Sometimes movies based on real events work and other times they don’t. The jury of film critics reporting on The Vow is basically unanimous that it doesn’t. I wanted to like The Vow, as it’s based on the accident that happened to Kim and Krickitt Carpenter as revealed in their 2000 tell-all, The Vow: The Kim and Krickitt Carpenter Story.
The movie stars Channing Tatum as Leo (Kim) and Rachel McAdams as Paige (Krickitt). Leo and Paige are one of those lucky couples who have found the perfect mate. Their early married life is blissful. They adore each other and remind each other of that fact in both words and actions every day.
Channing Tatum & Rachael McAdams
One night while heading home Leo is enjoying his favorite thing to tickle Paige while sitting at a light. She undoes her seatbelt to lean over and give him a kiss when they are rear-ended by a truck that sends Paige through the windshield. She’s transported to the hospital where she’s put into a coma. Leo hangs around everyday, and when she finally wakes up, she doesn’t remember him, being married or anything of the last five years.
Leo made a vow to always stick by Paige, and he plans to do everything to bring her memory back, which includes indulging her mean treatment in their home. Her estranged parents (Jessica Lange and Sam Neill) show up wanting to bring her “home” where she belongs. Leo wants to tell herPaige she’s had nothing to do with them, but holds off hoping she’ll remember on her own.
As days go by, Paige tires of Leo’s attempts to woo her again. She wants to go back five years to the life she remembers, which includes Jeremy (Scott Speedman), a fiancé that she walked out on but can’t remember why. Or can she remember how she’s gone from quitting law school to becoming a noted sculptor. The large figures in her workshop almost scare her.
So eventually Paige calls mom and returns home. Leo pursues her but is given the cold shoulder by her family and is challenged by Jeremy who wants Paige back. Leo realizes his only hope is to make her fall in love with him again. But how will he do that when she doesn’t seem to want anything to do with him?
Parts of the movie are okay, and Tatum and McAdams can’t be totally blamed for the bad reviews; they do a good job with what they had to work with. Not having read the authors’book, it’s difficult to know if Director Michael Sucsy tried too hard. There are some cliché moments that are easy to see coming, and others that make no sense at all. Like how Paige agrees to a date with Leo while staying with her parents and during the date she responds to Leo like she did before the accident. The next day she treats him like dirt with no explanation why.
The story unveiled about her parents is blasé and again a poor reaction to the action of her amnesia. Fans of these stars may enjoy the film, but anyone who likes logic in their romance may be disappointed in The Vow.
Photo: Channing Tatum and Rachel McAdams star in The Vow.
Photo Credit: Kerry Hayes/ SMPSP / Sony Pictures