like these are designed to pull in the fairer sex. The movie even gladly offers everything that is required in sanitised and neat package. So there is little to criticise other than to say that its loaded with every possible clich from romantic films you can gather. The story is incredibly sweet (not in a nice way) to the point of being painful but Ill hand it to the two leads who try to imbibe the characters with an air of genuine emotion. Tatum might still act like slab of ice most of the time but hes trying to emote at the very least. The thing I can say about McAdams performance is that she can do the puzzled look perfectly; otherwise she is the better actor of the two. Sam Neill & Jessica Lange are wasted, while thankfully Speedmans character doesnt have shades of a snivelling villain.
The Vow has a demographic; Im not part of it. The only thing I can say is that it is well-packaged, light and honestly shallow, mills & boons type romantic drama. Id just rent 50 First Dates again, if I wanted to laugh, or Away from Her, if I wanted a good romantic drama about lost memories.