Rating: 2 stars out of 5
Channing Tatum looks all set to storm cinemas this year, like it or not. The blonde beefcake, contractually obligated to show off his body at least twice per movie, still comes across as a bit bland and a non-thinking man’s Ryan Gosling.
For this inspired by a true story weepie, Tatum plays recording studio owner Leo, who starts off happily married to burgeoning artist Paige, played by the sweet Rachel McAdams. They’re happily hitched, until she decides to want to get it on at a traffic light and their vehicle gets rear ended by a truck. She ends up in hospital with memory loss, and thinks she’s still freshly out of high school and has no recollection whatsoever of marrying Leo.
In swoops her estranged family, played by Sam Neill and Jessica Lange, who pry her away from the arms of Leo while giving him a lecture of not having health insurance. Paige has no recollection of their romance, while Leo struggles with running his business and trying to win Paige anew. Too bad Paige thinks that she’s still engaged to Jeremy (Scott Speedman).
Directed by Michael Sucsy, the film provides plenty of melodramatic opportunities, glued together by Tatum’s clunky narration about the importance of memory and special moments. The script, penned by committee, has a few painfully contrived moments.
As Leo goes through a clunky process of trying to remind Paige that they’re hitched, he’s asked to provide evidence all he can bring to the table is a voice message. Really? No photos or videos or love notes even? No surprise Paige wonders if their relationship was real and he’s some sort of hunky stalker.
Tatum still has a credibility problem, after his rather bland take as the lead in ‘GI Joe’. Though he’s scoring points for taking on a more comedic role in the upcoming movie remake of ‘21 Jump Street’, he does little to boost his reputation here. He mopes like a kicked dog through much of the movie as he struggles to remind Paige about their life together. When he tries to give advice, he brings up Thom Yorke, it’s so awkward one can only wince.
McAdams and Tatum trying to figure out what went wrong with the movie.
McAdams knows how to parade her sweet, disarming smile, which pretty much allows her to get away with anything, including planting a kiss on her former beau.
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Everything, and almost everyone, ends up nicely, and the amnesia turns out to be a good thing because it apparently allowed Paige to forgive certain family indiscretions by just wiping the slate clean.
Stuff just happens, and despite the potential for something more sinister, it just goes into the Nicholas Sparks clone of romantic moments stitched together with Tatum’s emotionless narration.
‘The Vow’ provides plenty of romance movie touch points, but at the end of it, you’ll probably want to forget all this ever happened too.