The Vow (2012) brings to mind memories of The Notebook (2004). Not only because of Rachel McAdam’s beautiful face, but because both films deal with the concept of memory itself. Actually, these movies are about the absence of memory and the drama (or privilege) of not being able to access the history of one’s personal life and times.
Michael Sucsy’s The Vow, through the voice of Leo (Channing Tatum), wonders about the “moments of impact” that change our lives and our ability to return to those moments in order to access, in the case of Leo and Paige (McAdams), happiness. But what if “one day you couldn’t remember any [of those moments]?” The movie’s trailer opens with the characters’ vows scribbled on a menu from Mnemonic (ha-ha) and Leo’s promise of never forgetting that “this is a once in a lifetime love.” Paige loses her memory due to an accident and is unable to remember her married life causing Leo great affliction. Paige’s memory is, in fact, set back to a time before she met Leo, something that causes –as one can imagine- serious strains on their relationship. But is her memory truly lost? Or is it a repression of her unconscious in order to address other issues? The accident causes a dislocation and reallocation of temporalities, as the couple’s “present” (before the accident) becomes Paige’s future and Leo’s past. Pretty interesting, right?.. so, why does this movie feel so void of emotion?
This movie falls flat because its premise is predictable (not only by its poor narrative development) but also by the trailer. The Vow is exactly what the trailer says it will be and nothing more. McAdam’s superb acting is constantly met with Tatum’s amateurish gimmicks and beautiful torso. The characters are not believable and the story takes a rom-com route that ultimately leads it into the (forgotten) gutter.