In The Vow, Paige (Rachel McAdams) is an artist from bourgeois roots who falls in love with and marries Leo (Channing Tatum), a musician with a closet full of plaid who lives in a loft with a handful of roommates. Their fairytale love story is suddenly interrupted by a gruesome car crash, leaving Paige with a major piece of her memory missing — the part that knows her husband.
Paige and Leo were inspired by Kim and Krickitt Carpenter, who wrote the 1996 book on which The Vow is based, The Vow: The Kim and Krickitt Carpenter Story. In 1993, just 10 weeks after their wedding, Kim and Krickitt were involved in a two-truck car crash that left Krickitt without any memory of the 18 months prior.
According to a People story published in 1996, Krickitt hung upside down for 30 minutes before rescuers arrived and unfastened her. The roof of the car had caved around her head, and it took medics more than 40 minutes to free her from the wreckage. Krickitt awoke from her coma 10 days later and was able to recall her birthdate and the names of her parents, People reports, but when the nurse asked, “Who's your husband?” she replied, “I'm not married.”
Five months after the crash, Krickitt moved back in with Kim. “I figured, if I fell in love with this guy before, I guess I just need to meet him again,” she explains. Just like the movie, the couple started to date each other again, starting from scratch. Then, three days later, on Valentine’s Day, Kim proposed again and Krickitt said yes. In his vows read during their second wedding, Kim said, “Only one thing can surpass forever the painful events we have felt, and that is my love for you.”
The Vow, starring Channing and Rachel, was released by Sony Screen Gems on February 10, 2012, grossing a whopping $41.7 million in its first weekend.
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