I remember hearing the story of Kim and Krickitt Carpenter from a Campus Crusade staff person awhile ago. He knows the story well… Krickitt is his sister. I had heard that their story was being turned into a script for a movie and now it’s here… The Vow.
The story goes that Kim and Krickett were a young married couple. Shortly after being married in 1993 Krickett was in a devastating car accident on her way to Phoenix leaving her in a month long coma. Upon awakening from the coma in the hospital she couldn’t recognize Kim. He showed her wedding pictures but it only left her more confused and angry that she didn’t have any memories of her husband or their wedding day.
The rest of the story is in the movie but here’s a spoiler (don’t read on if you don’t want to know)…
Kim courted her again to win her love and in 1996 they were remarried. On her wedding day she said, “It’ll be like a first wedding, because I don’t have a memory of marrying him,”.
I know people bag on movies like this because they say, “It’s predictable”! Let me beg to differ a bit. I like movies as well with swerves and twists. But this movie is like a fairy tale and fairy tales function to point to the grander story. What if the vow in the movie is there to remind us of the greater vow from the One who deeply loves us? Tim Keller, I think was quoting Tolkien when he said, “Fairy tales move us in way that realistic fiction does not. Fairy tales speak to several deep human longings that we are almost ashamed to admit and that we never can discard. We long to survey the depths of time and space. We long to get out of time altogether and escape death. We long to hold communion with other living things like angels. We long to find a love that perfectly heals and from which we can never part. We long to triumph over evil finally and totally. When you are in the middle of a great fairy tale, the fairy tale lets you live even briefly with the dream that love without parting, escape from death, and triumph over evil are real and realizable. That’s why the stories stir us so deeply and why we will go on reading and writing them no matter what the critics say. But the gospel’s message is that through Jesus Christ every single one of these things that the fairy tales talk about is true and will come to pass. We will hang out with angels. We will fly. We will have loves from which we will never be parted. We will see an absolute triumph over evil. There is a beauty who will kiss you in all your beastliness and transform you. There is a prince who will save us forever.”