This weekend, I had the opportunity to go and see the new romantic drama, "The Vow," staring Channing Tatum and Rachel McAdams. This movie will be coming out a few days before Valentines Day.
I have to admit I walked in to the packed theater full of people, with my expectations already set.
I could foresee a sweet, and cliche movie I had seen before many times in different skins, and would no doubt see repackaged again next Valentine's Day.
But as the opening credits appeared and the movie began, I quickly found out that this movie would pleasantly surprise me, and destroy my preconceived ideas. (Not to say it was without it's classic love story scenes; Male lead in the rain, etc..). But as the story began to unfold, I found my self immediately drawn in.
We are drawn into the love story between husband and wife, Leo and Paige, who are suddenly shattered after a horrific car accident. Leo escapes with only scratches but Paige has the last five years erased from her memory, causing her to forget their relationship, marriage, and even their meeting.
This all happening within the first ten minutes of the movie, setting it up. Consequently, this is not your typical girl meets "guy and falls in love", but rather girl meets guy, falls in love, then girl forgets ever meeting guy.
Without giving away to much, we watch as Paige (Rachel McAdams) struggles to find out who she is, how to deal with waking up being married to a man she's never met, and Leo (Channing Tatum), fighting with everything he has, to hold on to his marriage and the woman he loves.
I think what surprised and drew me to this movie so much, was how different it seemed to be from your classic romantic film. In most of the classics, I feel we are let in on the very smallest and often the most unimportant part of the relationship. We usually watch as two people meet, fall in love and as my mother would say "Become twitter-pated with each other." Then, the screen fades to black, the credits roll and the movie ends.
But is that really where the love story ends? Is that all love is, just a nice feeling? What happens when the "Feeling" goes away? What happens when relationship is hard and can only survive if fought for?
The Vow seems to begin it's love story where most end. It begins when love starts to be tested, but where I think, love becomes real. In this culture of immediate gratification and 'Doing what we feel" I think we rarely get a realistic picture of what love is, what we want, right now, without making the choice to stick with something, no matter how what the cost.
We see every day on the tv and in Hollywood more splits between two people who promised to love each other forever. We see half of all marriages ending in divorce, and the sad thing is it's becoming the norm.
So how could we possibly be a culture that so desires love stories, that we will pay millions to go and watch them, yet, after all this time still don't know how to actually live out a loving relationship?
That is why this movie was so refreshing to see and actually portrayed a realistic depiction of what a love story should. Not necessarily one involving memory loss, but still one in which love is not depicted as something that just comes easy, or free. We get to watch a man who, to save his marriage and keep the one he loves, has to fight.
I actually had the chance to sit down with a couple of the Actors from the film and talk with them about the message of the film. I asked Rachel McAdams and Channing Tatum why they think marriage is of value and something worth fighting for.
A few seconds, Mr. Tatum expressed his regret and disappointment in the state that marriage and commitment is in today. He playfully expressed his hopes of this movie showing a realer love.
Then he said,
"I don't think people go at it in the right way anymore, it's such a culture about right now, you know? Things that are supposed to bring us together, just make us further apart."
Finally, he summed his views up by saying, "Even moral things, like how you want to raise children, I think that's the big hurdle when you get married. Every thing's fine when your together, then it comes time to raise a child."
I like what Channing said, and wholeheartedly agree, I don't think people go at it the right way anymore, and we have become a culture of right now.
But what happens when it's not easy anymore, or like Channing stated, when a child is thrown into the mix?
Do we and Will we have what it takes, to make, hold and fight for a lasting love?
Later I asked the Director of the film Michael Sucsy, what he thought the elements of a lasting love were. He said.
"Understanding, and commitment" I concur.
So, I thoroughly enjoyed, and was ultimately inspired by the movie- to, be a person that seeks out real love not just the easy kind. Interestingly, I found out the film is based on a true story-
and it is about a Christian couple who dealt with a wife's loss of five years of memory and the story that followed.
I would have enjoyed spiritual aspect to have played a bigger part in the film, but, all in all, I think the movie is a beautiful picture of what real love often times should look like, with a man fighting through it to keep his marriage and the one he loves.
So,take your significant other, to see an esthetically beautiful movie, with quality acting, and a moving message, for a romantic night of REAL love.