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The Vow (2012 film)

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The Vow
A man and woman embracing, side view.
Theatrical release poster
Directed byMichael Sucsy
Screenplay by
Story byStuart Sender
Produced by
CinematographyRogier Stoffers
Edited by
  • Melissa Kent
  • Nancy Richardson
Music by
Distributed byScreen Gems[1]
Release dates
  • February 6, 2012 (2012-02-06) (Los Angeles)
  • February 10, 2012 (2012-02-10) (United States)
Running time
104 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States[1]
Budget$30 million[2]
Box office$196.1 million[2]

The Vow is a 2012 American romantic drama film directed by Michael Sucsy and written by Abby Kohn, Marc Silverstein, and Jason Katims, inspired by the true story of Kim and Krickitt Carpenter.[3][4] [5]The film stars Rachel McAdams and Channing Tatum as Paige and Leo Collins, with Sam Neill, Scott Speedman, Jessica Lange and Jessica McNamee in supporting roles. As of 2013, The Vow was the eighth highest-grossing romantic drama film produced since 1980.[6] This was Spyglass Entertainment's last film before the company's closure in 2012 and its revival in 2019.


Paige Collins and her husband Leo come out of a movie theater on a snowy evening. On their way home, at a stop sign, she unbuckles her seatbelt to lean over and kiss him. At that very moment, a salt truck rams their car from behind and Paige crashes through the windshield.

Both of them are rushed to the emergency room, and as Leo, in a voice-over, talks about how "moments of impact help in finding who we are" the movie cuts to how Paige and Leo first met. The scenes of how they courted, became engaged, and married at the Art Institute of Chicago and share a kiss under the Cloud Gate are interwoven with the present.

Paige is put into an induced coma and when she regains consciousness, she has lost all memories of the past few years. When her wealthy parents, Bill and Rita Thornton, learn about this, they visit her and meet Leo for the first time.

Paige does not understand why he would not have met her parents, after having been married to her, and finds it even stranger that he did not know why either. Nor does she understand why she left law school, broke off her engagement with her previous fiancé, Jeremy, and why she has not been in touch with her family and friends. Her parents insist on taking her home with them and Paige agrees, thinking she might have married Leo for some mutual benefit.

As Paige wants evidence of their love, Leo plays her a voice message in which she sounded very happy and romantic. She decides to go back with him, hoping it will help her regain her lost memory. Paige is welcomed home with a surprise party by her friends, but as she is not able to remember any of them, she finds it overwhelming and the party immediately ends.

The next day Paige ventures out to her regular café but loses her way back. She calls her mother because she had left her phone behind. She later returns, dressing and behaving differently. That evening, Leo and Paige are invited for dinner by her parents and later to a bar by Gwen and her fiance.

Leo realizes he does not fit in with anyone. Paige meets Jeremy again at the bar. Noticing that she is in love with Jeremy (again), Leo persists in his attempts to help her regain her lost memory, but Paige secretly meets Jeremy at his office and kisses him despite not knowing the reason for their broken engagement; Jeremy is ambiguous with his answer, still visibly attracted to her.

During an incident where Leo gives her a tour around her own studio, Paige lashes out at him. With her sister Gwen's wedding approaching, she decides to stay with her parents until the wedding. Though Leo asks her out on a date and spends a night with her, the relationship is further strained when Paige's dad attempts to persuade Leo to divorce his daughter, and Leo punches Jeremy for talking about the chance to bed his wife. Paige rejoins law school and Leo signs divorce papers once he reaches the epiphany that her memory may never return.

At a floral store, Paige meets her old friend Diane who, unaware of her amnesia, apologizes for having had an affair with Paige's dad, thus alerting her as to why she had left her family. When she confronts her mother about this, Rita tells her that she decided to stay with Bill for all the things he had done right instead of leaving him for one wrong act.

Paige then asks Leo why he never told her, and he replies he wanted to earn her love instead of driving her away from her parents. She, while in class, starts sketching; thus depicting why she first left law school. Despite her father's misgivings about quitting law school, she reassures him that she will always be his daughter no matter what. Paige continues her interest in art, eventually returning to sculpting and drawing. Though Jeremy confesses he broke up with his present girlfriend, hoping to be back with her, she turns him down stating she needs to know what life would be like without him.

As seasons change, Leo discusses his philosophy about "moments of impact." A moment of impact whose potential for change has ripple effects far beyond what we can predict. Sending some particles crashing together, making them closer than before. While sending others, spinning off into great adventures, landing where you never thought you'd find them.

Back in her room, Paige finds the menu card on which she had written her wedding vows and is deeply moved. The movie ends with Paige finding Leo at their regular Café Mnemonic and suggesting they go to their backup Cuban restaurant that she knew of because she had been asking her friend about the relationship. Leo then suggests trying out a new place that they've never been to, which Paige agrees to and the film ends as they walk away from the scene.



Rachel McAdams and Channing Tatum's casting was announced by Variety in June 2010. Filming took place from August until November 2010 in Toronto and Chicago.[9]


The Vow is loosely based on the actual relationship of Kim and Krickitt Carpenter, who wrote a book about their marriage, also known as The Vow. Ten weeks after their wedding on September 18, 1993, the couple was involved in a serious car crash. Krickitt suffered a brain trauma, which erased all memories of her romance with Kim as well as their marriage. Kim was still deeply in love with his wife, although she viewed him as a stranger after the crash.[4] In 2018, however, he admitted to having an affair and they divorced.[10]

The film was developed as early as 1998, when Spyglass Entertainment was first set up. Stephen Herek was attached to direct at first.[11]


The Vow: Music from the Motion Picture
Soundtrack album by
Various Artists
ReleasedFebruary 7, 2012
LabelRhino Records

The soundtrack was released on February 7, 2012, through Rhino Records.[12] The film score, written and composed by Rachel Portman and Michael Brook, was released digitally on a separate album on February 7, 2012, through Madison Gate Records.[13]

Track listing[edit]

1."I'd Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That)"Meat Loaf5:22
2."Specks"Matt Pond PA3:49
3."Leaving on the 5th"Voxhaul Broadcast3:41
4."This Too Shall Pass"OK Go3:08
5."Get Some"Lykke Li3:22
6."Nothing Was Stolen (Love Me Foolishly)"Phosphorescent4:49
7."Come On, Come On" (Dean & Britta Remix)Scott Hardkiss feat. Britta Phillips & Dean Wareham7:35
8."Play My Way"Maya von Doll3:21
9."Problems of Our Own"Light FM3:12
10."Neon Blue"Still Life Still3:20
11."Pictures of You"The Cure7:28

The digital version of the soundtrack also contains "England" by The National.[14]


Critical response[edit]

Review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes gives the film an approval rating of 31% based on 134 reviews and an average rating of 4.95/10. The site's consensus reads, "Channing Tatum and Rachel McAdams do their best with what they're given, but The Vow is too shallow and familiar to satisfy the discriminating date-night filmgoer."[15] On Metacritic, which assigns a weighted mean rating to reviews, the film received an average score of 43 out of 100 based on 28 critics, which indicates "mixed or average reviews."[16]

Emma Dibdin from Total Film gave the film a three-star rating out of five, commenting, "There's an essential sweetness at work here, thanks partly to McAdams and partly to an unusually chaste love story that ultimately keeps melodrama at bay."[17] Empire critic Helen O'Hara gave the film a three stars rating out of five, also. She found McAdams "excellent" and Tatum "surprisingly heartbreaking" and concluded, "The few weaknesses in the plot can be overlooked as The Vow makes for a wonderful – if a bit teary – romance that is brilliantly acted."[18] The Washington Post's Stephanie Merry wrote, "It's a shame things are so black and white because the movie has more promise – and more laughs – than trailers suggest." She added "Tatum, while a bit deficient in the dramatic acting department, delivers some memorable quips. He and McAdams also have chemistry."[19]

Giving the film 2.5 stars out of 4, Roger Ebert from the Chicago Sun-Times found it "pleasant enough as a date movie, but that's all."[20] USA Today wrote, "It may appeal to the most rabid fans of tearjerk romances like The Notebook, but it's a hard-to-swallow, maudlin tale."[21] Betsy Sharkey, a film critic from the Los Angeles Times wrote, "Despite the sweet story, this is a movie that leaves you wanting more. To care more, to cry more, to love more."[22] ReelViews' James Berardinelli was very negative about the film. He wrote, "With its would-be crowd-pleasing contrivances and rote adherence to formula, [this film] offers almost no redeeming characteristics. [...] This is for young women what Transformers is for young men." He concluded by describing the film as a "heartless, soulless product."[23]

Box office[edit]

The Vow debuted at #1 in its opening weekend, with $15.4 million on opening day and $41.2 million over the weekend.[24] On the Valentine's Day, it grossed $11.6 million, breaking Hitch's record $7.5 million for the highest-grossing mid-week Valentine's Day.[25] That record would be surpassed by Bob Marley: One Love in 2024 with $14 million.[26] The film also earned around $9.7 million internationally that weekend.

On the weekend lasting from February 24–26, The Vow became the first film of 2012 in North America to cross the $100 million mark, and the third film to cross the $100 million mark worldwide behind Underworld: Awakening and Journey 2: The Mysterious Island.[27] The film grossed $125 million in North America and $71.1 million in other countries for a worldwide total of $196.1 million.[2] It is the eighth highest-grossing romantic drama film since 1980.[6]


List of awards and nominations
Award Category Recipient(s) Result
BMI Film & TV Awards[28] Film Music Award Rachel Portman Won
Golden Trailer Awards[29] Best Romance Nominated
Best Romance TV Spot "Forever" Won
MTV Movie Awards[30] Best Male Performance Channing Tatum Nominated
Best Kiss Rachel McAdams and Channing Tatum Nominated
Teen Choice Awards[31] Choice Movie: Drama Nominated
Choice Movie: Romance Nominated
Choice Movie Actor: Drama Channing Tatum Nominated
Choice Movie Actress: Drama Rachel McAdams Nominated
People's Choice Awards[32] Favorite Dramatic Movie Nominated
Favorite Movie Actor Channing Tatum (also for Magic Mike and 21 Jump Street) Nominated
Favorite Dramatic Movie Actor Channing Tatum (also for Magic Mike) Nominated
Favorite Dramatic Movie Actress Rachel McAdams Nominated

Home media[edit]

The DVD and Blu-ray Disc were released on May 8, 2012.[33]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e "The Vow (2012)". AFI Catalog of Feature Films. Retrieved May 31, 2018.
  2. ^ a b c "The Vow (2012) > Summary > Production Budget > Domestic Total Gross + Foreign". Box Office Mojo. IMDb. Retrieved August 31, 2012.
  3. ^ Carpenter, Kim; Carpenter, Krickitt; Wilkerson, Dana (February 10, 2012). The Vow: The True Events that Inspired the Movie. B&H Publishing Group. ISBN 978-1-4336-7594-2.
  4. ^ a b Gilbert, Kathy L. (January 29, 2012). "The Vow: A real love story of faith".
  5. ^ Barney, Chuck (October 10, 2018). "Couple who inspired movie 'The Vow' is getting a divorce". The Mercury News. Retrieved April 16, 2024.
  6. ^ a b "Romantic Drama Movies at the Box Office". Box Office Mojo. IMDb. Retrieved January 5, 2013.
  7. ^ a b "Jessica Lange and Sam Neill Join The Vow". HollywoodTrailers.net. Archived from the original on July 23, 2011. Retrieved November 3, 2010.
  8. ^ "Jessica McNamee Joins Rachel McAdams and Channing Tatum in The Vow". FilmoFilia.com. Archived from the original on May 13, 2011. Retrieved November 3, 2010.
  9. ^ McNary, Dave (June 17, 2010). "McAdams, Tatum promised Vow". Variety. Retrieved October 26, 2019.
  10. ^ Barney, Chuck (October 9, 2018). "Couple who inspired movie The Vow is getting a divorce". The Mercury News. San Jose, California.
  11. ^ Cox, Dan (August 21, 1998). "Mouse looks at Spyglass". Variety. Retrieved April 23, 2022.
  12. ^ Jagernauth, Kevin (January 27, 2012). "The Vow Soundtrack Features The National, Lykke Li, OK Go, The Cure & More". IndieWire. Retrieved August 29, 2012.
  13. ^ "The Vow Score Album Announced". Film Music Reporter. February 5, 2012. Retrieved August 29, 2012.
  14. ^ Various Artists (February 7, 2012). "The Vow (Music from the Motion Picture" – via iTunes – Music.
  15. ^ "The Vow". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved June 1, 2020.
  16. ^ "The Vow". Metacritic. Retrieved February 11, 2012.
  17. ^ Dibdin, Emma (January 7, 2012). "The Vow review". Total Film. Retrieved February 4, 2012.
  18. ^ O'Hara, Helen. "Empire's The Vow Movie Review". Empire. Retrieved February 7, 2012.
  19. ^ Merry, Stephanie (February 10, 2012). "Critic review for The Vow". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on February 10, 2012. Retrieved February 10, 2012.
  20. ^ "Reviews: The Vow". Chicago Sun-Times. February 8, 2012. Archived from the original on September 27, 2012. Retrieved February 10, 2012.
  21. ^ Pig, Claudia (February 10, 2012). "The Vow: You'll swear you've seen this before". USA Today. Retrieved February 10, 2012.
  22. ^ Sharkey, Betsy (February 10, 2012). "The Vow leaves you wanting more". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 10, 2012.
  23. ^ Berardinelli, James (February 9, 2012). "The Vow". ReelViews. Retrieved February 10, 2012.
  24. ^ "Weekend Report: Moviegoers Say 'I Do' to The Vow, Check In to Safe House". Box Office Mojo. IMDb. Retrieved February 23, 2012.
  25. ^ "The Vow has record-breaking Valentine's Day". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved October 26, 2019.
  26. ^ "Bob Marley Crushes Madame Web And Breaks A Valentine's Day Box Office Record". February 15, 2024.
  27. ^ Subers, Ray (February 26, 2012). "Weekend Report: Act of Valor Gets SEAL of Approval". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved October 26, 2019.
  28. ^ Gallo, Phil (May 17, 2012). "Receives Career Achievement Honor at BMI Film and TV Awards". Billboard. Retrieved December 9, 2012.
  29. ^ "The 13th Annual Golden Trailer Awards". Goldentrailer.com. Archived from the original on July 21, 2012. Retrieved December 7, 2012.
  30. ^ "Hunger Games, Bridesmaids top MTV Movie Award nominees". Entertainment Weekly. April 30, 2012. Archived from the original on November 8, 2015. Retrieved May 2, 2012.
  31. ^ "Teen Choice Award Nominees 2012". The Huffington Post. May 18, 2012. Retrieved May 19, 2012.
  32. ^ "People's Choice Awards 2013 Nominees". People's Choice Awards. Retrieved January 10, 2013.
  33. ^ "The Vow". Complete Season DVDs. Retrieved May 7, 2012.

External links[edit]