Managing that rare feat of an unlikeable Rachel McAdams performance, The Vow may be based on a true story, but it's as emotionally contrived as they come. Needlessly long, and full of the kind schmaltz that would cause a care bear to dry heave, it wastes an appealing pairing and doesn't have so much as one supporting player worth their weight in screentime.
Tatum and McAdams are a ridiculously happy/beautiful couple, who are involved in a car accident as they slow down in the snow to neck each other. Both managing to come out alive, she suffers serious brain trauma and wakes up to a dose of amnesia - while he walks away relatively unscathed. It's a very specific kind of amnesia, though, one that involves her forgetting her entire life with her husband thus far. Going back home to live with her parents, Tatum's dutiful husband must make her fall in love with him all over again. Only, why would he? Apart from (obviously) looking like Rachel McAdams she's as vacant as a NAMA owned apartment block.
There are moments in The Vow that veer towards affecting. Then there are moments that as repetitive as modern mainstream filmmaking gets. You have seen this film before countless times; this one just has more of an ostensibly solid hook, and one that will quite probably bring in the valentines crowd no matter what I say. This is a production surprisingly devoid of soul, and full of below par performances and useless peripheral characters. Seriously, this group of friends look like extras from an IKEA commercial.
As for the leads, these two should've sparked off of each other effortlessly. McAdams is one of those actresses that can light up the screen with her smile - but she's not just that. Her amiability is a gift that few other performers of her obvious beauty possess. Alas she's stranded in a clueless character here, and can do very little with it. Similarly Tatum is an underrated leading man who is capable of subtlety few give him credit for, but almost mumbles his way through proceedings.
Those that cry at heavy-handed dramas that purposely attempt to manipulate their audience best bring the tissues. Everyone else find your heartfelt melodrama
Story by Mike Sheridan | 18:55 | Monday 18th June 2012 | DVD review
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