CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- These days it seems like every romantic movie in the theaters has the same story: a guy and a girl fall in love, there is some sort of obstacle, and then they end up happily together by the end of the movie. "The Vow" is basically one of those movies, but it has a few twists that will trip up lovers of this predictable genre.
First, "The Vow" takes place after the guy and the girl have already fallen in love and started a life together. It's the story of what happens after the I do's are said, which is where the curtain closes on most romantic comedies. The film is based on a true story of a couple that went through a tragic accident together.
Channing Tatum and Rachel McAdams star as Leo and Paige, a happily married couple living in Chicago. The actors mesh well as two people who are in love.
Of course, neither is new to playing a part in a love story. Both actors have starred in movies based on books by romance author Nicholas Sparks, which is interesting because "The Vow" actually sounds similar to Sparks' "The Notebook." Rachel McAdams was the female star in that movie, too. (Tatum appeared in "Dear John.")
In "The Vow," Leo owns a recording studio and Paige is an artist launching her career. After a few years of marriage, the pair is in a car accident, in which Paige suffers a head injury. When she wakes from the coma, she cannot remember the last five years of her life. These years include moving to Chicago, attending art school and falling in love with her husband.
Paige cannot remember meeting Leo, much less the life they created together. Leo tries to remind her of all the things she can no longer recall, but recreating five years of her life proves to be more difficult than either one of them ever expected. The task seems like a lost cause and both give up, each going their separate ways.
Heartbroken and alone, Leo focuses on his career while Paige tries to capture her former life. It is interesting to watch as she strays from the life her parents want for her and returns to the life she wanted for herself before the accident.
Eventually, Leo becomes part of the life she returns to in her recovery process. Since this is a romantic movie, that's hardly a surprise. However, the film's end offers another twist, one that will disappoint the "happily every after" fans in the audience.
A picture of the real life couple and their two kids is shown at the end of the film. The couple who experienced "The Vow" in real life knows the true hardships that can be faced after saying "I do." Such hardships are often left out of today's romance movies, but they are often the most important part of "happily ever after," and they make the "happily" all the happier.