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‘Vow to Cherish’ examines Alzheimer’s in uplifting tones

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. (BP)–Among the most powerful scripts to come to the screen in years, “A Vow To Cherish” pointedly depicts the effect Alzheimer’s disease has on a family and how each member attains the courage to persevere.
Far more than a “disease of the week” movie, A Vow To Cherish presents three-dimensional people who find fulfillment and strength of character through Jesus Christ.
Many may pass on made-for-TV drama, preferring not to deal with the topic of mind dementia. I think it would be their loss. Director John Schmidt and his accomplished cast keep the subject from being a “downer.” Writer Deborah Raney’s book was not one about bereavement, but of survival and spiritual fulfillment. Schmidt and his troupe bring this encouragement to the screen.
Admittedly, there are a few clunky attempts at humor as we get to know the family, but soon the filmmakers’ collective creative juices begin to bubble.
Ken Howard (TV’s “The White Shadow”) and Barbara Babcock (“Hill Street Blues”) have been given their best roles in years, and believe me, they know what to do with them. As for Ossie Davis, his is the most challenging job. He’s given the part of the family’s saintly mentor. Many actors come off as pious gurus when given such a part, but Davis brings such a compassion, warmth and sincerity to the role that he quickly demonstrates his understanding of spiritual insights.
Composer John Campbell and cinematographer Roger Boller add such dynamic, lush qualities to the production that no one will accuse the producers of making a “church” movie. A Vow To Cherish is not about religiosity, but about love, commitment and a realization of the need for Christ to fulfill our lives.
This movie from the Billy Graham organization is set to air nationally the week after Labor Day. Check your local listings. For further information, contact Tim Morgan at World Wide Pictures, 1-800-745-4318, ext. 4258.

Boatwright, a Baptist layman, is the editor of The Movie Reporter, a monthly film guide, and can be contacted at (805) 495-0914 or at www.moviereporter.com.

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  • Phil Boatwright