I’m not a big fan of chick flicks and not for the typical guy reasons. I don’t mind a love story, but Hollywood’s version of love is usually defined by emotion and not commitment. It’s usually about following your heart to find the one you love, which is often at the expense of wisdom and devotion. This is why I’m writing that I was pleasantly surprised by The Vow, which stars Rachel McAdams (The Notebook) and Channing Tatum (Dear John).
The Vow chronicles the life of a couple that has been affected by great tragedy. Leo (Tatum) and Paige (McAdams) are in a car accident that leaves Paige in a coma and upon recovering, without much of her short-term memory. She has no recollection of marrying Leo, dating him, or even meeting him. Family situations complicate the matter as Leo strives to pursue his bride. In addition, Paige’s last memories include her engagement to a different man. This obviously adds to the drama.
Toward the beginning of the movie, Leo makes this vow to Paige on their wedding day, “I vow to fiercely love you in all your forms, now and forever. I promise to never forget that this is a once in a lifetime love.” “All your forms” can probably be considered an adaptation of “for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health.” No matter how it was said, though, Leo made a commitment to love his wife no matter the situation in life (something often promised, but rarely kept). The rest of the movie, then, follows Leo and Paige as Leo seeks to win back his wife. The Vow pulls you in different directions, but leaves you ultimately rooting for Leo and Paige, which is probably the best part.
Not everything in the movie was something to cheer about, but I think most people can appreciate the level of commitment portrayed. Unfortunately, though, the movie does not chronicle the real life story quite as accurately as I would have liked. The couple that inspired The Vow, Kim and Krickitt Carpenter, were believers and remained faithful to their marriage because of their commitment to Christ (there is no mention of religion whatsoever). However, like Leo and Paige, Kim and Krickitt worked hard at their marriage (the Carpenters had to work at rebuilding their marriage for three years before they finally renewed their vows). Krickitt has never regained her memory of being with Kim before the accident, but the couple has found a renewed passion for one another. They currently live in New Mexico with their two children.