The Vow explores and raises awareness of what it is like to experience someone you love completely forget who you are. Suffering from a severe head injury after a car crash, Paige (Rachel McAdams), awakens to a nurse and her ‘doctor’, this ‘doctor’ actually being her husband of five years, Leo (Channing Tatum).
The Vow pulls at the heart strings of the audience without being overbearing or cringe-worthy in any shape or form. A battle of living in the past, the person she was before the crash and the want to shape her present and indeed her future, Paige (McAdams) is torn between being moulded by her family and ex-fiancé, Jeremy, into being the Paige they knew before she dropped out of law school and took up life as an art student and before she met Leo. Meeting Leo changed her life the first time, and the film is carried along by Leo’s pursuit of making her fall in love with him all over again, likening the experience to a book you get the pleasure of reading for the first time, again.
The battle between being conditioned by her parents into being the law-school student and being with Leo with whom she could essentially ‘be herself’. Paige is manipulated by her parents as an attempt to bring the family back together; as bit by bit, Paige comes to learn of her father’s affair with her school friend that broke the family up for good, years before her head injury. Paige eventually detests this need to be kept as a commodity to help try and fix the problems of the broken marriage and seeks to find Leo, before she eventually moves into an apartment in the city, and focusing on her art studio, like she had done previously before her crash.
The Vow explores the complex issue of finding who you really are, and the theme of mind over matter; being the person you want to be. Whilst Leo attempts everything to win Paige back, romantically, comically and quite truthfully heartrendingly, Paige plainly states ‘I’m sick of disappointing you’ as the frustration of not being able to remember any of her time with Leo gets too much. The battle of time is inherent in this film, where the distinction between past, present and future all blur into one big confused mass of time for Paige.
Paige gains the strength to live life as she wants to, like she had previously done, and the excitement and freshness of reliving five years of your existence is pitted against the difficulties of life and relationships, with or without head injuries. The Vow, whilst addressing a serious and incredibly real life issue, does also have its comic moments, which filled the cinema with genuine laughter, which was a welcome break from the amount of tears that were shed in that cinema screening.
Based on a real life story, The Vow is a heartwarming and emotive film that not only touches the hearts of those in search of fantasy and a romantic storyline, but addresses bigger, and more complex issues that we all question and face in everyday life. Whilst Paige and Leo embark on a journey of piecing things back together, it encourages and communicates to the viewer that life is short, unpredictable and that ‘one moment, can dramatically change everything forever’.
The Vow is currently in Cinemas now.
LSMedia rating ****