To set the record straight, this is not a Nicholas Sparks film. I know, it seems like it should be, but it isn’t. It is, however, inspired by true events. The Vow follows the story of Paige (Rachel McAdams) and Leo (Channing Tatum), whose lives dramatically change after a car accident leaves Paige with no memory of the last five years of her life and subsequently no memory of Leo, her husband. (I understand why many think this is a Nicholas Sparks film).
Paige of five years ago is remarkably different from the Paige that Leo knew and fell in love with. Paige remembers a time when she was still engaged to her ex-fiance Jeremy (Scott Speedman), was still studying at Law School (instead of working on sculptures in her life as an artist) and was still talking to her estranged parents (Sam Neill and Jessica Lange). Leo faces an uphill battle to remind Paige of their life together in the hopes that she will love him in return.
Both Channing Tatum and Rachel McAdams are very convincing in their roles as the romantic leads. While their performances aren’t Oscar worthy, they are believable. The use of Channing’s voice-overs, while effective in telling the story, seem sporadic and almost appear to be added as an afterthought. Leo’s actions at times seem to be insensitive to the situation, like throwing her a surprise welcome home party filled with people she has no memory of, but Channing perfectly embodies a man just wanting his wife to remember him.
The Vow is first and foremost a love story. It is about a man’s struggle to convince his wife to fall in love with him again. It is about knowing when to give up and knowing that you’ve done everything you can and that the rest is up to them. It is about the power of love. It is about the fact that if it is meant to be, it will happen. It is about knowing that love will triumph over all if you believe in it.
Monique gives it 3.5 stars!