I wouldn’t completely disavow The Vow, but I wouldn’t commit to a recommendation either. It’s mediocre melancholy that topped the box office in its opening weekend for one main reason: it’s the only romantic drama out there. So hapless romantics like me flocked to the theater, hankies in hand, hoping for the best. I may have dabbed my eyes a few times near the end, but I wasn’t swept away.
The Vow stars Channing Tatum (Dear John, Step Up 2) and Rachel McAdams (The Time Traveler’s Wife, Morning Glory) as Leo and Paige, a couple of newlyweds whose vows are put to the test when Paige emerges from a coma with severe memory loss. She does not remember her husband – at all. As Leo struggles to woo Paige all over again, Paige struggles to reconcile a past that she remembers, with a present that’s a total blank.
The ingredients are all there for a classic chick flick, but the batter is only half-baked. Tatum and McAdams are cute and endearing early on, but the chemistry between them fizzles as the storyline takes some turns that feel predictable, forced, or unconvincing.
The Vow is inspired by a true story, so that’s enough to amp up the sap factor and keep you rooting for the couple – in real life as well as on-screen. But don’t be too quick to drag your Valentine to this one. You’ll both have more fun at the shallow but more entertaining This Means War (a romantic action comedy with sneak previews on Valentine’s Day and opening nationwide on Friday).