Film Review: The Vow

Posted in Film, Reviews
By Andrew Nicholls on 10 Feb 2012

When Leo’s young wife Paige wakes up from a coma with no memory of their life together he has only one option; to make her fall in love with him all over again.

The Vow opens on a beautifully clichéd snowy night. Newlyweds Paige (Rachel McAdams) and Leo (Channing Tatum) emerge from a movie theatre at the end of a romantic evening, and stop to admire the winter wonderland that greets them before driving off into the night. Joking around behind the wheel they are a picture book couple, beautiful and in love. As they stop at some traffic lights Paige unbuckles her seat belt and leans in to kiss her husband, it’s at this point tragedy strikes and a truck ploughs into the back of their car, sending the young wife through the windshield.

When Paige regains consciousness- a few scratches the only visible clue of their accident- she can’t remember her husband, or the life they shared together, instead she mistakes him for a doctor. Soon her parents (Sam Neill and Jessica Lange) attempt to take their daughter away, whisking her off to their republican paradise, even though they were previously estranged. Of course Leo intervenes.

Returning to their wedded home Paige slowly returns to the person she was before she met Leo. She recoils in horror at a tattoo on her back, and starts to dress like a stepford wife. To Paige she is five years younger, and no part of her is the bohemian sculptor she was before the accident.

Leo decides to woo his wife all over again, desperately hoping that she’ll fall for him as easily as she did the first time round, but nothing is ever so simple.

The story of how Paige and Leo met is riddled with clichés, but the way their faults and real lives sneak in it somehow seems real. It isn’t an instant classic, but the friends, the unique wedding, and the mismatch of characters make the story one easily desired.

Despite the premise there isn’t a lot about the movie to keep audiences interested. There are a few moments that provoke the odd laugh or half smile, but for the most part the characters aren’t interesting and we don’t care about them, there is no real glue to keep us in our seats.

The character of Paige provokes no real emotion. She isn’t dislikeable, but then again she isn’t overly likeable either, she’s very flat. Leo is different. We feel his pain in a way, Channing Tatum manages to surprise with the role, proving he can act, and serves as the films only real highlight.


The Vow is a date night movie out just in time for Valentine’s Day but not an awful lot more.

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