Thursday, May 17, 2012

The Vow on DVD

[NOTICE: I've changed the review below because, originally, I made a huge mistake and assumed this movie was based on a book by Nicholas Sparks. It has all the trappings of one of his book-adapted movies: same type of story, same actors. But, in fact, it is based on a true story written by the Carpenters. I apologize if you happened to be misled by reading the previous version of this review.]

If you look at my "Movie Reviews" page, you'll see there is a whole category dedicated to Nicholas Sparks book-adapted movies! I'm not sure why I torture myself with those. I loved A Walk to Remember, both the book and the movie. That was my introduction to Nicholas Sparks. Since then, nothing has matched...not even close. Perhaps because of the subject matter and the format of the title and the look of the cover, I thought this movie was based on another of his books. I was made aware that it is not. It's based on a true story by Kim and Krickitt Carpenter, which makes it all the sadder. I sincerely hope their story has a more satisfying ending than this movie.

The Vow (now out on DVD) is actually okay, except for the end. Yeah, it's still a bittersweet, sappy love story. Nothing inherently wrong with that. I like it because the two main characters are actually married, for once, so there isn't that whole extra-marital sex storyline to deal with (though the movie is rated PG-13 and contains partial nudity and minor sexual content). Channing Tatum and Rachel McAdams do a beautiful job portraying their characters.

In The Vow, Paige and Leo are deeply in love until a car accident puts Paige in a coma from which she awakes remembering nothing of her life with Leo. In her mind, she's still engaged to another man, still speaks to her parents, has a different set of friends, doesn't live in the city, eats meat, and is still a law student rather than a struggling artist. Her whole life is different than she remembers it, and she does not know, let alone love, the man who's supposed to be her husband. Leo, on the other hand, is so in love that he tries everything to ease her transition back into his life, but the going is extremely rough. Eventually, he realizes that he will have to start from zero again in their relationship, but can Paige fall in love with him again or will her reunion with her former life be too big a chasm to span?

(Minor SPOILERS) Obviously, this is a heartbreakingly sad movie. I'm not saying the end result is sad. I won't completely spoil that for you, if you wish to see it anyway. But the process is difficult to watch. Can you imagine the person you love most in the world suddenly ceasing to know you even exist? There are happy moments, too, redemptive moments, and it was almost enough. But the end just wasn't everything I wanted. Something was missing.

However, The Vow was better than the similar (though fictional) Nicholas Sparks "Romantic Tragedies" I've reviewed on this blog, and ending aside, it was an emotional tearjerker of a romance, which I generally enjoy. Three stars out of five.


  1. I actually thought this had an interesting concept. I'm disappointed to hear it has a sad ending.

    1. It's not quite a sad ending. The ending just didn't make me feel happy.

  2. I agree with you on the ending. I wonder if the Carpenters' book has a better resolution, since books usually give more detail. I felt like the movie's ending kind of left things hanging a bit.

    As for Nicholas Sparks movies...I notice you've reviewed "The Last Song" and "Dear John." I would have to agree that those weren't his best movies. I enjoyed "Dear John" as a book and felt that its ending was better than the movie's.

    But my point in saying all of this...Have you seen the movie of "The Notebook?" I actually liked it better than the book. I thought the acting and storyline were beautiful. I'm curious as to your opinion of it, if you've seen it. If not, I totally recommend it!

    1. I must admit, it's been a long time since I watched The Notebook (did not read the book), and my memory is kind of hazy on it. But I do remember that my enjoyment of the movie was tainted by the moral values it portrayed. Unfortunately, I don't remember details, if it was an extra-marital sexual relationship (or the implication of it) or adultery or what. It was something along those lines, I think. The movie did make me cry (in a good way), but other than that, all I remember is being disturbed by the morality. Maybe I would be able to appreciate other aspects of the movie if I watched it again, I don't know. I know a lot of people really like it.


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