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Real-life story of a newlywed New Mexico couple, Kim and Krickitt Carpenter, who were struck by tragedy shortly after their marriage. A car crash puts the wife in a coma, where she is cared for by her devoted husband. When she comes to, without any memory of her husband or their marriage, the husband must woo her and ultimately win her heart once again.
For more about The Vow and the The Vow Blu-ray release, see the The Vow Blu-ray Review published by Martin Liebman on May 1, 2012 where this Blu-ray release scored 3.5 out of 5.
Starring: Rachel McAdams, Channing Tatum, Sam Neill, Jessica Lange, Scott Speedman, Jessica McNamee
Director: Michael Sucsy
» See full cast & crew
The Vow Blu-ray Review
Promise to give this movie a watch.
Reviewed by Martin Liebman, May 1, 2012
This is a once in a lifetime love.
When one imagines soul mates, one likely sees instant, true, deep, love; unbreakable bonds; best friends; and the sort of connection that shouldn't be natural but that is indeed shared between two that have become one, two forever destined to merge and create a single entity unrecognizable apart but altogether full and complete. It's equally difficult to imagine anything breaking that bond, for it's the sort that is -- or should be -- above petty differences or disagreements that so often bubble over to ruin otherwise good marriages. Can that forever bond, that uncanny and unique link, that metaphysical connection be broken by damage to the physical? The Vow tells the true story of true love suddenly and tragically interrupted by circumstance, soul mates torn apart by accident and seemingly unable to rediscover that magical connection that couldn't have been the work of anything else than supernatural design. The movie challenges audiences to define "true love," to question whether it can, should, or will extend beyond the mind and body, if it truly exists deep within the very essence and housed inside the soul, if it is something that once unleashed and connected with another cannot be severed, remaining forever in life and broken only through death.
Leo (Channing Tatum) and Paige (Rachel McAdams) are deeply in love. Marriage hasn't lessened their bond, but rather strengthened it. They're soul mates in every sense of the term, and nothing, it seems, could tear them apart. But when their car is rear-ended by a large truck, both suffer physical injuries. Leo comes out no worse for wear, but Paige is forced into an induced coma to giver her body the recovery period it requires. When she awakens, she's still herself, just not the Paige Leo knows. Instead, her newer memories have been wiped away, and all she knows is the Paige who existed before Leo came into her life. She reconnects with her estranged parents (Sam Neill and Jessica Lange) and even rediscovers a long-lost passion for her one-time fiancÚ, Jeremy (Scott Speedman). But try as he might, and largely against her parents wishes, Leo cannot reconnect with Paige on that same deep, loving level, despite his commitment to her and unending evidence of their love and marriage. Can the two make it work, or will the stress of Paige's new circumstances do the impossible and tear apart two souls destined to be forever together?
As is often quoted from the Bible at wedding ceremonies, love is many different things, the first in that list being "patient." There's probably a pretty good reason for that. In The Vow, love builds, is recognized, and becomes solidified in marriage. The physical becomes broken, and the process must begin again. "Patience" is the virtue that shapes and defines the rest. "Patience" is recognizing that love is something worth waiting for, that it's not about instant gratification, fulfillment of the physical, or satisfying a craving. It's about the connection, the deep bond, the friendship, the understanding, the look, the smile, the comfort, the forever. Patience is the key, whether in marriage, looking for love, or that rare instance of trying to find it again. The Vow is about stretching patience to the limit, putting love to the ultimate test. The picture's exploration of the true strengths and bonds of love is goodhearted, tender, and sweet. The picture posits an incredible scenario, challenging audiences to decide if love is like lightning and whether it may happen to strike twice, or if love, true love as these characters seemed to have, is something that exists beyond the natural, is anything but that lightning strike "flash in the pan" but a recognizable yet invisible and not at all understood magnetism, something that cannot be explained but only felt, understood, and known by those who find it. Can it be found again? Are "soul mates" truly brought together by the soul, or is that merely an expression for feelings felt by an organic vessel with nothing other than random chance leading one towards his or her destiny?
Beyond its challenging premise, The Vow proves to be a solid, if not somewhat chunky and rough-around-the-edges, movie experience. The picture can be a little slow once the plot becomes established and the characters struggle to reteach their hearts and minds and souls what was long to build and instantaneous to destroy. As Paige works to reestablish the cadence of her everyday life, Leo struggles to find the patience to keep moving forward as his wife's old life is suddenly all she knows and all in which she finds comfort. It's a tremendously interesting dynamic for a story, Paige's old ways -- including parents long removed from her life -- angling to recapture its foothold as it once was while her husband efforts to have her remember the life she built with him, away from the old but now completely foreign to everything she knows. McAdams and Tatum share wonderful chemistry, notably in the early scenes of their life in love and the flashbacks to their burgeoning romance and marriage. They both perform well in the aftermath, fighting through an unimaginable series of obstacles both mental and physical as they both come to terms with the fact that their realities are no longer lined up on the same plane. McAdams shines as the confused wife, and Tatum shows that he's grown as an actor, capable of playing these sorts of roles with real heart and purpose. He's not quite as good here as he was in the wonderful and grossly overlooked Dear John, but Tatum holds his own and delivers a deep, understanding, and complex performance that's exactly what his part demands.
The Vow Blu-ray, Video Quality
The Vow's striking 1080p transfer comes expectedly. The title's from Sony, and this transfer reflects that studio's general high quality releases. This image delivers handsome, film-like texturing. Light grain accentuates, and fine details and balanced colors are evident throughout. The image is crisp and nicely defined. Details are strong-to-striking, with faces complex, clothing tactile, and everything around the frame -- including the trinkets around Leo's home and the brick walls of Paige's art studio -- appearing sharp and almost perfectly and naturally resolved. Color balance is excellent. The image isn't the definition vibrant, but the palette is natural and clear. Blacks are strong, and flesh tones neutral. The image does go a hair soft every now and then, but this is otherwise a picture-perfect transfer. No wear and tear, no banding, no blocking, nothing ever interferes with the latest gem in Sony's Blu-ray release collection.
The Vow Blu-ray, Audio Quality
The Vow's DTS-HD MA 5.1 lossless soundtrack is excellent, even as it supports a dialogue-intensive Drama. Music plays smoothly and evenly, with positive bass and evident surround support. It's clear and perfectly defined, whether soft, smooth, warm, and romantic light score or heavier dance club beats which play with high energy and precision bass. Light ambiance plays naturally about the stage, with various settings enjoying just the right touch of background information, whether the din of a festive wedding or traffic passing across the back of the screen. Otherwise, this one is dominated by the spoken word. Dialogue plays efficiently and without hitch through the center speaker. This one's not exactly memorable, but it gets the job done and completes all that's required of it with great clarity, smoothness, professionalism, and ease.
The Vow Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
The Vow contains an audio commentary, deleted scenes, a gag reel, and several featurettes. A DVD copy of the film is also included.
The Vow Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
The Vow struggles to keep it momentum going in a crowded middle stretch, but that sense of detachment, confusion, and jumbled ideas and actions is thematically appropriate for the experience. The Vow is a challenging watch with a difficult premise. It's part Tearjerker, part Romance, part Drama, but the whole is an engrossing saga of love found and lost and the struggles that follow when soul mates are torn apart at their very seams. It's well-acted and nicely assembled; the movie might not offer the sort of resolution audiences on either side of the ledger -- will the characters rekindle their romance or go their separate ways -- might like, but it's honest and compelling no matter how it ends. Sony's Blu-ray release of The Vow features, no surprise, excellent video and audio. A few supplements are included. Recommended.
The Vow: Other Editions
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The Vow Blu-ray, News and Updates
• The Vow Blu-ray - April 2, 2012
This summer, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment will bring The Vow to Blu-ray. The romantic drama stars Channing Tatum (Haywire) and Rachel McAdams (The Notebook) as a couple forced to reassess their relationship in the wake of a devastating car crash. The Vow ...
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