Inspired by a true story, Rachel McAdams and Channing Tatum play Paige and Leo, a young married couple who are desperately in love and living a slightly bohemian life in the big city. However their romantic idyll is shattered when a truck rear-ends their car, sending Paige through the windscreen. She’s left with amnesia, meaning that while she can remember her early life, she has no memory of Leo or their marriage. Indeed, the last she can remember, she was engaged to another man (Scott Speedman). She also can’t understand why she’s supposedly estranged from her wealthy parents, or why she’s now an artist when the last she knew she was in law school.
It’s certainly a tricky situation, but Leo is convinced their love can win through and that eventually her memories will come back. However as time goes by, Paige still can’t remember Leo and she finds it difficult to difficult to respond to his attempts reconnect with her, as the life he’s offering is so far removed from the one of privilege she grew up in. Will true love conquer all, or is it too much to ask for her to try and return to a life she doesn’t remember, without the initial steps that took her there?
Although based on a true story, there’s little doubt the tale has been heavily Hollywood-ised, sometimes to its benefit and sometimes to its detriment. However it’s a great premise (indeed I’m surprised it hasn’t been used more often), and the true story angle ensures it doesn’t seem as OTT as amnesia tales sometimes can. McAdams and Tatum make a great central couple. Admittedly Paige occasionally seems a bit selfish and close-minded (although forgivable due to the brain trauma), but Leo’s eternal optimism and attentiveness is incredibly endearing. Tatum is particularly good at looking wounded, which he certainly puts to good use here.
When the film strays from the central couple it’s not a strong. Things such as the ex-fiancé and estranged parents come across as rather artificial film constructs, and the eventual revelation about why Paige fell out with her folks is pretty cheesy. When it sticks to Paige and Leo, it’s a good movie, which does a nice job of balancing what you’d expect from a Hollywood romance with something a little more interesting. It doesn’t shy away from the fact that Paige’s amnesia is a massive barrier and present a plenty of unique challenges that aren’t easily overcome, and thanks to McAdams and Tatum it works well. Ultimately it becomes a story that’s less about the amnesia itself and more of Paige’s fear of rediscovering a life that’s far from what she remembers. It’s an interesting angle that ensures a more interesting and less nauseating ending than we might have had.
The DVD also includes an audio commentary with director Michael Sucsy (best known for the HBO movie Grey Gardens), some deleted scenes and a gag reel. It’s a short but okay selection, although there’s nothing particularly amazing.
Overall Verdict: Although the subplots are a bit cheesy, McAdams and Tatum ensure the central romance/drama works surprisingly well and doesn’t feel as forced as amnesia storylines have a tendency to.
Reviewer: Tim Isaac