It’s based on a true story, though
some of the plot holes seem to challenge veracity.
Maybe they couldn’t make this up.
Paige (Rachel McAdams) is a sculptor
living in downtown
with her boyfriend, Leo (Channing Tatum) who owns a small recording studio.
They know lots of other artist-types, and their Bohemian lifestyle is
perfectly portrayed in a quick wedding ceremony at the art museum, where they
were run out of the exhibition hall by security guards, laughing all the way.
Personal vows recorded on the menu of a favorite restaurant.
Presided over by a guy in a big mad hatter’s top hat, like something
out of “
in Wonderland.” They’re obviously
having fun, but life is like…a big lark. Until
suddenly it isn’t.
One snowy, icy night, they’re driving
home together, and Paige decides that she wants to make a baby.
And she’d heard that pregnancy is more likely in a car, and since
they were at a stop sign, well, there’s no time like the present, right?
So she unfastens her seat belt in preparation for a very spontaneous
maneuver when suddenly a truck that slides on the ice bashes them from behind,
and Paige is thrown through the windshield.
Leo, who hadn’t yet unhooked his seat
belt, is not hurt nearly as badly. And
he recovers quickly. But the doctor
tells him that they’ve induced a coma for Paige, in order for her brain to
gradually recover from its trauma, and for the swelling to go down.
And finally, when she wakes up…….she doesn’t recognize him.
In fact, she doesn’t remember anything
about her recent past at all. She only
recalls her more distant past, living with Mom and Dad, and going to law
school. So she calls her parents and
asks them to pick her up from the hospital and take her home.
Leo, of course, is distraught about
this. He tries to tell her that she
hadn’t spoken to her parents in five years, and that her estrangement was
before he met her, and also that ill-fated engagement she’d broken off to
Jeremy, who also suddenly re-appears on the scene.
To make matters worse, it turns out that Paige’s parents (played by
Sam Neill and Jessica Lange) are quite wealthy, and are all to eager to swoop
her back into their cocoon of country club galas and law school re-admissions
(because the President is a fellow classmate, you know), and they pointedly
inform Leo that he can just disappear and that would be just fine with them.
Oh, and if you’d quietly file for a divorce that would be even
Leo tries valiantly to re-insert himself
into Paige’s life, but apparently whatever it was that attracted her to him
is no longer apparent to her. She
doesn’t want to live something she doesn’t feel.
She tries, kind of half-heartedly, to see if there’s any spark of
interest or glimmer of recognition, but there just isn’t.
So she informs Leo that she’s moving back home, and would he please
just go away?
He’s devastated, of course, but sees
little choice. His business, long
neglected, is in danger of folding altogether if he doesn’t pay some
attention to it. His friends are
equally bewildered, because she doesn’t seem to remember any of them,
either. So everybody just goes their
separate ways, waiting for something dramatic to happen.
Will our star-crossed lovers find a way
to return to one another, this time with feeling?
Well, you’ll have to see for yourself.
But “The Vow” spends a lot of time in relational sputtering and not
so much in easy afterglow. And you may
have to decide for yourself if happily is ever after.
Dr. Ronald P. Salfen, Interim Pastor,
St. Stephen’s Presbyterian Church,