The latest installment of romance movies with Rachel McAdams, titled “The Vow,” arrived Feb. 10, but it was essentially an update of her 2004 film “The Notebook,” another movie in which she lost her memory and her husband tried to win her back.
The movie starts out with the couple, Paige (McAdams) and Leo (Channing Tatum), driving home from a movie. At a stop sign, they are rear-ended by an enormous truck, causing Paige to crash through the windshield and suffer a severe head injury.
When Paige wakes up, she doesn’t know who Leo is. For the rest of the movie, Leo helps Paige try to regain her memory, but once he realizes that she may never remember, he wants to recreate their past and attempts to make her fall in love with him again.
Of course, Paige only forgets Leo and still manages to remember her wealthy parents, whom she hadn’t spoken to in years. Her family pulls her away from Leo and looks down on him for having a job as a music producer in a recording studio. This reaction is very close to McAdams’ character’s family tearing her and Ryan Gosling’s character apart in “The Notebook” because he was poor.
And of course, no movie is complete without a love triangle, and this one features Paige’s previous fiancée, Jeremy (Scott Spearman). Their backstory is never fully explored, and her renewed feelings for him seem fake.
The rest of the movie is filled with clichés that will either make you swoon or roll your eyes at the inconsistent and shallow characters and strange, nonsensical plot twists that explain why Paige stopped speaking to her family years before.
McAdams and Tatum deliver good performances, but they can only do so much with sub-par lines. While this film could’ve been a complex love story dealing with the psychological effects of amnesia, it chose to cater to the Valentine’s Day crowds of single girls who want a sad yet hopeful cheesy romance film.
If you’re a fan of romance movies, you’ll enjoy this, but if you aren’t in the mood to spend $11 at the theater, you could always just watch “The Notebook” again — a true classic.