The Vow (2012)

First Ryan Gosling saves her, now Channing Tatum does. Lucky ass chick!

Rachel McAdams and Channing Tatum star as Paige and Leo, a recently married couple whose lives are devastated by a tragic car accident. When Paige loses all memory of her relationship with her husband, Leo vows to do whatever it takes to make her fall in love with him all over again.

Ever since ‘The Notebook’ came out, studios have been gunning for that one flick that can make as many chicks and dudes (yes, admit it, guys) cry as that one did. Sadly, none of them have even came close. But I guess it took one-half of that film and a dude that can shake his ass off to come the closest to surpassing.

Director Michael Sucsy doesn’t really bring much new to this whole weepy and romantic drama genre that we all have seen done for the past 6 years, but it’s the writing and premise that makes it work. The premise is definitely something that seems like it was adapted right from a Nicholas Sparks novel, but it’s actually based on a true-story and it’s that genuine feel that made me believe in some of the more melodramatic moments. But then for all we know ‘Dear John’ and even ‘The Last Song’ could have been based on real stories, but then again, those films don’t quite have as much as this flick does.

The writers obviously aren’t doing too much to this premise to change it up and make it all of a sudden become something like a cross between ‘Memento’ and ’50 First Dates’ but it still has its cute moments that are always backed up by some funny ones as well. The film takes itself seriously but never too seriously to the point of where I wanted there to actually be some sort of fun here. There is a little playful and joking feel to it which made it a lot more easier to actually stay in this film and laugh every once and awhile, rather than cringe at all the cliches. And woahhhhh crap, did I mention the cliches!??!

The film is very predictable, corny, and cheesy which may sound kind of weird considering I just got done praising elements of it but there are still those eye-rolling moments that started taking over the flick. There was a pretty good amount of time where this film seemed to actually be working well for me but then when the started getting into the more weepier montages/moments than the film started to lose my interest. Then again, this is the sort of stuff that many, many ladies will swoon over and the guys will sort of just be left in the dust, but that’s usually expected with these types of films.

One of my biggest problems with this film was that with a premise like this, there could have been so many different themes and messages that this film could have explored on its own but instead, just talked about briefly and left up in the air. One of the most important themes of this film was how people change over time which is evident in how Paige first started off as this yuppie, rich-girl then changed to this hip, and funky fresh Chi-town gal. This was pretty cool to see in a film that showed a person in two different ways since this happens in real-life but instead of actually giving that topic any type of insight whatsoever, the flick just skates over it and leaves it hanging. Pretty disappointing but I guess I was just expecting a little bit too much from a Tatum-McAdams love flick.

Rachel McAdams is given a lot more of the showy things to do in this flick as Paige, but she does a good job with it all. She goes throughout the film all confused and whatnot, so when she starts to actually show two different sides of her, it seems believable but then again she is sort of playing the same character that she did in ‘The Notebook’, except she’s forgetting things at an earlier age. Since McAdams is basically trying to piece together her whole life, it’s up to Channing Tatum as Leo to pick the slack up and give a good enough performance to actually have us follow his character, which he does. Tatum does a good job at keeping this performance believable, subtle, and very relaxed to where he didn’t have to do anything all that emotional but even when he does, it seems realistic. Both of them also have a good chemistry which is another reason why this romance, as well as this flick works in more ways than I expected.

The supporting cast is also pretty good. Sam Neill is great at playing that sinister and smarmy character he usually plays as Paige’s daddy; Jessica Lange plays her mommy and doesn’t do much until this little, dramatic monologue where she lets her true emotions out and it’s a really good scene mainly because Lange is able to pull off scenes like this; and Scott Speedman is good as the ex-fiancé of Paige, but damn does he need to lay off the hair gel!

Consensus: The Vow features plenty of those predictable, cheesy, and utterly sappy moments that occur in these types of romance flicks but with a fun script, good performances, and some nice touches to the whole formula itself, there’s a lot more to keep your mind off of this stuff and just focus on the romance at-hand.



  1. Agree, The Notebook has set a high bar. I can’t help but compare every self-proclaimed romance film to it. The Vow held its on and as you mentioned came close. It didn’t meet Sparks level but it will satisfy for the love themed weekend and week ahead.

  2. sigh, i don’t event see this as a rental. even if rachel is good in this movie, i just don’t think that a strong performance can downplay the actual lines from the movie or the screenplay. you can only do so much with that. i personally think rachel has been on the decline for years, and have written her off. but i know she was once good. channing is bad, all the time.

  3. 5/10 actually sounds generous from what i’m hearing, but I am glad to see you didn’t think it was horrible!

    Great review Dan.

  4. Yea it looks so formulaic but I guess that’s why people are flocking to it this weekend for a massive box office open. I’m sure I will see it down the road since I’m a fan of Rachel McAdams but yea, probably too cheesy and predictable…

  5. I really didn’t think it was cheesy at all. Mostly because it was based on something that happened in real life. I really like Channing, mostly because of how he looks, but I always felt his acting was not that great. This movie changed my mind about that. It was the scenes where he was the most upset, that I cried. (And I should point out that I didn’t cry for the Notebook.) I personally liked this movie better. Maybe because I didn’t have all those flashbacks.

  6. I thought the film was cheesy and cliche as you mentioned in some places, but I still found it okay on the whole. Tatum gave a convincing performance as a love sick guy. He had all the right puppy dog aspects down with the nervousness that he might do something wrong. At moments though he was too mopey for my taste. When he punched that Jeremy dude in the face, I felt like that guy deserved worse. I wouldn’t have stopped with just one punch haha.

    I loved the juxtaposition of her old life versus her new one, and the question “What would happen if you suddenly forgot your most influential, life changing years that shaped who you are today?” It was something that really made me ponder after the movie what my life would be like if I just forgot 5 years of memories.

  7. Amnesia, heartbreak and romance. Maybe predictable but one good reason to watch this movie is understanding the good in giving another chance for love and fighting for happiness. Awesome review! 🙂

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