My husband Dave isn’t a big fan of romantic movies so while he was in Omaha watching NCAA basketball with friends I took advantage of his absence to go and see the movie The Vow. I expected to revel in a routine, tear-jerker kind of schlocky love story.
Here’s the basic plot. A young married couple has a car accident and the woman Paige suffers head trauma. She wakes from a coma having forgotten the last few years of her life during which she turned her back on her family, gave up her promising law school career, broke up with her fiancée Jeremy, became an artist, fell in love with Leo and married him. After the accident Paige wants to return to her old familiar life. She doesn’t remember her husband. Leo tries to win her back.
There are five reasons why this movie appealed to me and made me think my husband might have liked it too.
1) It is set in Chicago. Here the happy couple is kissing under Chicago’s signature sculpture “The Bean” or Cloud Gate by Anish Kapoor. Leo and Paige’s wedding takes place in Chicago’s Art Institute. Dave and I visited Chicago in November and in this post you can read about our visit to the Art Institute and Cloud Gate.
2) This isn’t a fairy tale. It was based on the real life story of Kim and Krickett Carpenter. They have written a book about their experience The True Story Behind The Vow. Reading the reviews for that book, one major difference from the movie is that the Carpenters are very clear it was their faith in God that got them through their crisis, while the movie characters never talk about their religious beliefs.
3) Leo, the male protagonist in The Vow has an ethical choice to make. He can tell Paige about a scandal in her family in order to win her back. Will he take the high road? I like the fact the movie raises an ethical dilemma that makes the viewer wonder what they would have done in a similar situation. Leo’s ethical choice is much like the one character Matt King faces in the movie The Descendants.
4) Academy Award winning actress Jessica Lange plays Paige’s mother. She was excellent. I really admired her in the scene where she is telling Paige why she stayed with her husband even after he was unfaithful to her. “I chose to stay with him for all the things he’s done right; not the one thing he’s done wrong. I chose to forgive him.”
5) The movie doesn’t have a perfect ending. It ends without us knowing for sure whether the two main characters will get back together. The movie reminds us that a marriage relationship can be worth holding on to even when things are far less than perfect.
The Vow isn’t a great movie, but it was an enjoyable afternoon escape and had enough redeeming qualities that even my husband might have liked it.
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