Movie review – A reminder of love

2012-05-12 12:50

Film: The Vow (Ster-Kinekor)
Director: Michael Sucsy
Featuring: Rachel McAdams, Channing Tatum, Jessica Lange, Sam Neill and Scott Speedman
Rating: 6/10

Director Michael Sucsy gets a little carried away with the sentiment content here. A long-time commercials director whose first fiction film was the wonderful Grey Gardens about Jackie Kennedy Onassis’ homebound relatives, Sucsy gets tangled up in this love story.

Based on a true story – though I am guessing it’s been very buffed up for the screen – The Vow is about a happy young couple, Paige and Leo, who do crazy things and love each other fiercely.

Then one day, while they are snogging in the car after a movie, they are in a crash.

She doesn’t have her seatbelt on and so flies like a projectile through the windscreen sustaining terrible head trauma.

If nothing else, this film is a sharp lesson in why driving around without your belt on is so very, very stupid.

Paige, played by Rachel McAdams, is in a coma for some time and her devoted young husband, Leo (Channing Tatum), never leaves her side, but when she awakens she has no clue who he is.

So begins Leo’s long and thankless road to trying to win back her love.

She, meanwhile, has reverted to her former self – the one she was before she met Leo.

She goes back to her rich parents’ home, she starts flirting with her former Ivy League lover (Scott Speedman), and she seems to have forgotten how to be the great artist she was before. Leo, meanwhile, looks on helplessly.

It is a poignant story, much like McAdams’ previous romantic flick, The Notebook, because it is about one lover remembering while the other can’t. I suppose the question is: if your lover can’t remember how much you loved each other, does it make it meaningless?

Leo’s answer is no, and he spends all his time trying to show Paige why she left her privileged life behind to be with him.

The trouble with The Vow is that Paige is hard to like without her memory. She’s a rather vapid, materialistic girly-girl, and eventually you wonder why Leo is bothering.

Tatum is a handsome young man, but a great actor he is not.

He lacks the emotional depth to handle the deep despair his character must be experiencing.

However, despite the film’s shortcomings as a great sweeping love story that will stand the test of time, it is a perfectly respectable choice for a date night movie.

» Follow me on Twitter @GayleMahala 

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