The Promise of Love

Watch The Promise of Love

  • NR
  • 1980
  • 1 hr 36 min
  • 5.9  (228)

The Promise of Love is a made-for-television romantic drama film from 1980 that showcases the emotional journey of a young widow grappling with the realities of loss, love, and moving forward. Directed by Don Taylor and featuring a compelling performance by Valerie Bertinelli, alongside Jameson Parker and Andy Romano, this film touches on themes of grief, resilience, and the human capacity for healing and starting anew.

Set in the late 1970s, the story centers around Kathy Wakeman (played by Valerie Bertinelli), a young woman whose life takes an unexpected turn following the death of her husband, a U.S. Marine who dies while serving overseas. Kathy's idyllic world is shattered, leaving her to confront the challenging prospect of navigating her future without her beloved spouse. The narrative explores Kathy's emotional turmoil as she plunges into a deep well of grief, trying to make sense of her loss while dealing with the societal expectations placed upon a military widow.

Despite her initial despondency, Kathy demonstrates remarkable fortitude. She is surrounded by friends and family members who offer support, but their well-meaning intentions often fail to penetrate the armor of her sorrow. It is through her own self-discovery and determination that Kathy begins to find the path toward healing and independence.

One of these pillars of support is Sam Daniels (Jameson Parker), a fellow Marine and close friend of Kathy's late husband. His presence in her life becomes more significant as he encourages Kathy to embrace life again and honors the memory of his fallen comrade by looking out for her. Their relationship is delicately portrayed, showcasing the nuances of finding love after loss and the delicate balance of honoring the past while remaining open to new possibilities.

Another significant character is Kathy's father, played by Andy Romano, who represents the older generation's perspective on loss and duty. His interactions with his daughter reflect the generational divides and the different coping mechanisms used to deal with the aftermath of war and personal tragedy.

Throughout the film, Kathy endeavours to reclaim her independence and self-identity. It portrays her return to work and her attempts to engage with activities that once brought her joy. In finding strength to face the world alone, the story delves into the challenges that widows—particularly those of fallen soldiers—face, from financial struggles to the sheer weight of loneliness.

One of the powerful elements of The Promise of Love is its honest depiction of grief's unpredictable patterns. It shows Kathy's moments of profound sadness juxtaposed with times of laughter and light, communicating the message that there is no right or wrong way to mourn and that healing is not a linear process.

The film's setting also plays a role in Kathy's journey, capturing the essence of the era with an engaging soundtrack and careful attention to the cultural and social milieu of the time. This contextual backdrop adds depth to her narrative, painting a vivid picture of the era's attitudes and paradigms.

While The Promise of Love is a poignant tale of sorrow, it is equally a story about hope. It illustrates the psychological landscape of bereavement, the complexity of human connections, and the tender moments that can lead to recovery. The film tackles the subject of moving forward without leaving behind the essence of what was lost, allowing Kathy's character to evolve in a way that feels authentic and relatable.

Performance-wise, Bertinelli's portrayal of Kathy is grounded and nuanced. She captures the wide range of emotions that accompany such a profound loss, embodying the strength and vulnerability of her character with grace and depth. Jameson Parker's Sam provides a contrast to Kathy's anguish, offering a steadying presence that hints at the potential for new beginnings without rushing her journey of grief.

As the narrative unfolds, viewers travel alongside Kathy during her darkest hours and into the light of her new beginnings. The Promise of Love does not promise an easy journey but offers a narrative rich with emotional resonance, and insights into the human spirit's resilience. The film remains a touching portrait of personal growth and a heartwarming testament to the enduring strength of the human heart to find love after loss.

The Promise of Love is a 1980 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 36 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 5.9.

Where to Watch The Promise of Love
The Promise of Love is available to watch free on Tubi TV. It's also available to stream, download and buy on demand at Amazon Prime and Amazon. Some platforms allow you to rent The Promise of Love for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 36 min
  • IMDB Rating
    5.9  (228)