Published on February 10th, 2012 | by Tom Andrew0
The Vow is barely worth a walk down the Aisle
“The Vow,” starring Rachael McAdams and Channing Tatum, is based on a true-life story.
Paige (McAdams) and Leo (Tatum) are a happily married couple living in Chicago when their car is rear-ended during a snow storm.
Both end up in the hospital, but only one fully recovers.
Paige’s head injuries leave her with a type of amnesia that wipes out the last five years of her life and all memories of how she met, fell in love and married Leo.
Leo is patient. He rarely leaves her side, hoping to help her regain her memory, but time begins run out for them when her parents (Sam Neill and Jessica Lange) show up at the hospital wanting to take her back to the life she had before she met Leo; one that she remembers. A life of law school, perfectly coifed hair, and lavish parties.
She wonders why in the five years of her marriage with Leo that she lost touch with her parents and the life she once had with them. He can’t offer her a reason and her parents don’t either. Leo simply tells her that she decided to give law school up to become an artist and they didn’t agree with that.
He doesn’t give up on her though. He feels that if he just shows her how they met and fell in love she will remember, but she doesn’t. So she leaves him to return to the life she remembers.
The Vow could have been a great film. The cast is filled with talent, but as talented as they are they can’t write the missing dialogue.
McAdams, best known for “The Notebook” and “Sherlock Holmes,” is beautiful, free and fiery. She commits to a piece even when it may be crumbling around her.
Tatum does the best he can with the underwritten script. He does have a few decent scenes, but needs a stronger director who can bring out what seems to be lying on the surface though his scenes with McAdams are fun and uninhibited.
Sam Neill (“Jurassic Park”), Scott Speedman (“Underworld”) and Jessica Lange (“Tootsie,” “American Horror Story”) play their supporting roles well, but with no dimension. They are seen as the bad guys and played that way. The only one who comes out well is Lange who has a wonderful scene with McAdams towards the end of the film. There is a reason she is an Emmy, five-time Golden Globe and a two-time Oscar winner and that scene alone proves it.
Michael Sucsy directs his first big screen attempt tentatively, only showing a few glimpses into what he can really do.
“The Vow” isn’t a bad film, but with a better script the game for everyone involved would have been seriously stepped up a notch.