Follow Us on Twitter

The Vow - DVD Review

The Vow

Review by Rob Carnevale

IndieLondon Rating: 2 out of 5

ALTHOUGH it claims to have been loosely inspired by a true story, Michael Sucsy’s amnesia-driven romantic drama The Vow always remembers to pander to conventional formula as well.

Hence, what could have been an interesting premise becomes a formulaic and often clunky would-be weepie that resolutely targets only the most romantically susceptible.

Rachel McAdams and Channing Tatum star as a young married couple whose life together is shattered by a car crash that leaves the former unable to remember any of their life together.

While he patiently awaits some kind of recall, and even attempts to win her back by courting her all over again, she seeks solace in the only things she can remember… a family and ex-fiancée (Scott Speedman) she mysteriously walked away from.

Sucsy’s film does, admittedly, have some interesting elements and is well acted by its two leads, who clearly have the right kind of chemistry.

But the film as a whole feels both predictable and contrived when a little more imagination was required.

The characterisation, in particular, is poorly achieved with most of the supporting cast reduced to obvious stereotypes, whether it’s Speedman’s good-looking but vacuous love rival, Sam Neill’s disapproving, manipulative dad, or even Jessica Lange’s subservient mother.

Even Tatum’s central character is overly earnest, when a little more complexity would have better served.

The contrived situations also feel as though they pander more to Hollywood convention than the real-life story they were supposedly taken from, with ‘bonding moments’ achieved over favourite cafe spots or involving inappropriate skinny dipping.

Even the times the film strives for something slightly different (such as having McAdams’ character roll up the window to inhale her boyfriend’s fart, thereby proving her love) feel unrealistic.

The Vow is somehow kept watchable by Tatum and McAdams, who work tirelessly throughout. But that still doesn’t make it worth recommending to anyone other than the most hopeless romantic or those who need a potent reminder of why you should always wear a seatbelt.

Certificate: 12A
Running time: 104mins
UK Blu-ray & DVD Release: June 25, 2012