In his big screen feature debut, The Vow Michael Sucsy deals with a bittersweet amnesia story which seems to be Nicholas Sparks’ The Notebook and ‘The Wedding’ rolled into one.
Based on a true story this is an achingly romantic tale of Leo, a young man who tries to woo back his young wife, Paige. The opening scenes project the two newlyweds emerging from an old cinema on an enchanting, showy night and getting rammed from behind by a truck. The accident leaves Paige flying through a windshield and in hospital, fighting for her life. While on her bedside Leo recalls their first meeting and the screen zooms to a flashback. Thought there is noting special about the romance, viewers are drawn towards the fun-filled scenes of how the lovebirds marry in a in a gallery of the Art Institute of Chicago where Paige is a student and are being chased out by the guards who were unaware that such an event is taking place.
Back in the present, peace is shattered when Paige’s long-absent parents enter the scene. They fuss around her and use Paige’s memory loss as an excuse to bring her back into their lives.
Paige remembers details about her life before Leo from studying law to her favourite eating habits. Her amnesia has a heartbreaking effect on Leo but proves to be a trump card for her parents who are hiding an ugly secret behind her back. This pull of the past sends her back into her family’s arms and Leo is made to look like the odd one out of the lot. Yet the isolated scenes unveil to the viewers how much Leo struggles with his emotions while keeping Paige’s interests at heart.
At times the ‘I need to make my wife fall in love with me again’ theme of the movie reminds you of Sparks’ well loved novel The Wedding because both deal with the emotional side of the man rather than the woman. They project that though guys do not openly express their feelings, they too undergo trauma in matters connected with the heart. The movie’s screenplay is no masterpiece. Abby Kohn, Marc Silverstein and director Sucsy should have worked on the script to keep the roles balanced and the scenes in place but the lead pair makes it an appealing picture to watch.
Despite his macho appearance, Channing Tatum manages to stir up emotions in the viewers as the hopelessly romantic Leo. This time he manages to pull off the act which he failed in 2010’s Dear John. His performance is as convincing and good as the vow Leo has made to his ladylove.
Rachel McAdams is the real star of The Vow. She charms all with her curious yet fearful glances, projecting the look of a lost kitten. Between the two they manage to set the screen alight with chemistry so that one almost wonders how Paige could possibly imagine herself to still be in love with her high school crush, Jeremy, rather than Leo.
The Vow is one of those rare movies which manages to capture the good old sensation of what it is to actually like ro be in love. All else matters when lovers are together and though the path maybe long, their love will conquer all obstacles.
Daily News - Ruwini JAYAWARDANA