The Vow tells the story of Paige (Rachel McAdams) and Leo (Channing Tatum), a happily married couple who are victims of a car accident, resulting in Paige awakening from a coma to experience memory loss, remembering nothing of Leo or her present life.
A romantic-comedy about one half of a relationship suffering memory loss; nothing original here then, however, The Vow is actually inspired by true events, and this certainly gives the film a different feel to the average amnesia movie audiences are so accustomed to. The initial crash occurs within the first five minutes of the film, and director Michael Sucsy opts to show us some character development with a series of flashbacks, leading to Paige awakening from her coma to not remember anything from the last five years.
We’re quickly introduced to a number of stereotypes; Paige’s parents, Bill and Rita (Sam Neill and Jessica Lange), predictably defying doctor’s orders of Paige recovering with her husband and current life and demanding that she returns to her parents’ home. It’s hinted all along through clunky dialogue driven exposition that a past event separated Paige from her parents, but for whatever reason the screenwriters opted not reveal the information until the third act, when all conflicted interest has passed, resulting in a rather diluted dramatic incident (one of many plot holes).
However, the film does entertain, with (mostly) solid performances all around, and a few plot holes aside, the script manages to provide enough conflict to keep audiences engaged. It’s easy to sympathise with Leo’s character, a man caught with the realisation that the woman he loved doesn’t love him back (or even remember him). Paige also gains the accredited sympathy she deserves for the most part, but her blatant disregard for Leo’s efforts can often be misread as ignorance, only strengthened by her actions towards an ex-love interest.
With the minor flaws aside, The Vow still manages to provide good quality entertainment, throwing in a few laughs along the way and an array of conflicting interests that provides pure dramatic excitement. The fact the screenwriters chose to resolve the film with a new beginning also adds a little originality to the film, playing down the over-done clichéd Hollywood ending we’re so familiar with. The plot holes and hidden development can be irritating, but the emotional and heartfelt story is enough to keep audiences entertained.