Posted in Movie Reviews

The Vow

Director: Michael Sucsy
Starring: Rachel McAdams, Channing Tatum, Sam Neil, Jessica Lange
Rated: PG
Date:  26 February 2012

Dear Ryan Gosling, our relationship is over, I won’t lie to you, there’s a new man in my life and his name is Channing Tatum. Love always Suzanna.

After a car accident puts free spirited Paige (Rachel McAdams) in a coma, she wakes up with severe memory loss. Paige’s condition means her last memories are from before she met her husband Leo (Channing Tatum). Distraught at the prospect of losing his wife (who can’t remember him in anyway), Leo sets about working to win her heart all over again.

I think I’ve said this before but I’m not into romantic films. The Notebook is about the only film I will acknowledge is worth my time and effort, but this film has totally renewed my faith in romantic movies. This could have quite easily become one of those mushy, Hollywood clichés that has you reaching for the vomit bucket every 10 seconds, but writers Jason Katims and Abby Kohn have managed to avoid any of the usual unrealistic dialogue and contrived situations. Instead what they created is an intelligent and sensitive story about heartbreak, loss and the true nature of destiny. Although slow at times and with some predictable plot elements (enter Scott Speedman as the ex-fiancé), the writers still manage to underplay this drama and instead focus on how the couple deals with the unexpected, and how these situations change the nature of their relationship.

Adding to the brilliance of this love fest is the fact the films leads deliver an outstanding performance. Tatum and McAdams have fantastic chemistry from start to finish resulting in quite an emotional journey for the audience, as we get to feel, as if first-hand, what the couple are experiencing. McAdams as usual delivers a perfect performance, slipping effortlessly into the broken woman persona, but it’s Channing Tatum who proves the stand out in this film. Delivering a performance well beyond his action movie persona, he might look like he’s built for a boxing ring, but Tatum plays Leo with great courage and emotion, showing us a man who has the courage to fight for the woman he loves, even if that means her happiness comes at the cost of his own – the man is also super good looking and does charm with ease – a definite plus for the ladies.

Based on a true story, this really is one of those films that will have you believing that when two people are truly meant for each other, the universe will find a way – now, there’s the mushy Hollywood cliché for you.

– Suzanna Parisi


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