Starring Rachel McAdams, Channing Tatum, Sam Neill, and Jessica Lange
Directed by Michael Sucsy
New on DVD/Blu-ray is The Vow, which grossed $125 million at the box office earlier this year- almost double the take of The Lucky One.
The central romantic conflict of this film is grounded in real events, so no need for contrivance here. The marriage of real-life couple Kim and Krickitt Carpenter survived her brain trauma and memory loss after a horrific car accident, and fictional couple Leo (Channing Tatum) and Paige (Rachel McAdams) are no different.
The Vow is also cleverly written. The dialogue is witty and sincere, the melodrama is minimal and the love story is genuine. The main characters are well fleshed out, and we can’t help but root for the couple and hope for a romance driven deus ex machina to save the day and return Paige’s memory at the film’s climax.
McAdams, as Paige, is at her radiant best and while the jury is out on Tatum’s acting talent, his broad-shouldered- aw-shucks- ma’am appeal and limited range really work to his advantage here. Tatum sells Leo’s steadfast faith in their marriage and the simple, straight forward devotion that guides his reactions to Paige, the accident and the amnesia. You really feel for the guy, and the chemistry between the leads is so convincing that I found myself actively rooting for them. Scott Speedman distractions be damned.
Other critics criticized The Vow for being light and frothy, but the film is an endearing testament that sometimes, even in real life, true love does conquer all. And that makes The Vow a top-notch chick flick in my books.
Emotional Investment 4 Authenticity 5 Chemistry 3.5 Contrivance 0