Saturday, February 11, 2012

The Vow & the Vow of Obedience

The Vow opens this weekend, and critics are describing it as predictably sweet, but in the first few moments of the trailer above, we see something very serious. Paige (Rachel McAdams) tells Leo (Channing Tatum) that he has to turn the song off, and, mouthing with Meatloaf, he says, "But I won't do that," and then they have the crash. We know from the rest of the trailer that they are married at this point, so when Leo says, "I would do anything for love, but I won't do that," he's saying, "I would fulfill all my vows, but I won't be obedient," and because he has forgotten to be obedient his punishment is that Paige forgets everything.
This is really the sign of great screen writing, since he won't do that small thing, turn off the song, he now has to go and do all those other things that the trailer describes (it's like the sin in the Garden of Eden: because Adam and Eve wouldn't obey the command to not eat the forbidden fruit, the simple command was replaced with the very strict and burdensome Mosaic Law) . The Vow is a much more serious film than first appears and, given that the wedding of 2011 between Prince William and Kate Middleton famously and specifically left out the vow of obedience, we can question, if you aren't willing to be obedient, what good is the rest of it?