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Vow, The


Stars: Channing Tatum, Rachel McAdams, Sam Neill, Jessica Lange, Scott Speedman

Director: Michael Sucsy

Glutinous, soppy romance, allegedly based on true events, but never less than artificial on screen. Tatum is earnest and McAdams pert, but neither offers the depth of emotion to make this work even on the level of, say, Love Story. Tatum is more comfortable in action films, while McAdams may have come this way just once too often.

Supposedly, the two meet cute in a coffee bar: he owns a small recording studio, she's a struggling sculptress who quit law school to the disgust of her father (Neill). In no time, they are exchanging agonisingly icky wedding vows (perhaps the director should change his name to Sudsy) in an art gallery but, after three years of marriage, there's a car crash and she loses all memory of their years together.

What follows is stunningly predictable, nothing more so than that Tatum will punch his wife's ex (Speedman) out at her sister's wedding. But she doesn't seem interested in reviving the marriage anyway. 'People get married,' she tells him, 'for all kinds of reasons. Like a green card...' 'I'm from Cincinnati,' he reminds her.

So, on the dodgy premise that her parents, whom she hasn't seen in years, want her home, she leaves.

Neill and Lange (as her mother) try to lend gravitas to these roles and situations, but the flaccid script is against them. As always, though, the big city (in this case Chicago) and its surrounds are beautifully photographed, here by Rogier Stoffers.

David Quinlan

USA 2012. UK Distributor: Sony (Screen Gems). Colour by deluxe.
104 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 12A.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.

Review date: 07 Feb 2012