Movie Review: The Vow

Movie Review: The Vow

The Vow


PG-13 for an accident scene, sexual content,
partial nudity and some language.
Genre: Romance, Drama
Running Time: 1 hour 44 minutes

Paige and Leo are a happy newlywed couple whose lives are changed by a car crash that puts Paige into a coma. Waking with severe memory loss, Paige has no memory of Leo, a confusing relationship with her parents and an ex-fiance she may still have feelings for.

Despite these complications, Leo endeavors to win her heart again
and rebuild their marriage.

Holding Steady Since Debut Weekend

With a production budget of $30 million The Vow grabbed the number one spot for its debut weekend about  a month ago. It continues to pull in moviegoers with staying Top 10 Box Office power and now pulling in an estimated $118 million in revenue. Not bad for a movie released during what is usually known as the slow time of the Hollywood year.

Opening on slightly less than 3,000 screens for its debut weekend The Vow is quietly making money and quietly hanging in the number 10 quite nicely.

Honestly, when I heard about this movie I wasn’t really pulled in either direction to see it. The Vow pretty much fell onto my list of ‘take it or leave it’ movies. While I do like Rachel McAdams –  Channing Tatum seems flat, stuck in a rut and of little to no interest to me at all. While Tatum has an impressive credit list with movies like Coach Carter, She’s the Man, Step Up, Public Enemies, G.I. Joe: Rise of the Cobra and Dear John just to name a few – his performances really never jumped off the screen. With the exception of Step Up I considered Tatum nothing more than a plant to attract female moviegoers to the big screen.

But, after seeing The Vow I must conclude one of two things happened here. Either Tatum is hitting his acting stride and breaking out of the type-casting mode – or – Working with Rachel McAdams helped pull a brilliant performance out of this young man. Whatever the case may be, Tatum’s portrayal of Leo in this based on true story movie is captivating, capturing, moving, multi-faceted and believable in many ways.

Touching And True

Since The Vow is pretty much flying under the radar as far as Hollywood entertainment news goes, I also did not realize this was based on a true story. It wasn’t until the end of the movie when it flashed up on the screen saying “Based on True Story”. I won’t tell you what other information appears on the screen as I don’t want to spoil the ending. I will say this however – Do not leave the theater as the last scene fades. Make sure you stay at least long enough to catch the information about the real-life couple too.

From an acting standpoint, this movie is captivating as a direct result of the performances put in by Rachel McAdams as Paige and Channing Tatum as Leo. There seems to be good chemistry between the two. While McAdams does well at carrying a scene by herself, when you combine McAdams with Tatum, their performances really gel and make this a very enjoyable movie. The beginning of the movie starts a little slow but at least those involved in The Vow didn’t feel the need to over-kill the front of the movie with access baggage in the area of movie set up. Once its gets moving there’s a nice flow of story line as we see Paige and Leo work through their wedding vows in the face of Paige not remembering she was married at all.

The downfall of The Vow is the length. Clocking in at approximately an hour 45 minutes, it’s about 10 to 15 minutes too long. The story line is wonderful, it hangs together well and it ends well too. But at the tail end of the movie there seems to be a lull in the action as the writers try to tell the story of what the couple is like apart. This simply does not work. If anything the movie almost comes to a complete stop in the area of interest. I will say this – at the tail end of the movie when I did look at my watch I said to myself – “Okay, this could be done now”. If about 10 minutes of this movie fell on the editing room floor nothing would have been missed and the overall flow would have been much better.

We did enjoy The Vow. I went in wondering if I would really like it and I came out with the hopes that we will start seeing better performances from Tatum in the future. On the surface this looks like it has all the elements of a tear-jerker romance-love story. In the end the movie really does have substance and tells a wonderful story. As for rating we’re calling it Cautionary Family-Friendly. The PG-13 is appropriate however it’s probably best suited for a slightly older audience who will appreciate the depth of the movie too.

Enjoy the show!

Dr. Rus

About the Author

Dr. Rus has 30+ years experience in the field of communication. He takes this experience, and his passion to encourage others to positively effect their environment, when providing insight and movie reviews.