The latest hollywood romance blockbuster sees newlyweds Leo (Channing Tatum) and Paige (Rachel McAdams) involved in a car accident that results in Paige losing her memory. The last thing Paige remembers is being engaged to her previous fiance Jeremy (Scott Speedman) but she must try to fall in love with her husband Leo all over again. Think this sounds far fetched? The beginning of The Vow announces that it is in fact inspired by true events.

Although it offers a polished version of reality, there is a serious side to The Vow that asks its audience to consider whether or not they would make the same choices if they lived their lives again, that asks them to consider the importance of circumstance and fate in their own lives. And the story is more universal than it seems with its themes bearing a great deal of resemblance to those of unrequited love.

Letting the film down though are an array of fairly limited characters. Paige dramatically fails to see things from Leo’s perspective and also fails to demonstrate any real fear about her loss of memory. But with Rachel McAdams at the helm, she does become both appealing and relatable. The Vow’s supporting characters, particularly Paige’s family are quite one dimensional – the archetype of selfish, controlling parents is now both cliche and tired.

Channing Tatum brings enough sentimentality and warmth to make the story palatable and Leo quickly becomes the character you root for. But The Vow could do without Leo’s uninspiring voiceover about ‘moments of impact’. Instead of adding depth to the story’s meaning, this has the opposite effect, being too simplistic and distracting.

As romances go, The Vow has an interesting angle. The story and its lead characters are surprisingly relatable (even if you do want to shake Paige every now and then) and it passes an hour or so quite painlessly.

VERDICT:   ✪ ✪ ✪

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