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Title: The Vow
Starring: Rachel McAdams, Channing Tatum, Sam Neill, Jessica Lange
Directed by: Michael Sucsy
Written by: Jason, Katims, Abby Kohn,
Studio: Screen Gems
Rated: PG-13
Runtime: 104 min
Blu-Ray Release Date: May 8 , 2012

Movie :3.5stars:
Video :4stars:
Audio :4stars:
Extras :2.5stars:
HTS Overall Score: 75


Leo (Tatum) and Paige (McAdams) exit the Music Box Theatre (the premiere venue in Chicago for independent and foreign films) to a picturesque view of streetlights illuminating a freshly snow covered street and everything on it. A few quick passes with a brush to remove the fluffy snow on their car’s windshield and they set off. They come to a stop sign and while embraced in a passionate kiss a dump truck rear ends them, causing unbuckled Paige to go through the windshield. Although they were clearly shown kissing before the impact there’s a quick shot of the couple separated, facing forward and sitting up straight. Immediately I got a bad feeling that this sloppy editing could be a sign of more scenes to come lacking attention to detail.

Next a very typical emergency situation in the hospital shows Leo and Paige being tended to while friends
gather for support. Flashback four years we see Leo and Paige meet for the first time. Sparks are instantaneous and the two hit it off. In a few scenes their relationship progresses from dating, to living together, to encircled by friends while getting married inside The Art Institute of Chicago. A poorly planned ceremony I might add; they all get chased out by security. It seems they live a pretty carefree life and their friends are somewhat Bohemian, but this is their wedding. Happy-go-lucky or not, you think they would prearrange with the staff to a have a small section for themselves and their group for a short period of time to get married without interruption! And didn’t any of the security personnel notice a women with a vale walk in accompanied by a well-dressed man and an equally well-dress entourage? Enough ranting; in between the flashback, now in the present, a doctor tells Leo the trauma Rachel experienced by going through a windshield caused inter cranial hemorrhaging and they purposely put her in a comatose state for the brain to heal itself while the swelling subsides, after which they’ll slowly wean her off, allowing her to wake up.

When Paige does eventually wake up two weeks later in the ICU the lasting effects of the trauma to the brain become known; Paige’s long term memory is in tack, but she can’t remember anything that happened four years ago, specifically from the point she met Leo. Her parents urge her to come home and recuperate, but Leo stresses the doctor’s advice that she go back to her regular routine. Understandably Paige is apprehensive about going to live with a man she doesn’t remember and asks for evidence that they were in fact in love. At the last moment, before Paige is about to head home with her parents Leo produces a voicemail Rachel left him before the accident. Didn’t they amass any pictures of themselves together during those four years? Just an observation is all. Paige changes her mind and agrees to go with Leo, noting it will be like a trial run and if things don’t work out she’ll go to her parent’s home like initially planned.

Time is passing by, but living with Leo isn’t bringing back any memories and seeing her studio where she sculpted only induces frustration. On account of this Paige decides to return home and help with her sister’s wedding. Being a loving, devoted and patient husband, Leo vows to have Paige fall in love with him again. His plan is to relive the past four years with her, slowly step by step, starting with a date.


PG-13 for some language including a sexual reference.

Video :4stars:

There’s nothing fancy or artsy in the way the camera pans in and out. The mostly domestic shots of Leo and Paige are framed in a steady and routine manner. Appreciably there’s no intentional jitteriness, even during emotionally elevated situations. A shaky picture used to emphasize the seriousness of a situation is a technique I find is rarely effective; let the dialogue to the work.

Colors look real with few shadows overwhelming the actors and washing out images. Facial detail is high and color reproduction looks natural. Contrast levels between the actors and the background is noticeable; sometimes objects or an actor’s clothing really pop, especially in the outdoor opening scene with the snow falling and light cascading over a row of freshly snow covered cars.

The overall picture is clear and lacks any artificially added graininess. Outdoor shots of Chicago look beautiful.

Audio :4stars:

Being that the focus in The Vow are the actors and their dialogue, there’s not much of a dynamic in the audio. The dialogue is always crisp and every word is audible. There’s an even balance between the dialogue and accompanying lyrical music and score. The musical soundtrack is hip, abundant and always melds well with the situation, be it serious or not. Despite the number of songs I never felt they became a burden and deterred from the dialogue.

Ambient sounds are clear and recognizable with bass levels occasionally rising to emphasize a tense moment.

The Vow offers up a pretty standard audio experience considering its genre; there’s nothing extraordinary and yet everything your ears pick is enjoyable.

Extras :2.5stars:

-Commentary with Director Michael Sucsy
-Deleted Scenes
-‘Til Death Do They Part
-Profiles of Love: Paige and Leo
-Trying to Remember
-Gag Reel


The Vow offers up 104 minutes of solid entertainment packaged in a very linear storyline.
Tatum struggles in the beginning, but as Paige becomes increasingly uninterested in getting her memory back, his love and devotion never wavers, and that frustration and a sense of futility is believable. McAdams is always perky and cute. I wish though her lackluster attitude toward recalling her memory was more developed; I truly never got a sense of why she was willing to discount four years of her life so easily.

I applaud The Vow for not trying forcing me to show a predetermined desired emotion, the amount of sympathy and sadness I wanted to express was left completely up to me. It doesn’t leave a sentimental impression, but one resulting in a recommendation if anyone should ask me to suggest a good romantic drama.

Recommendation: Rent it
Watch the Official Trailer
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