The Vow Movie Poster Image

The Vow

Predictable romantic drama lacks depth.
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 2012
  • Running Time: 104 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The movie's main messages are that we should accept everything that comes our way and try to take it in stride and that love can conquer all (even if "all" includes extreme amnesia and strong parental opposition). Also, if you love someone, set them free. If it's meant to be, it will be.

Positive role models

Leo is very patient and gentle with Paige, who tries to respond in kind but doesn't always succeed. Their friends appear very supportive. And even Paige's parents, though deeply flawed, come around in the end. On the other hand, the movie doesn't present Paige as particularly strong/empowered, especially post-accident; it's as if it robbed her of the ability to think for herself. And a family snubs a young man apparently because he's not as well-off as they are (they have the bigger house, better car, more expensive clothes, etc.).


A pivotal car crash sends one main character through a windshield, with glass breaking and serious injury. One guy punches another. Some yelling.


A man's naked backside is glimpsed; but even more frequently on display are his pectorals, since he often appears shirtless. A woman strips to her underwear to jump into a lake. Some kissing and making out. A couple is shown entwined under a sheet; they're presumably naked underneath.


Fairly infrequent use of words like "s--t," "c--k," "d--k," "hell," "goddamn," "ass," "damn," and "oh my God."

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Some social drinking at parties and restaurants.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this true story-inspired emotional drama, which is cut from the same cloth as the very romantic The Notebook, also stars Rachel McAdams (here she plays a young artist who wakes up from a coma with absolutely no idea that she's happily married to Channing Tatum). It's a tearjerker that deals with some heavy material, including family estrangement, infidelity, divorce, loss, and identity. Expect sexual innuendo, kissing and making out, and partial nudity (a man's backside), as well as some swearing ("s--t," etc.) and social drinking. The sexual content is presented within the context of a couple's deep love for each other.

What's the story?

Paige (Rachel McAdams) and Leo (Channing Tatum) lead an enchanted life, falling in love beautifully and quickly. But in a literal and figurative "moment of impact," as Leo describes it, their world shifts. A truck rear-ends them, sending Paige through the front window, the glass breaking into bits, taking her memories of Leo with them. When she awakes from a coma, Paige no longer can remember being married. In fact, she has forgotten years before they even met, he's a total stranger to her, and she's not sure she can fall in love with him again. What happens to them now?

Is it any good?


THE VOW wants so badly for audiences to care, and that's one of its biggest flaws: It tries too hard. From the drama-heavy set-up to the ponderous dialogue -- which repeatedly reminds viewers that a) Tatum's character is such a good guy and b) Paige can't remember him, and how deeply tragic is that? -- it just won't quit. And you want to care -- how could you not? McAdams, just like her former beau/Notebook co-star, Ryan Gosling, is effortless at being authentic. When she cries, they seem like real tears. She's the best part of the movie.

But Channing Tatum is no Ryan Gosling. He's likable enough -- and clearly gifted with a handsome physique (which is displayed quite frequently). But there's no there. His acting doesn't have the depth that McAdams deserves. The plot feels like it could have been written decades ago (save for the obvious hipster references); it's anachronistic and dated. Would an adult like Paige really let her parents speak for her and make decisions for her? To, frankly, infantilize her? She's suffering from amnesia, not complete incapacitation. The Vow is a paint-by-numbers tearjerker, and that's as frustrating as a broken promise.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about The Vow's messages about relationships. What is it saying about marriage? The nature of love? Parents, talk to your teens about your own values regarding relationships.

  • Do you consider Paige a role model? Why does she let others make decisions for her? How does she break out of this rut?

  • The movie was inspired by true events. How accurate do you think it is? Why might filmmakers change the details of a true story when making a movie?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:February 10, 2012
DVD/Streaming release date:May 7, 2012
Cast:Channing Tatum, Rachel McAdams, Sam Neill
Director:Michael Sucsy
Studio:Screen Gems
Run time:104 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:an accident scene, sexual content, partial nudity, and some language

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Teen, 14 years old Written byabi_ctr_maddi February 24, 2012


I haven't seen it yet, but I wanted to know if it was worth it, or if I should just see another one. Please give me your input parents...I would really appreciate it!
Kid, 11 years old March 2, 2012

It's a No for Immature Kids of Under 13

After I watched this movie with my friend at the movie theater, I was extremely surprised that both of our mothers allowed us to go see it. It has a wide variety of inappropriate language and sexual and violent scenes. There is a lot of making out, sexual references, you see Channing Tatum's butt, and you also see Rachel McAdams in a bra and panties in two scenes. Along with the sexual content, there is a scene where Rachel McAdams crashes headfirst through a car window and there is frequent use of cursing. But don't worry! This movie isn't pure inappropriate content. There is also positive role models and messages. Leo, Channing Tatum's character, is very admirable as he never gives up when trying to help Paige, Rachel McAdams' character, regain her memory. I would say PAUSE for kids 13 & under unless they are very mature and can watch the movie without making a big deal about the inappropriate content.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Kid, 11 years old July 10, 2013


The vow is a sweet movie but it isn't for everyone . There is Male butt nudity and if you don't feel comfortable with your kid seeing that then this Isnt the . Movie for you but other than that there's not much else a couple is shown under bead sheets but no sensitive body part as show a women is shown swimming in her underwear but that's it for adult content. There is some brief language but it is nothing you need to worry about
What other families should know
Too much sex