Based on a real story of a couple, Kim and Krickitt Carpenter, The Vow released in February 2012. It stars Rachel McAdams and Channing Tatum.
Leo and Paige are happily married and very much in mushy love until one cold winter evening, a truck collides with their car, rendering Paige with brain damages, while Leo has some minor injuries. When Paige gains her consciousness, she cannot remember her husband, and assumes him to be her doctor.
The story is narrated by Leo, who talks about the “moments of impact” that define our lives.
Paige suffers from amnesia after the accident- she cannot recollect the past few years of her life; she doesn’t remember meeting Leo and fails to comprehend why she left her loving, caring parents, or dropped out of law-school to become a sculptor.
Leo is the overly affectionate and caring husband who fights for his love from her parents, who take advantage of Paige’s memory loss to welcome her back into their lives, and direct the course of her life as planned before. They re-admit her to law school and encourage her socialisation with her high-school friends, and her re-kindling of love with her former fiancé, while trying to coax and coerce Leo out of her life.
Even Paige is not attracted to Leo anymore, though she finds him cute and genuine and thus, agrees to live with him to try and collect the pieces of her memory back together, she cannot recall a thing from her recent past- her new friends, her home, her office and her work all seem foreign to her.
Leo tries and fails to fit in to the new Paige’s life.
Meanwhile, her parents lure her back home on the pretext of her sister’s upcoming wedding. During the preparations for the wedding, she feels more comfortable as she revisits the known, familiar people and places. But during the course of her stay, she finds that something crucial has happened that has changed all relationships around her, something she cannot recollect, something that no one is telling her.
She ultimately finds out the secret from a person she remembered as a dear friend, who, she discovers had a clandestine relationship with her father. Feeling cheated and used, the past repeats itself, Paige finally understands why she left her “perfect” life to venture into the real world and she drops out of law school again, but this time, she forgives her father and her family for hiding the secret from her.
Eventually, we see a happy ending as Paige finally returns to Leo, who is heartbroken after having patiently and desperately tried and failed to retain Paige in his life.
Rachel McAdams proves that she’s the perfect choice for the cute-girl-who-is-lost-and-confused. Her expressions make one fall in love with her and sympathise with her character. Channing Tatum is certainly more than just a pretty-face in this movie- it is evident that he has worked hard for this role. The little things give it away, like, in the end, where he plays a simple piece on the guitar impeccably, it shows he has practiced hard for even that 30-second scene.
However, what bogs this movie down is the sheer predictability of the story. This movie, though based on a real-life couple, is just another instance of Hollywood’s obsession with stories revolving around amnesia and memory loss. The characters sketched were obvious- the rich parents, the cute little sister, the lonely protagonist, in a career disapproved by his wife’s parents and the confused wife, who left her glamorous but superficial life as a rich kid to pursue her “different” dreams and explore the real world.
The Vow is a nice one-time-watch but fails to deliver a punch. It is for the cute and sweet moments in the movie that bring a familiar smile to your face, that you will remain glued to it.
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