‘The Vow’ by director Michael Sucsy narrates an astounding romantic tale based on a true story, about having to make love strike twice. Leo and Paige are a married couple whose lives take an unexpected turn when a car accident erases the memories of their relationship from Paige’s mind. As Paige grapples with amnesia, Leo faces the daunting task of reconstructing their love story, hoping to rekindle the deep connection they once shared. He takes her to various places connected to their past, as the film parallelly recounts their initial romance.
The 2012 movie presents themes of commitment, faith, and the resilience of love as Leo strives to win back Paige’s heart. The couple revisits fragments of their shared past, encountering challenges, and rediscovering the essence of their bond. Their romantic journey spans a number of stunning locations, which sublimely complement their corresponding sequences, leading one to ponder where the movie was filmed.
The Vow Filming Locations
In line with its story, ‘The Vow’ shot a few of its iconic scenes in Chicago, but the bulk of filming took place in Toronto, Ontario. Filming began in late August 2010 in Toronto and was wrapped in early November 2010. Talking about directing its romantic scenes in an interview, Michael Sucsy said, “You can’t fake chemistry, it’s there, or it’s not. Rachel and Channing luckily had it. If actors don’t have it then the onus is on the director and editors to try and fabricate it, use music to manipulate you into thinking they do (laughs).” Allow us to take you through the specific filming sites used to create ‘The Vow.’
Despite the movie being set in Chicago, only a few days of filming took place around the metropolis. The film crew lensed scenes at some of the city’s landmark sites, including, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Cloud Gate Sculpture, Millenium Park, and various cinematic shots of its skyline. The Art Institute of Chicago at 111 South Michigan Avenue was utilized for both, its refined interior, and unique surroundings. In the first half of the movie, the couple is married in the presence of their friends, in the hallway of the real-life Art Institute of Chicago, with its painting visible in the background.
As they rush outside, we can see the building’s sign, as well as the familiar cityscape of downtown Chicago. In the very next sequence, Leo and Paige stand under the Cloud Gate Sculpture, to seal the deal on their spontaneous marriage ceremony with a kiss. The art display is the centerpiece of the Millenium Park on 201 East Randolph Street, adjacent to the Art Institute of Chicago.
The bustling city of Toronto saw most of the filming for ‘The Vow’ taking place in and around it. The majority of scenes were shot on location, in Southlake Regional Health Centre, The City Hall, The Roastery Coffee House, Casa Loma, and the University of Toronto. To create some backdrops for the movie, the filmmakers set up shop at Pinewood Studios, Toronto.
The Southlake Regional Health Centre at 596 Davis Drive, Newmarket, can be seen in the hospital scenes at the beginning of the movie. One of the medical facility’s patient rooms became a backdrop for the pivotal scene of Paige waking up and failing to recognize Leo. The Mnemonic Cafe is seen at multiple points throughout the film; the outlet is actually the Roastery Coffee House at 8 Pardee Avenue. The University of Toronto plays the role of Northwestern University in the movie, with all sequences relating to it, lensed there.
The Toronto City Hall on 100 Queen Street lent its interiors to the filmmakers for the initial scene of Leo and Paige meeting for the first time while paying parking fines. The area outside the hall naturally became the shooting site for their subsequent interaction. After the later wedding sequence in the movie, Casa Loma stands in for the venue of the reception. The fantastical gothic castle-style mansion is a towering landmark situated at 1 Austin Terrace, in Old Toronto. We can spot its exterior when Leo walks away from the party and is joined by Bill Thornton, who offers him a drink. The mansion’s grounds are draped in festive decorations including fairy lights and lamps. The heritage property’s interior can be seen shortly afterward when Leo goes inside and has a confrontation with Jeremy.
The filmmakers made use of a stage in Pinewood Toronto Studios for a few scenes of the movie. The facility on 225 Commissioners Street, has eleven large sound stages of varying sizes. Filming in the studio would have provided the film crew with the benefits of creating their own set, managing lighting accurately, and facing minimum interruptions within its sound-proof walls. Other romantic movies filmed at the studio include, ‘Crimson Peak,’ ‘Let It Snow,’ ‘Beauty and the Beast,’ and ‘It’s a Boy Girl Thing.’
Read More: Is The Vow Based on a True Story?