The Vow

Michael Sucsy’s film The Vow is a perfect Valentine’s treat. Based on a true story, this chick flick is wrapped in cool, bohemian scenery, interwoven with the hero’s maudlin philosophies about “moments of impact,” all tied together with flashbacks to what gives the movie its name: the couple’s wedding vow. The movie’s content is a delicacy that might be too sweet for a more disenchanted audience, but those who want to indulge in romance will be charmed by this heartwarming story.

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Nothing seems to break the commitment that the young newlyweds Leo (Channing Tatum) and Paige (Rachel McAdams) made to each other, until a car accident puts Paige into a coma, causing her to lose all memory of the last five years. Having forgotten her life and love with Leo, she intends to live the life of her very different past self — a law student who loved her snobby family and her ex-fiancé Jeremy. But Leo, who swore to love his wife no matter what, tries to make the free-spirited woman he married fall for him again.

McAdams’ charming confusion wins everyone’s sympathy — on- and off-screen — and Tatum’s honest devotion embodies a feminine daydream. The duo does a great job projecting the lovely chemistry of a couple that is better together than apart. But their cute characters are rather uncomplicated sketches that give only an idea of the profound and moving true story that this movie should portray.

Even so, the movie can lift sensitive hearts above the sometimes dry realism for a love that is as unbreakable as a vow. Those with a romantic sentiment will be able to fill in the gaps of this outline with dreams and fantasies about the springs and foundations of love: Are relationships built on “moments of impact,” the commitment to a vow or the true love of matching souls? This is a movie that leaves you wanting more — more love and affection for life and more refinement for the movie itself.

3/5 stars