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Film Review: The Vow.

Rachel McAdams & Channing Tatum get close… and then not so close in The Vow.

Synopsis

Paige (Rachel McAdams) and Leo (Channing Tatum) are very much the embodiment of pure true love in this new romantic drama. Yet when a horrific car crash leaves Paige with severe memory loss, it is up to her charming and slightly over emotional husband to try and win back her heart and mind. But with her strict upper class parents telling her one thing and her husband telling her another, Paige goes through an identity crisis and pushes away those who love her the most. Will Leo be strong enough to fight for her or will he suffer to make her happy?

Review

Boy meets girl, girl loses memory, boy tries to win back the heart of his love, succeeds and everyone lives happily ever after. Heard it before? 50 First Dates? Well strip back the comedy, the exotic location, the happily ever after and the seal and you have the narrative for The Vow. However, very clearly stated in the opening credits, this film is actually based on real events and real lives. Knowing that the film is based on real experiences adds a sense of sympathy for the characters on screen. The stunning Rachel McAdams plays the role of Paige with elegance, class and a free spirit, whereas the slightly overrated Channing Tatum plays the role of Leo genuinely. I say “overrated” as the only reason Tatum is casted usually is because of his rippling pectorals and his slightly dopey manner. However, in this film Tatum brings more to the table; more emotions, more acting ability and more personality and this really shines through for him, making the spectator sympathise with his character all the way through the film.

Both characters played the roles with realistic intentions. In one scene, after eating more chocolate than is physically possible, Paige says “Are you trying to make me fat or diabetic?” After she says the word “diabetic”, food flies out of her mouth and lands in her hair, making both Tatum and McAdams roll around in genuine fits of laughter. This adlibbing showcased the couples on screen chemistry and made the film all the more beautiful.

The Vow made me both laugh out loud and tear up; however, the only thing I have to criticise is that the style, form, and narrative on the whole are not original. Many a film have used flashbacks of a past and pleasanter life, the device of the girl losing her memory and needing to be reminded about how much she loved the person she is pushing away, it is predictable and safe. Yet this film did manage to add a bit of a twist. Instead of having that happily ever after that most films strive for, Sucsy managed to resist this temptation and went for an understated ending that really gets the audience questioning what true love is.

Verdict

A little cheesy in places and a whole lot of love sick puppy acting from Tatum, but overall this film will pull on the heart strings of even the most unemotional of people and make you appreciate what you have before it is tragically taken away.

3/5

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