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Friday, February 10, 2012

entertainme: review - "the vow"

There are things that go together perfectly like peanut butter & jelly, snow days & hot chocolate. Add to that list Rachel McAdams ("The Notebook")  & Channing Tatum ("Dear John") who star together in the romantic drama "The Vow." As I watched the film last night whenever Rachel's character Paige glowed/laughed in the presence of Channing's character Leo, I thought the casting directors must have heard angels singing when these two actors first read together.

Written and directed by Michael Sucsy ("Grey Gardens") and inspired by a true story, "The Vow" is the story of a hip, newly married young couple Leo and Paige who live the ultimate urban life together in a Chicago loft living the dream. They have cool jobs, have geek-chic friends and they go to hot restaurants as we see in the montage of  Leo and Paige skinny dipping,  feeding each other a box of chocolates and enjoying a deliriously good sex life until one night a car accident injures them both but leaves Paige with a traumatic brain injury and no memory of their life together. As Paige recovers from her injuries with no sense of who she is, never mind the fact that she doesn't recall her life with her husband, Leo is  the doting husband, the patient husband even as Paige's last memories were of her engaged to her former fiance (played by the irresistible Scott Speedman), again perfectly cast in this role.

It does make you think about your own life. If you forgot everything you know about your partner, could you fall in love with him/her again?  If you didn't remember that you were a great lawyer before the memory loss would you want to practice again? Are we destined to become an artist or a nurse or web developer?

While it can be predictable at times, McAdams and Tatum have true "Are they or aren't they?" chemistry.  It's clear watching these two actors together that they a.) Really like other or b.) Know how to pull great acting from each other. Either way, it works. If you are a Channing Tatum fan, you're in luck. In the scenes where he appears shirtless, the most female crowd at the screening I attended all sighed in unison.

Celebrate love in all its sublime, goofy, happy, angst-riddled forms and check out "The Vow" this Valentine's Day weekend.

Perfect for: A romantic date, a first date, girls night out

"The Vow" is rated PG-13. 104 minutes.

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