Monday, February 13, 2012

My Thoughts On The Vow And An Interview With The Real Couple Behind The Movie

On my iPod: Make Tomorrow by Peter Gabriel (with Paul Buchanan)

Reading: Story by Robert McKee

Last Wednesday my friend Jill and I got to see a preview of The Vow. I'd seen the trailer and was already planning to see it, so when I got invited to see it in advance, I was thrilled. I'm not going to go into a lot of detail about the movie because I think honestly the trailer does a good job of expressing what the movie is about. Unlike some trailers you don't see all the best moments in the film and it doesn't give it all away. Rachel McAdams is just beautiful, as always. Channing Tatum is not usually my favorite but he did a good job. Here's a brief summary:

Paige and Leo (Rachel McAdams and Channing Tatum) are a happy newlywed couple whose lives are shattered by a car accident that puts Paige in a coma. Waking up with severe memory loss, Paige has no memory of Leo or their marriage, a confusing relationship with her parents (Sam Neill and Jessica Lange), and an ex-fiancé (Scott Speedman) she may still have feelings for. Despite these obstacles, Leo endeavors to win her heart again and vows to love her and rebuild their marriage.

What I really want to say about the movie is that it's based on a true story. And when I first saw the trailer I thought "what an imaginative premise for a movie." Well I had no idea it was based on real people. And to make things even better, I got to talk to them! First, here's a bit about them:

Based off of their 2000 book “The Vow: The Kim & Krickett Carpenter Story, I can’t tell you how extraordinary their story is. They fell in love and married. But due to a car accident just two months after their wedding, Krickett lost all her memory of Kim and their union! Through their shared faith, Kim’s patience and Krickett’s compassion, the couple fell in love all over again and recently celebrated their 18th wedding anniversary!!! Currently living in New Mexico with their two children, Kim works in local government and Krickett is a substitute teacher.

And here's what I learned in our conversation:

Kim and Krickett are real people in a real marriage. That's what stood out to me the most-- while they are thrilled with the movie, and that it was number one at the box office-- they just want to use this entire event as an opportunity to share their message: one of hope, but also one of what real love takes. Kim said, "People have used words like 'miraculous' and 'heroic' to describe our story, but really we just did what we said we were going to do in honoring our vows. In our world today, doing that gets you recognition." He noted that a few decades ago, "til death do us part" meant the actual death of a soulmate." But in our time, it's come to mean the death of a marriage. He emphasized that, while he and Krickett have an amazing story, their day to day lives now consist of working at their marriage like the rest of us. Most of all, Kim and Krickett hope this movie (and the book they've just released) inspires people who are struggling in marriage to keep working at it and for people who are thinking about getting married to go into it with a sense of what marriage takes.

I asked them about the whole experience of having their life story made into a movie, and here's what they had to say:

On how close the movie is to the real thing: "Some things are exact. The car accident was a different accident entirely. Of course it's hard to tell a 19 year old story in 104 minutes but the crux of the story is intact. The studio took some artistic liberties we wouldn't have taken, but overall we're happy with the movie. Channing and Rachel spent time with us, studied interviews of us, watched us closely, and read parts of the book to prepare. They nailed it."

On what people in their lives think of all this: "We have the support of the people in our life. The recent attention has re-reminded our friends how special the story is. We've gotten congratulatory messages from our friends and are blessed to have their support."

On their kids: Krickett says, "They're the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow." And Kim says, "They're the blessings of our vow." The kids have been part of it all, and have traveled with their parents from the east to the west coast to interviews and appearances and been real troupers. "This is a priceless lesson for them to carry on in their legacy," Kim says.

On walking the red carpet at the premiere: Krickett says, "I got to be a princess for a day." And Kim adds, "It was a lot of fun. Like a second wedding for us."

To see pictures of Kim and Krickett and learn more about their recently released book-- which has a LOT more details and the rest of the story of their marriage-- go to

Thank you Kim and Krickett for inspiring us and for sharing your real-life love story!
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Cheri Bunch said...

This is really great, Marybeth. I had heard their story and was so inspired by it long before the release of the movie. Looking forward to seeing it.
Thank you for sharing such a special story and interview. I enjoyed it so much!

Julie Kibler said...

Pretty cool! I hosted a screening in Dallas for the movie, and Kim's brother and wife were in attendance. I got to spend some time after the movie talking with them. It was fun to see their reaction to the movie and hear their thoughts. They were sitting behind me and over just a bit and it was neat watching Kim's brother throw his head back in laughter a few times--after, he told me he when he laughed so hard, he was thinking, "Kim would have done something just like that!" Also, to see the emotion in their faces during certain parts, even when much of it was so very different from the real life story, was very moving. Loved the movie!