Paige (Rachel McAdams) and Leo (Channing Tatum) are a happily married couple living in Chicago and as with all couples, they are deeply in love. That is until a car accident takes place and Paige goes into a coma from which she wakes up with amnesia, not remembering any of the past five years: her years with Leo.
Struck by the fact that his own wife doesn’t remember him, Leo decides to make her fall in love with him all over again. Simultaneously, Paige’s parents: Bill (Sam Neill) and Rita Thornton (Jessica Lange) try to use this new opportunity that life gave them in trying to mend bridges with their daughter. Leo, however, doesn’t necessarily fit in their plan of getting their daughter back to law school and into the arms of a man they approve of.
What’s refreshing about The Vow is that it is actually based on a true story and as such the events that take place in the movie, albeit sappy and cliche at times, have an element of sincerity to them that other movies of the same genre lack. Apart from annoying voice-overs by Channing Tatum about moments in life and other useless balderdash, the movie doesn’t feel annoyingly sweet like your usual over-sugary romantic comedies.
Channing Tatum, however, is dull throughout. Even the moments where he has to express emotion come off as flat. He’s also in tears almost all the time. It gets grating at times. Rachel McAdams is the movie’s real draw. She’s a great actress who commands every frame she is in like child’s play. You keep rooting for her character even when she gets slightly annoying by falling for her ex-fiance, whom she doesn’t recollect breaking up with. Sam Neill and Jessica Lange, as Paige’s parents, are great in whatever screen time they get.
Simply put, if you are a guy wanting to take out your girl for a movie this Valentine’s day and you know she’s into romantic comedies, The Vow will work wonders with her without getting you to want to rip your hair off. If you’re into a light movie that will entertain you for its duration and the theatre you went to has no other options, then The Vow isn’t necessarily that bad. Although it might feel like been there, done that (imagine a romantic version of Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore’s 5o First Dates), you can’t but give the movie some slack for being a true story as is shown by the last frame before the credits start rolling.