The Vow has predictably saccharine charm


Starring Rachel McAdams and Channing Tatum. Rated PG. Now playing

You know the old thing about how if you just whack an amnesia victim on the head, they’ll get their memory back? So awesome, right? Well, sugary, sticky, amnesia romance The Vow—which couples superpretty Channing Tatum and his pecs, abs, biceps, and glutes with superpretty Rachel McAdams and her dimples—makes you want to hit somebody on the noggin with a large rubber mallet. Actually, twice, for good measure.

No one even whacks head-injured Paige (McAdams) with a Nerf bat, although bad things happen to her hair. Paige and Leo (Tatum) are living an adorable married-hipster life in Chicago when a big, dumb truck rams their car and Paige goes slo-mo through the windshield. As Leo helpfully flashes back, we see that Paige is a sculptor, Leo owns a music studio, they live in a hipster loft, have hipster friends, got married hipster cute in an art gallery, and seriously needed to be stopped.

Luckily, post-accident Paige doesn’t recognize poor Leo or recall sculpting those odd tree-woman thingies. Instead, she remembers her wealthy parents (Sam Neill and Jessica Lange, who’s stopped turning her face Asian) and her ex-fiancé, Jeremy (Scott Speedman), but forgets that she hated their guts. And, because who wouldn’t recoil at the sight of Tatum’s naked, godlike physique in one’s hipster loft, Paige runs back to Mom, Dad, and Jer and gets terrible frosted hair.

Tatum and McAdams still manage sweet charm for director Michael Sucsy’s maddening, manipulative story. But, Paige, why be a dimpled dimwit? Only a numskull wouldn’t ask around about why she once thought her family was the devil. Also, honestly, McAdams seems more comfortable as trust-fund Barbie than arty boho minx.

Oh, an epilogue shows the real couple whose amnesia romance inspired The Vow. Real people aren’t as attractive as movie stars, but at least they have stories to turn into shameless Valentine’s stickiness.

Watch the trailer for The Vow.

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My condolences in advance to all boyfriends and husbands who'll have to sit through this pathetic dribble, hopefully the sexes after makes up for the initial pain.
Rating: +3
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