Cinema w/ Sharlette - 'The Vow'

by 8:07 AM PST, February 11, 2012
Photo: Screen Gems

Just in time for Valentine’s Day and expectations are high for Nicholas Sparks alumni Rachel McAdams and Channing Tatum in the romance/drama, The Vow.

Inspired by the true story of Kim and Krickitt Carpenter, Tatum’s character, Leo, struggles to reconnect with his wife, Paige (McAdams), after a car accident. The accident dilutes her memory of their relationship, including their marriage.

A great premise to what would seem to be the romance of the decade, yet with a weak screenplay and cast, the film fails to keep its vow to the audience. McAdams is known for stealing our hearts, which makes her the perfect choice for Paige. She is beautiful onscreen, but her lack of recollection and chemistry with Tatum is not believable.

Tatum’s performance does not exceed our expectations and the lingering scenes add to the impression of apathy. McAdams and Tatum seemed to struggle with the orientation of the story largely due to unexplained aspects of the plot.

In an attempt to possibly connect the audience to McAdam’s character, Paige’s mind acts as time traveler, selecting links to the past and her recollection to relationships with various characters did not work. The lack of connection continues with a not so supportive, supporting cast.

Veterans Sam Neil and Jessica Lange were in a totally different film and never truly connect with the lead characters. On the other hand, Tatiana Maslany, as Lily, has such great chemistry with Tatum that at some points a romance between their characters seems more likely. Unfortunately, this is not supposed to happen.

The film should make us root for Leo and Paige’s reconciliation, but when the actual vows spoken at their wedding are without substance, it makes you wonder how these two walked down the aisle from the beginning. This romance leaves us with no tears of joy and no memories.