Love story touches for all the typical reasons

By Laura Wood

True love may be able to exist once, but can it happen twice with the same two people?

It was a cold and rocky road, but that’s the exact question “The Vow” promises to answer.

Based on true events, the film sets the scene for viewers fairly quickly with a snowy crash into a light pole that sends studio artist Paige (Rachel McAdams) through a windshield. After being rushed to a hospital and waking up from a medically induced coma, Paige learns that she lost some of her memory, including all the years that involved her recording studio owner husband Leo (Channing Tatum).


Paige’s doctor tells the couple it would be best for Paige to return to her normal life, and viewers watch as Leo struggles to help Paige rekindle the love she once felt for her husband.

As with most romance films, this movie is good for all the reasons it should be. The story is well-written and illustrated, Chicago’s skyline is beautiful and the awkward moments are precious.

Despite having to act like she can’t remember her life as anyone knew it, McAdams is stunning as usual in the sensitive and sweet girlfriend role. In the same respect, Tatum leaves few questions as to why he was cast as the loving and hopeful husband who will do anything to make his wife love him again.

The thing about love story chick flicks, though, is that it’s really hard to be memorable if the two main characters’ chemistry is even slightly off. Unfortunately, it is the case with this film.

Throughout the movie, viewers can feel McAdams’ desire to be close again with the husband she doesn’t remember, but it seems hard for Tatum to return the same raw emotion and care a wife with amnesia might need. Viewers’ first clue should be the “welcome home” party he throws for Paige without considering the fact that she wouldn’t be nearly as excited to see people as they would to see her.

However, one thing is certain. The movie plays so sweetly that the audience can’t help but root for Paige’s memory to return. Between all the little things Leo attempts in hopes to trigger her memory and the inhibitions she surrenders for the same goal, it feels natural to hope at least one tactic will work.

It isn’t even the big things that win Tatum any cute points either, but that might be part of what makes this movie so sappy. The couple’s day in the city and night at the lake are cute, but those are the kind of moments a romance film needs to keep the hopeless romantics in the audience captivated.


It’s nice to see effort and devotion come from the husband this time around, though, even if the wife is struggling to find it in her heart  — again — to return the same sentiment. With Leo’s voice-over narration that helps put his love for Paige in perspective through his theory on moments of impact, the attempts to get his wife away from her parents and back into her art studio and her life suddenly become much deeper and more heartfelt.

With love already in the air, “The Vow” would make a great Valentine’s Day date. As hopeful as viewers might be for the slightly atypical love story, though, there isn’t much more guarantee than that.