vowOk guys, listen up. You have had 51 weeks since last Valentine’s Day to think of something special to do. Yet once again you have waited until the last minute.

 The Vow

Ok guys, listen up. You have had 51 weeks since last Valentine’s Day to think of something special to do. Yet once again you have waited until the last minute. So here is what I suggest. Buy two tickets to THE VOW, slip them in a pretty card (one that doesn’t play music when you open it), and place it beside her plate at breakfast. Extra points if you actually make the breakfast. This will not only help get you out of a jam but you may find this to be a great way to strengthen your relationship, and a catalyst for conversation. And now I lost you again.

Inspired by the real-life story of Kim & Krickett Carpenter, The Vow shows the length one man will take to save his marriage. When Paige (Rachel McAdams) awakens from a coma with severe memory loss she has no recollection of the car crash that put her there, her current occupation, or the events of the last several years. But most devastating is that she no longer remembers her husband Leo (Channing Tatum). To her he is a stranger. So while Leo is overjoyed that his true love has now regained consciousness he has to deal with the fact that she no longer returns the deep rooted emotions they once shared. So begins his journey to win her back.

This is a very sweet story and one that is a perfect romantic outing for couples of any age. The timeless message of love and devotion is surrounded by a light, dramatic tapestry. You can’t blame Paige for her condition regardless of how much you want her to remember. You sympathize with Leo who has to watch his wife turn her back and walk away to a life in which he has no place. It is a tragic tale but handled in a way that makes it almost cute and never overwhelming. It has a romantic comedy element at times as Leo tries different ways to win back Paige. It is this light mood that makes THE VOW a perfect date film. You can’t help but feel moved by the story but never do you get the sense of hopelessness.

McAdams is fantastic in this role and fans of her work will be quite pleased. She is fun and flirty but with an air of sophistication that makes her a strong female lead. Tatum takes a lot of flak about being one dimensional. Not so. It is his simplicity and ability to be real that works well here. He doesn’t have all the answers. He is an average working man trying to get back what was lost. There is no pretending in him. Like we would be, he is misplaced at times and stunned. It is a very sincere portrayal and a nice fit here.

The Vow is rated PG-13 for an accident scene, sexual content, partial nudity and some language. The language is mild for PG-13 with one frustrated outburst from Paige. There is nothing gory, sophomoric, or crude about any of this. There is a brief scene of Tatum’s bare bum as he walks across the room. It is more awkward for the characters than the viewer and meant to set up the dynamic. The sexual content is less than prime time television. Every element in this film is there to show how strong the marriage bond is for this one man. He never loses site of the vows he took. I encourage couples to see this and then spend some time afterwards revisiting their own wedding vows; whether from 2 years ago or 25. Talk about the ones you struggle with and the ones that you think your partner does so well. Take the time to encourage one another and appreciate the love you have. I give it 4 out of 5 renewals. Yes it is a genre specific film, but one that serves the category well.

 Review copyright 2012 Mungleshow Productions. Used by Permission.