As the first high-aiming romance movie for 2012, The Vow has a lot going for it. It has that welcome distinction of actually making its audience experience what it feels like to bubble over in true love.
It hits nearly all the high marks with its two chemistry-conjoined stars, and in the process, just about restores our faith in real love on the big screen. Critics' reviews have, by and large, not been favorable, but I'm happy to say that they are wrong on this one. You heard it here.
McAdams and Tatum give us more than the average romance buff could ask for. This makes a movie that will not rely on clichés or the typical bad takes on couples humor, but gives us a story you can't help but cry about. And get this: it's not set in New York! That right there deserves points.
We love McAdams and Tatum and they let us know how much they love their roles without on-queue crying, accompanied by stares into each other's eyes. And when even a hit-or-miss presence like Tatum can have a part in making us cry, we know something has been done right!
What some will take more issue with is the film' tendency to play heavily on a medical condition to heighten a romance. It happens to be that those who suffer permanent or temporary memory loss from accidents tend to lose small chunks of time and details, not entire chapters or years worth of living. But we can't be too hard on this, as it does happen, with this movie being a “based on a true story” example of a deeply religious couple who, in 1993, had this exact thing happen to them. Kim and Krickitt Carpenter are who this movie is based off of. We are told they take issue with the movie because it doesn't so much as utter a peep about Jesus and God with the religious backstory they wanted included.
But to general audiences, that doesn't matter. We watch and are mostly amazed, very seldom finding the desire to roll our eyes at some of the elements brought to us from lesser care taken in the writing. The plot sometimes toys with us in its moderating intensity and can tire us as it refuses to satisfy our expectations as life often can. And right to the end, it doesn't let up. In that time, any mild bouts of frustration are relieved by the appeal of McAdams who is absolutely mesmerizing.
Let opinions differ as they will; this film will gloriously find its audience. Of that, I have not the slightest doubt.
“Love stories always find an audience.”
- Jackie K. Cooper