15 minutes into the film and you end up thinking - 'Why is this film arriving a month too late?' After all, this is just the kind of film that makes for a good, if not perfect, Valentines treat. A quintessential Hollywood romcom that follows just the kind of template that may have its share of detractors but seldom fails, there is a strong plot in the middle of it all. No wonder, you can well see why the film has been earning millions worldwide.
At the core of it, the film is pretty much reminiscent of '50 First Dates'. This time around too it is the man's (Channing Tatum) job to win back his love (Rachel McAdams) after she has lost her memory (and hence, obviously a long standing courtship) in an accident. What makes it extra special though is the fact that is 'inspired by true events' that brings a certain authenticity to the affairs. Also, unlike the overall romcom flavour of '50 First Dates', this one focuses on 'rom' instead of the 'com' element.
Director Michael Sucsy (for whom this is his first feature film for the big screen) does well to include enough heart warming and cuddling moments that keep the smiles coming. Also, he ensures that heart wrenching emotions and tender moments are in the right dose without making it all seem like an overtly dramatised affair.
Of course one does wonder how the prime cast here was conceived since Channing hasn't really found his space in the romantic zone while Rachel, despite the kind of face which is just the right fit for a romcom, is yet to get into the Reese Witherspoon or Anne Hathaway zone. Still, full credit to this unexplored couple that ensures that as an audience, you are in their journey even as a tragic incident leads to the rekindling of love in a gradual manner.
The makers could well have been tempted to turn 'The Vow' into a convenient affair where the guy turns out to be overtly charming while the girl, despite her memory loss, falls for it all in a jiffy. However the story maintains it's own pace which means despite no real peaks or lows, the momentum stays consistent while holding your attention.
In the middle of it all there are some standard sequences included as well (like the one where Channing steps in when Rachel is changing her clothes) but then this is what cinematic liberty is all about. Even otherwise, despite the fact that the story's culmination is pretty much known, you do like the way 'The Vow' builds on its tempo. Moreover even though there aren't many characters around, you don't quite mind seeing Channing and Rachel occupying the frame for maximum duration since their romance has a sense of believability to it.
All of this also means that for some out there who revel on different stories being told, 'The Vow' is hardly the kind that breaks any new grounds. Yes, the situations at times are a tad different mainly due to the film based on a true incident. Still, eventually the film settles down for mainly those who like to have their monthly dose of romance without being apologetic about it.
If you are willing to be seen coming out of the theatre all mooney eyed and if being branded as a Mills & Boon aficionado is a matter of pride instead of being embarrassed, 'The Vow' is a film you won't mind giving a dekko.