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REVIEW: "The Vow" Leaves Something To Be Desired

Surabhi Srivastava |
February 12, 2012 | 4:58 p.m. PST

Staff Reporter


Paige (Rachel McAdams) and Leo (Channing Tatum) are the perfect couple. They seem to have everything going for them; they're young, beautiful, seemingly carefree, and most importantly, madly in love with each other. They look at each other as if nothing can separate them, and being the romantic sap that you are, you believe it. And then the one thing that can tear them apart does.

A fleeting moment of impact, as the cheesy voiceover tells us, changes their life forever. Stuck in a car accident on a snowy day, Paige loses her memory and forgets her life with Leo. When she wakes up she is no longer Paige the successful independent artist madly in love with her husband Leo, but the law student who still speaks to her parents and is engaged to her law school boyfriend Jeremy. 

Then ensues the long process of poor Leo trying to make his wife fall in love with him all over again. Though the storyline has so much potential to be heart wrenching and the true life story it is based on is truly tragic, the movie fails to create the magic to make the audience fall in love.

"The Vow" does justice to the average romantic drama, but fails to take its truly heart-wrenching plot to its full potential and falls just short of creating an audience full of sobbing viewers. There are moments when you really wish you could spill just one tear for this unfortunate couple, but there is just not enough emotional pull to carry the story forward.

The movie leaves you wanting more; more moments of sweet love, more moments of tragic heartbreak, and more moments that convince you that things are going to get better.

The otherwise lackluster movie is held together by the sheer star power of Channing Tatum and Rachel McAdams sharing the screen.  McAdams doesn't disappoint as usual with her flawless acting, allowing you to full immerse yourself in her character. Tatum is a pleasant surprise and though he doesn't quite grasp the emotional scenes in a manner that leaves you satisfied, he helps create moments of comic relief with his one liners in the otherwise slow and patience testing movie. Their chemistry, though not worthy of sparkling fireworks, is satisfactory and helps you get through the parts that seem to have no plot whatsoever.

Pacing is the biggest issue the movie faces, starting too slow and ending too abruptly. You almost don't want to leave your seat in protest as the camera pans out from the young couple as they start their lives over and the lights of the theater turn back on, hoping that maybe if you just stay put they'll surprise you with a different ending.

"The Vow" leaves you wishing so many things could have been different. It could have done a lot with the story to really grab the audience, but instead it is just another movie you'll watch and forget by the time the next new trailer comes out.

Reach reporter Surabhi Srivastava here.



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