“The Vow,” Wow!

In real life, “happily ever after” is complicated.

The based-on-true-events movie The Vow showed that, which is what I thought made it a true love story.

My friends who’d seen it had mixed feelings about this flick. They said it was good, but sad and not what they’d expected, which is why I’d put off seeing it. But on Friday night, I was scanning the lame selection at Red Box for something to curl up and watch with my hubby and I figured it had to be better than Joyful Noise, so I got it.

One friend said it wasn’t chick flicky enough for her. She was expecting a pampered and padded love story where every seam is neatly sewn up in the end, and that’s not the case here.

After suffering head trauma in a car accident, Paige doesn’t remember falling love with or getting married to Leo. He is a complete stranger to her and she becomes a stranger to him because of how she’s changed after the accident. He desperately wants it back how it was. She doesn’t know how it was. He keeps trying to help her remember. She relies on her memories of her life before him. It’s complex and tears at your heartstrings, in a good way.

I cried.

It’s cheesy girly, I know, but I love when a movie makes me cry because it means it was intelligent enough to tap into real emotion. It means, whether it’s a true story or not, the content was deep enough to make me truly care about the characters and what happens to them.

That’s rare.

Caution: There are a couple of lame nudey booty scenes thrown in for no reason to ramp up the rating, so have your fast forward button handy.

But the expressions of unconditional love shown in this movie are precious, especially in this shallow world of “hook ups” and “friends with benefits.” Because Paige doesn’t remember her life with him before, Leo awkwardly tries to fit into the new life she’s clinging too. Because she can tell how much he still loves her, she awkwardly tries to be what he wants her to be. They’re both confused and frustrated, but desperately trying to figure out what to do and who to be. They try to keep the vow they made to “love you now and forever . . . no matter what challenges may carry us apart, we will always find a way back to each other.”

Sappy chick flickers want her memory to come rushing back so the couple can return to their passionate, perfect love and life together, but it’s not that simple in this story. The fact that this love story was more complicated and even frustrating is what made it so appealing to me.

I’m weird, I know.

But real life is hard and true love is sometimes messy. The depth of love is often revealed the most when it is challenged.

Like when your children mock and accuse you of only ever ragging on movies in your blog, you have to decide if you love them enough to keep feeding them.

But this movie I liked—I vow.

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