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Updated on February 20, 2012

The Vow: Movie


Is it really possible to forget that part of your life which you are happiest? Or shouldn’t the ones who’ve experienced selective memory loss simply forget those times which have caused them too much pain? I’ve had watched movies in the past with similar theme as the one depicted in “The Vow,” but what drew me to watch this movie, however, was the fact that it’s based on true life story. In other words, it was sheer curiosity that made me watch it, thinking that it might give me a more “real” take on “real people” who had truly experienced selective memory loss. But, was I convinced by the movie in terms of its realistic portrayal? Or was I simply duped by too much media hype?

Sadly, the movie failed to satisfy me in a lot of areas especially the very abrupt ending. Movie reviews weren’t forgiving either. In fact, Rotten Tomatoes reviewed this movie as 66% rotten (see link below). But if there’s one thing that’s worth noting to salvage it a bit, was the fact that it underscored the significance of “moments of impact” in our lives which, from where I’m coming from, is equivalent to what we call “trying moments” in our lives.

A professor of mine in Philosophy once told our class that each one of us is entitled to at least “ONE” glorious moment in our lifetime. For sure, a lot of us can name more than one of such moment. Created by a God, who is all GOODNESS, it does make sense. But as the reality of goodness exists, there too, is the existence of the opposite reality which is EVIL. And so following this premise, it is rightful to say that trying moments, just like glorious moments, are part of human realities.

Let me point out some areas of reflection:

First, FORGIVENESS IS KEY IN ANY RELATIONSHIP. Paige’s parents, as the story suggested, grabbed every opportunity to win her heart back to them as any parents would. Though selfish as it may seem, Paige’s mother Rita (Jessica Lange “Big Fish”) wanted Paige (Rachel McAdams, “The Notebook”) to come back to her family forgetting that part of their lives where they were divided caused by her father's disloyalty (Sam Neill “The Piano”). Hard as it may be for her mother, she welcomed her daughter back keeping the pain and hurt inside of her if only to win her family back. She forgave her husband and wished the same way from her daughter as that very unlikely opportunity came to knock at her door. Her mother’s forgiving heart struck Paige like a lightning that she was moved to reconsider her marriage with Leo (Channing Tatum, “Dear John”) whom she divorced as she tried to rediscover herself. It was indeed a “moment of impact” for their family that somehow reached a more positive turn because of a forgiving heart. Movie-wise, does it, therefore, make sense to forgive and forget? One may lose his or her memory accidentally and forget those painful events in one’s life, but the pain will always remain. Only through forgiveness can one overcome such pain. It’s NOT therefore an OPTION, but it’s KEY!

Secondly, PATIENCE CAN LEAD MARRIAGE TO GREATER HEIGHTS. Irreconcilable differences oftentimes divide the couple in married life which most of the times lead to separation or divorce. But aren't we UNIQUE as we were created by God? HUMAN and are therefore prone to weakness? The past life of Paige prior to the accident seemed to portray a life totally different from her life with Leo. More importantly, they seem to convey a totally different lifestyle and preferences especially to Paige. How she ended up a vegetarian, inked and an artist instead of a lawyer was something that one may not understand at first. Or how she ended up being married to Leo whose job Paige’s family consider to be that of a lower class was another issue to resolve. But the answer is clear though implied, that it only takes a person with such patience to make another person change. The movie did not explicitly view this, but surely, years of marriage could have shaped Paige and Leo to fully understand and change each other in the process for the greater good. Is it possible? I think so. But is it doable? Absolutely, ONLY if one has the patience to make it happen.

Finally, LOVE DOES CONQUER ALL! Good and bad memories may be forgotten, but when one is determined to truly prove his or her love for the beloved, even the most unrecoverable past memories would not matter. I’ve liked the part of the movie when Leo re-proposed to Paige and gave his best shot in order to help her regain her past memorable experiences with him which included going to the DMV (their first meeting place, aha!), sharing the chocolates they shared on their first date, and ahem, a polar bear swim at the lake! It might have been embarrassing to do it the second time around, but he did anyway if only to help his beloved regain her memory. It wasn’t as successful as he hoped as Paige eventually divorced Leo for a “fresh start,” but as the story progresses, it was clear that Leo truly run victorious with his loving, sincere and trustworthy efforts.

The abrupt ending did not stop me from thinking how important it is to mark certain memorable experiences in our lives. To married couples most especially, can either party truly remember one significant memorable experience in their married life say after 5, 10, 15 or 20 years of marriage? The problem with young couples of today, who resort to divorce, is their inability to relish, treasure and more importantly, remember significant moments in their lives … “moments of impact” that are oftentimes ignored but when discerned properly could save a marriage on shaky grounds.

Was I convinced by the movie? A YES and a NO. Yes, as it bespeaks of “moments of impact” that’s part of human existence and I would give the producers as well as Nicholas Sparks credit for that. But a No, as I don't think this movie is any different from those movies I’ve watched with similar theme given the fact that it’s taken from true life story. I expected more from the movie on this regard. But over-all, it’s a movie to watch this Valentine’s Day.


P.S. Don’t forget your popcorn and soda let alone your hankies on this one.


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