The Vow Doesn’t Live Up to Expectations

K. Hayes/MCT

Karmi Chan and Katie Hoskins

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For months, women across the country have been enticed by the attractive stars and the intriguing storyline of the The Vow. Girls everywhere counted down the days until they could see Channing Tatum boldly fight for Rachel McAdams’ love in the romantic drama. The pairing seemed ideal, but The Vow fails to be the passionate, tear-jerking, heart-racing drama that we were all expecting and is a poor use of the talent that Tatum and McAdams possess.

Paige (McAdams) and Leo (Tatum) play the ideal quirky, awkwardly adorable, subtly sexy married couple that we all flock to the movies to see. However, everything changes when Paige’s memory of their entire relationship is completely wiped out after a car accident. Searching for stability in her confusion, Paige reverts back to her old privileged life before Leo, completely changing her personality in the process. Leo tries everything possible to make his wife fall back in love with him, but she becomes too enveloped in her old life to even notice.

The Vow seems to have all the elements of the perfect romantic movie: an attractive male lead, a talented well-known actress, fabulous scenery of Chicago in wintertime, and a story about overcoming memory loss with true love. After all, who doesn’t love a story about battling the trials of a lost memory with the power of love?

However, the screenplay, written by the same people who are responsible for the clichéd blockbuster flop Valentine’s Day, fails to meet the audience’s extremely high expectations. The plot itself is highly predictable and echoes themes of The Notebook and 50 First Dates, giving the audience a “been there, done that” feeling. The combination of influences fails to create the heart-pounding passion of The Notebook or the laugh-out-loud humor of 50 First Dates. The audience is merely left with a confused mix of the two.

And once Paige loses her memory, all remaining charm is lost. After the accident, when their love is gone, the passion and emotion in the movie disappears, leaving a bland storyline that doesn’t evoke very much emotion in the audience at all.

However, kudos to the casting director. Tatum and McAdams perfectly create an endearing on-screen couple that initially lives up to the audience’s expectations.

Tatum’s character is one of the main draws for the movie and he succeeded in creating a quirky, adorable, sexy hunk of meat that we would all love to bite into. The plot line favored Tatum’s character, giving him more to work with as an actor and allowing him to show more of an emotional side.

Despite the lost aura of romance, McAdams plays her role well and brings more to the screen than the writers provided her with.

The trailer led us to expect a fiery couple tangled in bedsheets and nearly skinny dipping in a moonlit Lake Michigan. But ultimately the writers ended up with the same problem as Valentine’s Day: talented actors but nothing of true substance for them to use. This Valentine’s Day, set your expectations low, and go see The Vow for Tatum’s hot body and McAdams’ charm, but don’t expect a Notebook-worthy film.

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