By Kendyll Boucher
Sometimes, I love a good cry. For me, the best cries come from watching an unbelievably sad movie. I’ve seenTitanic at least ten times, and I still get teary-eyed when I watch it. I’ve seen every movie based on a Nicholas Sparks book, and sobbed hysterically during each one. So as you can imagine, I was beyond excited when I saw the trailer for The Vow.
The film stars Channing Tatum, of Dear John fame, and Rachel McAdams, who cemented her place in the tearjerker genre with The Notebook. The studio makes a point to remind the audience of this in the trailer, while flashing clips of them acting adorable set to a sappy Taylor Swift song. Naturally, I was intrigued.
I was prepared to bawl my eyes out into my popcorn when I saw The Vow. What could be better than a heart wrenchingly dramatic love story? But two hours later, I had not shed a single tear. I was disappointed. I packed tissues and I wanted to utilize them. Unfortunately The Vow turned out to be much more of romantic comedy then a tearjerker.
The Vow stars Rachel McAdams and Channing Tatum as Leo and Paige Collins. Paige and Leo are newlyweds – she’s a sculptor and he owns a recording studio. Their life seemed perfect. Just as they begin to talk about expanding their family, tragedy strikes. They get in a car accident, and Paige is thrown through the windshield. Leo is fine, but Paige suffers from a traumatic brain injury.
When she wakes up in the hospital a few days later, Paige doesn’t recognize Leo. She doesn’t remember the past five years of her life. She doesn’t remember falling in love and getting married. Paige comes home from the hospital with Leo, much to the displeasure of her parents, played by Sam Neill and Jessica Lange. She lives with Leo for a while, but soon moves back in with her parents. Leo attempts to woo her again, but has to vie for her attentions with Paige’s ex-fiancé Jeremy, played by Scott Speedman.
Leo takes Paige on a date, and tries to trigger her memories by taking her to all their favorite places in Chicago. They have fun, but she still doesn’t remember. He tries his hardest to make her fall in love with him again, but he fails. Paige’s father tries to bribe Leo into divorcing Paige, and eventually Leo does.
You would think this is where I would cry, right? Nope. Because shortly after everything falls apart, it is neatly put back together. Paige never regains her memory, but she and Leo fall in love again regardless.
The main problem that I had with this film was that it dangled in the middle of two genres—drama and romantic comedy. I would have liked to see one or the other, not a mash up of both. There were elements of comedy laced throughout the film, like when Leo accidentally walks into their bedroom naked, forgetting Paige has amnesia. But these moments were few and far between. The movie mostly comprised of Paige talking about how she doesn’t remember Leo.
If you’re looking to see a light-hearted date movie, I’d recommend this. Both Rachel McAdams and Channing Tatum prance around in their underwear in one scene. It’ll please everyone! However, if you’re expecting The Notebook-esque romance, The Vow isn’t for you.