It’s exciting to see Shyamalan on such confident footing once more, all these years later.
"The Vow" is a well-behaved, tenderhearted love story about impossibly nice people. It's not even about whether they'll get married. They've been happily married for four years. The problem is, she can't remember them. She can't even remember her husband.
Paige and Leo are a young Chicago couple. She's a Lake Forest blue blood who angered her parents by dropping out of Northwestern law school, moving into the city and enrolling at the School of the Art Institute, where she sculpts clay into such forms that Leo mistakes a pile of fresh clay for one of her artworks. Leo has opened an independent recording studio, arguing that although everyone may be able to produce songs on their laptops, he can aim higher — at the heights of an old Sun Records session, for example.
They live happily. They are in love. She is estranged from her parents. They look great together, and as played by Rachel McAdams and Channing Tatum why shouldn't they? The actors bring a dreamy warmth to their roles. Then one snowy night, the two are rear-ended by a truck. He wakes up in the hospital. She remains in a drug-induced coma to assist her brain in reducing its swelling. When she recovers, she has no memory of ever meeting or being married to Leo.
Indeed, she thinks she is the same person she was before her life changed. She thinks she still lives with her folks (Sam Neill and Jessica Lange) and is still engaged to Jeremy (Scott Speedman). Her parents, who approved of Jeremy but not of Leo, couldn't be happier, and expect to bring her home with them. Leo persuades her to come home with him and see if any memories return, but it's as if she's living with a stranger.