There is something different about The Vow. It’s not your typical run-of-the-mill love story but it also poses challenging questions about the inevitability of love.
In the first few minutes of the movie, an accident leaves Paige (Rachel McAdams), unable to recall the greatest love of her life: her husband Leo (Channing Tatum).
Based on a true story, The Vow follows Paige and Leo as they struggle to get to know each other again, despite her uptight parents (Jessica Lange, Sam Neill), and Paige’s slick ex-fiancé Jeremy (Scott Speedman), whom she does recall with no memory of why they split.
Paige tries to piece together her life with her spouse, at one instance laying down all the photos of what she remembers and even visiting the art studio where she worked. She moves back with her parents, who reintroduce her to the life she left behind and she is pushed back into the same society and life choices that she abandoned. This becomes circumstantial in making her realise exactly why she made those decisions in the first place.
Tatum, best remembered for his role as John Tyree in the box office hit Dear John, is unusually expressive and brings a certain intensity into his role but McAdams is the real draw. She exudes her usual uncanny warmth on screen and is a delight to watch. As a couple, McAdams and Tatum have the ability to switch their chemistry on and off when needed. At times, Tatum’s fervour is unneeded but he continues to make you empathise with his character and the tragedy of slowly losing the one you love.
As the couple rediscover their relationship, they begin to rediscover each other. The question remains will it all work out in the end or will Paige choose to live the life she remembers. If once again they ‘agree to disagree on red velvet cake’.
Published in The Express Tribune, Sunday Magazine, May 20th, 2012.
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