‘THE VOW’ (2012)


Critics praise this title as kind of Dear John feel-alike. It may be easy to draw comparisons with snapshot moments from both of these, but overall, The Vow is a beautiful, heartbreaking love story on its own time, told in its own charming way. One difference being marriage is demonstrated as something to cherish, not bash.

The Vow (2012) Film Review

Life is full of moments; moments of joy, moments of sadness and moments of impact. What if, in the blink of an eye, all those moments were erased? Until he met her for the first time, Leo Collins (Channing Tatum) didn’t know what he was missing. Carefree and going through the day-to-day routines of a struggling musician, Leo isn’t one who thinks much beyond tomorrow, but all of this is before he claps eyes on the woman who becomes his future wife.

Paige (Rachel McAdams) is a free-spirit with an artistic soul, who Leo sweeps off her feet. It’s love at first sight for the pair who marry in an impromptu ceremony soon after. Paige’s family disapproves and it causes a rift for five years. Life is the perfect fairy-tale, and the newlyweds live life to the fullest. Fate has different ideas when one snowy Chicago night, their small car is crushed by a snow truck.

‘THE VOW’ (2012). A review of the romance with Channing Tatum and Rachel McAdams. #Movies #Romance #WhattoWatch #GoodMovies #FWArchives Click To Tweet

How refreshing it is to come across a movie that uplifts marriage. Some may argue that ultimately where the couple ends up proves their vows mean nothing but I must respectfully disagree. But here I am, getting ahead of myself, so let’s start again. On its debut, The Vow put up some impressive numbers, giving this genre an impressive showing. The story is beautiful, and while the acting is a bit stilted (sometimes), there is an emotional pull hard to ignore. Inspired by a real couple whose way back to each other uses the strength of their relationship with Christ. This Hollywood film doesn’t use Christianity to heal anything, but there’s still a poignant impact.  

Life is about moments of impact, and how they change our lives forever. But what if one day you could no longer remember any of them. – The Vow

Much as I like Channing Tatum and Rachel McAdams, connection isn’t always great as a couple. Still, there are a lot of cute moments between them (like their second “first” date and the end). Both actors come from a different place in their characters. McAdams is working from a place of no love. Tatum works from a place of deep love; and he expresses this well. I confess, I love the steadfast way Leo stands by his wife. As things continue to unfold and ramp up, some may be upset and others may see his choice as selfish. It’s a love story of choice, and this is a truth of life we often overlook.

Each of the settings are pretty (it takes place in Chicago). There’s a lot of night shots with skyscrapers all lit up and snowfall gently falling from the sky. The script is sappy in places and abnormally strong in others. It’s nice to see Paige reconcile with her family and even once she remembers why she left in the first place, she forgives. Though likely romanticized, the end result is the same as the book this is based on. To me, the film demonstrates the power of love, in many forms. Perhaps the best is the choice these two make for their joint and new future. They choose to honor a vow – unconventional or not.

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You can find The Vow (2012) digitally on Amazon Video

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Content: there is one full backside shot of a nude man who then walks in on a woman in her underwear. One scene shows a married couple lying in bed with a lot of bare leg, sheets covering them; there are a few references to a prior extra-marital affair. Profanity is infrequent but there are a few words [sh*t, etc.] and some crude remarks. Two scenes show a couple “making out.” There is a tense accident scene; the impact sends a woman through the windshield of her car [no blood]. A couple goes for a swim in the lake in their underwear. There are one or two shouting matches and one man punches out another. The film is PG-13.

About Rissi JC

amateur graphic designer. confirmed bookaholic. bubbl’r enthusiast. critical thinker. miswesterner. social media coordinator. writer.


  1. Can I just say I really want to see that I really want to see this one :) It is such a sweet story. I wouldn't mind reading the actually story either. Thanks for the review! Sierra
    Keep Growing Beautiful♥ (Because You Are!)
    Philippians 4:8

  2. You may. =)

    I am right there with you. I wanted to see this movie a looong time ago but didn't get to the theater to see it. Now, I am so glad to have watched it, and am already anticipating a 2nd viewing. =)

    I just read some of the book last night. It was good – so far, but then, I've only read a few pages. I've read ahead in the book and read a few other things so I know the "basics."

    Enjoy if/when you see this one, girl!

  3. My mom and dad watched this at the movies. They were a little disappoinetd that they divorced, especially since the title is "the Vow".

  4. Jeanine – yay! Enjoy – I thought it was a really special film.

    Cannot wait to know your thoughts. =)

    Brooke – for me, I thought the point of the movie was Leo's devotion to his wife, and his ultimate decision was yet another confirmation of how much he loved her. He couldn't make her remember or love him back. This is just my personal opinion, of course, I am not trying to sway anyone's thoughts. =)

    I am sorry your parents didn't care for it – that is always a disappointment when a movie doesn't live up to its expectations. Believe me, I have experienced that, too.

    So glad you stopped in, Brooke! =)

  5. I'm very interested in checking this movie out! I was disappointed to find out that the movie-makers didn't incorporate the original couple's faith into the movie, but it still looks very sweet and I love any movie that celebrates the beauty of marriage. =)

    Are the moments you spoke of in the ratings information quick, or would they need to be skipped?

    Thanks for the great review, Rissi!

  6. Rissi-I think it was more because my mom and I had just watched October Baby the night before, and that is an amazing movie, so it might have made the movie seem not quite as good. Plus my mom had pretty high hopes.;] They did like it;it was just not a favorite. I would like to see it sometime. Thanks for reviewing it!

  7. AnnaKate – I don't think you are the only one who was disappointed in that. Coming from Hollywood I am not surprised at its omission but still… it'd have been a nice touch. =) Despite that, the film still managed to be "special" and it is one I'll be likely to watch several times over. Definitely turned out to be my kind of movie.

    Content: The full shot of nudity lasts no more than 15 seconds before we see him waist up again; then the bedroom shot is probably about the same. Hope that answers your questions…?

    Brooke – I know that feeling. Sometimes your expectations for a movie are sky-high and in that, there is sometimes disappointment because we expect so much.

    I hope you enjoy it if/when you see this one, Brooke! =)

  8. Yes, Rissi, thanks so much! I just wanted to know if it would be appropriate for my whole family, or if we'd have to wait till it was just my parents/mom and I. =) Sounds like it would be fine!

  9. Juju – excellent point! You are right; this did feel more "real." Loved that.

    I know it is one of my faves – I'll be re-watching it a lot. =)

    AnnaKate – hope you guys enjoy it! I did forget to mention: there are a couple of "make-out" scenes (both between married couples) and talk of getting to "second base" but nothing graphic. It is always hard to know what everyone's standards are because we all have different ones.

  10. That is always the challenge, isn't it, TJ!? LOL! I hope you enjoy – and that your husband watches it with you. =) This is one of the most charming contemporary romances in a while.

  11. WOW! Emily, thank you – my blog button! =) That was really kind of you to include my blog on your site, and I am appreciative.

    I knew there were some blogs whose buttons I needed to add to my "lovely scribblings" menu yet. ;D

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