Australian Council on Children and the Media

Vow, The

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Not recommended under 13, PG to 15 (adult themes, disturbing scenes, lacks interest for younger viewers)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Vow, The
  • a review of Vow, The completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 13 February 2012.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 13 Not recommended due to adult themes, sexual references, disturbing scenes and lack of interest for younger viewers
Children 13-15 Parental guidance recommended due to adult themes.

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines.

Name of movie: Vow, The
Classification: PG
Consumer advice lines: Mild themes, coarse language, nudity and sexual references
Length 104 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

The Vow, based on true events, tells the story of Paige (Rachel McAdams) and Leo (Channing Tatum) whose happily married life comes to a halt when they are involved in a car accident. Paige is left in a coma and when she awakes has no memory of Leo or how they met. Instead her memory stops at a point in her life from which she ran away - a wealthy, privileged lifestyle and a seemingly happy family.

Paige cannot understand why she left that lifestyle to live as a struggling artist with Leo, a record producer. She decides to return home to her parents and take up the law degree which she had given up. She starts seeing her ex-fiancé, Jeremy (Scott Speedman) a successful business man. Leo has seemingly lost the love of his life and has to try to win her back.

Themesinfo

Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

Adultery, estranged families, memory loss.

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

There is some violence in this movie including:

  • Leo punches Jeremy
  • some verbal arguments

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

In addition to the above mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children aged under five, including the following:

  • Paige and Leo are kissing in the car when they are hit by a truck from behind. In slow motion Paige is projected from her seat through the windscreen. Broken glass flies everywhere.
  • Paige and Leo are both rushed to hospital and seen badly injured.
  • Paige has facial scars and a breathing tube in her mouth.

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

In addition to the above mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children aged under eight, including the following:

  • Paige and Leo are kissing in the car when they are hit by a truck from behind. In slow motion Paige is projected from her seat through the windscreen. Broken glass flies everywhere.
  • Paige and Leo are both rushed to hospital and seen badly injured.
  • Paige has facial scars and a breathing tube in her mouth.

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

Children in this age group may also be disturbed by the above-mentioned footage.

Over thirteeninfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

Younger children in this age group may also be disturbed by some of the above-mentioned scenes.

Product placement

Numerous branded products, but none of real concern.

Sexual references

There are some sexual references in this movie, including:

  • Leo buys Paige some sexy underwear for a gift.
  • Paige’s father had an affair with her girlfriend – the reason she left home in the first place.

Nudity and sexual activity

There is some nudity and sexual activity in this movie, including:

  • Leo is seen naked from the back
  • Leo and Paige kiss passionately and make love but not much is shown. They are seen afterwards lying naked in bed together with sheets covering most of them.
  • Paige and Leo go for a swim in their underwear.

Use of substances

There is some use of substances in this movie, including:

  • Social drinking in a number of places

Coarse language

There is some coarse language in this movie, including:

  • shit
  • hell
  • oh my God
  • bullshit
  • goddam
  • arse

In a nutshell

The Vow is a very emotional romantic drama about love and loss. The sexual content is presented in a loving, committed relationship, but due to its themes this movie is better suited to adolescents and adults. The scenes of the car accident and resulting injury may also be scary for younger children.

The main messages from this movie are that love requires patience and understanding and that sometimes we need to let someone go.

Values in this movie that parents may wish to reinforce with their children include:

  • patience
  • love
  • kindness
  • support

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children the importance of relationships and their own values concerning marriage.

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