For those of you that have sat in romantic movies and said to yourself: ‘but that wouldn’t happen in real life!’, may I present to you, The Vow, a true story. The plot line is really simple and yet incredibly moving. Paige and her husband Leo are involved in a serious car accent leaving Paige with severe memory loss. Paige’s last memories are when she was engaged to another man, her relationship with her family was great and she was attending law school. Leo is but a stranger to her. Leo is determined to win back Paige’s heart and salvage their marriage, but it won’t be easy starting anew. Is true love a once in a lifetime opportunity or will Leo be able to make Paige fall back in love with him all over again?
Rachel McAdams has been crowned the ‘Rom-Com Queen’ so she was really in her element in this movie. It was interesting to see her in a slightly more serious romantic setting, going back to what brought her to stardom in the world of romantic dramas, The Notebook. McAdams’ performance in The Vow is incredibly real and moving, drawing the viewer in, making you sympathise with Paige’s circumstances even more. You may possibly find yourself quite frustrated with her character at times, but this is just the film drawing you in, willing her to remember the past and her love for Leo.
I have quite mixed views about Channing Tatum. I’m still on the rocks about whether or not I think he’s suited to playing serious roles as I commonly associate him with his role in She’s The Man. I think that perhaps he could’ve done a better job in The Vow, though Channing Tatum has always been good at acting awkward, and there’s plenty of awkward in this film. Channing Tatum’s character, Leo, is the character that really turns the water works on as ultimately it’s him who has lost the love of his life and feels it the most. Whilst of course you feel sympathy towards Paige who is completely disorientated and forced to adapt to her new life, Leo is the one stuck with memories of the past that he cannot possibly erase.
I watched The Vow the day before Valentine’s day so obviously I was feeling slightly more vulnerable than usual which is probably why this movie had such a profound effect on me. Though, I’m pretty sure even if I’d been watching this when I was feeling extremely un-romantic with a steely heart it still would’ve made me crumble inside. The fact that this film is in fact based on a true story stays in the back of your mind throughout the movie and you can’t help but imagine the pain that this pair must’ve gone through in order to salvage their marriage. Everything is heightened when you think that this is the story of someone’s life. You won’t be sat there thinking, ‘this would never happen’, because it already has, and that sense of realism is what makes this movie really top notch.
It’s not all doom and gloom though! There are some very funny moments in The Vow too as well as moments that make you want to cry happy tears. There is a good balance between sad and moving and the comical – though it isn’t funny harhar – which is good because otherwise I would’ve no doubt transcended into a serious phase of depression.
Whilst Rotten Tomatoes only gave The Vow a rating of 28%, we all know film critics are born with hearts of lead so I’m not surprised. If you look at the ratings from ordinary viewers this film has been voted as 3.5/5 stars or higher which is much more positive and I think is a better representation of the reaction to this film. I would definitely recommend this film to anyone and everyone who needs a reminder that true love isn’t easy. Prepare yourself for some heartbreaking scenes and bring a box of tissues and a shoulder to cry on.