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The Vow: Movie Review

Hannah Goodwyn


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Mistaken as a Nicholas Sparks’ movie (based solely on the look of its trailer), The Vow has a familiar storyline as a loving couple's tragedy threatens their happy marriage. It has a similarity to Dear John and The Notebook (and stars two actors from those Sparks’ films, Channing Tatum and Rachel McAdams). But this new movie from Sony Pictures doesn’t come from the novelist’s collection of emotional love stories; The Vow is in fact inspired by true events.

This Michael Sucsy-directed film is less sappy as Sparks’ movies go and has a bit of edge, which may appeal to those less inclined to watch a traditional chick flick. The emotion is there as the tragedy unfolds, but, the offensive content and lack of faith (the story is based on a couple who are strong Christians) are disappointing.


It’s a picture perfect love story as Paige (Rachel McAdams) and Leo (Channing Tatum) start their life together. Their wedding vows are soon tested when a car accident puts Paige into a coma. When she wakes up, Leo is devastated when she doesn’t remember him. Paige's memory loss threatens to undo their vows as she struggles to figure out what she wants – to rediscover her life with Leo or return to the life she remembers, the one she had before they met.


The most memorable scenes in The Vow involve extreme emotion, the first being the car accident. The direction of this slowed-down sequence is, for the lack of a better phrase, beautifully captured. The visually striking images evoke a sincere ‘gasp’ reaction. Another scene (which actually happened to the real couple) shows Leo breakdown in the hospital hallway after Paige doesn’t recognize him.

Themes of family and fighting for a marriage are strong, but there is no mention of faith in The Vow. This comes as a surprise and disappointment as the movie is inspired by a couple’s whose faith and love were integral in their healing. The storyline is a bit jumbled in spots. It had too many unnecessary, secondary characters and the ending didn’t match the intensity of the film’s best moments.

Rated PG-13 for an accident scene, sexual content, partial nudity and some language, this film has its share of potentially offensive content. The foul language alone will hinder this family-themed film from reaching an audience looking for family-friendly movies. Channing Tatum bares almost all showing his backside in one scene and the couple are seen in only their underwear and lying practically naked in bed.


The Vow is a sweet story about a man whose love for his wife is so fierce that he's committed to wooing her - again. But, the film’s problem areas don’t help its case, earning it a rating of 3 out of 5 kernels.

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About The Author


Hannah Goodwyn served as a Senior Producer for, managing and writing for the award-winning website. After her undergraduate studies at Christopher Newport University, Hannah went on to study Journalism at the graduate level. In 2005, she graduated summa cum laude with her Master's from Regent University and was honored with an Outstanding Student Award. From there, Hannah began work as a content producer for For ten years, she acted as the managing producer for the website's Family and Entertainment sections. A movie buff, Hannah felt right at home working as's