Amnesia stories seem to run in cycles and we’ve seen several in print and on-screen lately, so The Vow could easily have had a “been there, done that” feeling. It doesn’t. The screenplay is loosely based on a true story, which seems to keep it running along just outside the usual “boy meets girl, girl forgets boy, boy gets girl back” track. It’s refreshing to watch a love story that is actually about love—including marriage, even—rather than sexual attraction alone. There is plenty of passion, but it’s tastefully displayed in a way that highlights the romance more than the rumpled sheets.

Is The Vow one of the all-time great movies? Well, no. But it is a delightful romantic comedy that is legitimately sweet with no unpleasant aftertaste. You could do much, much worse this Valentine’s Day—or any day, for that matter.

CAUTIONS:

  • Drugs/Alcohol: Wine is served at every meal but breakfast; beer, mixed drinks, and shots served at parties and wedding; no obvious drunkenness.
  • Language/Profanity: Fairly mild for a modern mainstream movie. Sh** by itself and specified as bullsh**, he**, “God” used alone and with da**, man referred to as a di**, conversation about a fart.
  • Sex/Nudity: Wife mentions “getting preggers in a car.” Tastefully filmed kissing and foreplay, no “in the act” scenes. Unclothed married couple shown in bed together, bare backs shown (male and female); one view of a male backside. Unmarried female given a negligee and condom as a gift “for later”; girl invited to move in with boyfriend (and apparently his male roommates). She sees him naked (we don’t) and he says “It’s not like you haven’t seen it before” referring to genitals. Couple goes swimming in their underwear and horseplay ensues. Reference to a marital affair.
  • Violence: Car crash with slow-motion head injury and body thrown through windshield; punch (richly deserved) thrown at a party.
  • Spiritual Themes: Forgiveness, the importance of family, and unselfish love. Reference made to burning a ‘smudge stick’ to drive out bad energy; it’s noted that the stick is apparently made of old lettuce but did do the trick.