Movie Review - The Vow

The movie is based on a real-life event, but the incident is one that is so cliché. It's especially so if you watch soap operas of any kind. Two people in love have their relationship threatened when one of them loses their memory in a car accident or through some form of amnesia. Channing Tatum and Rachel McAdams handle the whole thing with aplomb, but the screenplay by Abby Kohn, Marc Silverstein and Jason Katims can't break out of the obvious trappings and makes one fatal mistake.

Channing Tatum and Rachel McAdams play Leo and Paige, a married couple living in Chicago. Paige loses her memory and forgets Leo is her husband, so he tries to re-build their relationship. I could have gone with most of it, if the relationship we're shown weren't so cheesy. Everything we see Leo do in the first reel is so cheesy or corny that it was difficult to take any of it seriously. I wanted Paige never to get her memory back.

The movie's production did one or two things that were also cheesy. At one point, Paige walks past Cafe Mnemonic. A person who's having trouble with her memory walks past a place with the name Mnemonic in its title. Really? It's revealed that their wedding was held inside a museum without permission. It's something that's meant to be amusing but in turn is more annoying. If it were balanced with something else more interesting or grounded, I could forgive it, as I did with 500 Days of Summer.

The fatal mistake, however, revolves around a secret that gets dropped toward the end. It's supposed to be a bombshell. Again, it's akin to something out of a soap opera. We're led to believe it was the catalyst for this radical change in Paige, but a lot of it just doesn't add up.

The movie purports to be about re-examining the choices you make, the various moments that when combined make a person who he or she is. The problem is that the choices aren't examined. It's understandable that Leo wouldn't feel the need but things would have been more interesting if he did.

Paige mentions that she has a do-over and the question of if whether you had to do it all again, you would is settled. History does repeat itself. Love does win out, and I'm bored.

Two Stars out of Five.
Rated PG-13 for an accident scene, sexual content, partial nudity and some language.
Running Time: 1 hr. and 44 mins.


  1. There's a lot here that you could just poke a stick at and say it's schmaltzy and corny, but surprisingly, it's not that terrible. Tatum and McAdams are so likable that they really do make this a lot better than it has any darn right to be. Good review Marlon.

    1. I don't know. I don't think McAdams is all that likeable. She's a girl with brain damage. She's sympathetic, but I don't know that I like her. What does she do that makes her likeable post car accident? Tatum's character, post accident, is just going thru the motions that any person would go thru in this situation. I wasn't necessarily won over by him.


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