Tag Archives: Channing Tatum

Movie vs. Book: The Vow

When a romance movie is based on a nonfiction book, and when books tend to be better than the movie version, one would expect the book to be as gushingly romantic and heartwarming as they come. Such is not the case with The Vow.

To be fair, I went against my normal ‘Movie vs. Book’ review ways and saw the movie before reading the book. (Usually I force myself to wait to see the movie until I read the book.) That being said, I wasn’t a big fan of either the movie or the memoir.

Admittedly, they tell an amazing true story of a recently married man and woman, Kim and Krickett Carpenter, who get into a horrific car accident. Krickett suffers from a severe head injury which causes her to forget the past year-and-a-half of her life. Unfortunately for her husband, Kim, that year-and-a-half is the same time period when the couple met, dated, fell in love, and got married. Suddenly, Krickett does not remember who her own husband is. Through all the therapy, Kim decides not to fix his marriage, but to recreate it by making Krickett fall in love with him all over again.

It is such a beautiful story, and the fact that it’s true makes it even better. That’s why, after reading the book, I had a lot of problems with the movie, which stars Channing Tatum and Rachel McAdams. The movie fabricates much of the story by creating odd and mostly unbelievable subplots. For instance, in the movie, Rachel McAdams’ character hadn’t spoken to her parents or high school boyfriend in years, so when she recovers from the accident and wants to be with her parents, it’s odd. Channing Tatum’s character is forced to not only make his wife fall back in love with him; he also must remind her why she hasn’t spoken to her family in years.

The book, which is written by Kim Carpenter himself, includes nothing about this — because that wasn’t the case at all. Krickett had a very healthy relationship with her parents, who were supportive throughout the whole ordeal. Despite what the movie makes you think, there was also no point in time when Krickett almost got back together with her ex-boyfriend.

That’s not to say the book doesn’t have its own issues. Because it’s written by Kim Carpenter — who’s not an author — the story is told very clinically and leaves out much of the expected romantic details and emotion. Instead, it focuses on Krickett’s recovery and the couple’s faith in God. But he also gets rather preachy toward the end, emphasizing the importance of believing in God.

While the book excludes some of the true emotion between Kim and Krickett, the movie falsifies and fabricates much of the story. After reading the book, the movie seems unbelievable — the opposite of what you’d want after watching a movie based on a true story.

Get The Vow in paperback now for $8.49.

Or get it on your Kindle for $7.50.

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Get The Vow Ebook for $7.64 or in Paperback for $8.63

The movie The Vow ranked #1 in the box office during its opening weekend. And it hasn’t left the top 5 since. This romance movie tells the story of a recently married couple who gets into a car accident. The wife struggles with amnesia after the fact, and the husband must get her to fall back in love with him. The true beauty of this story? It’s based on real life events. And now you can get the book that details the true story. Written by the couple themselves, Kim and Krickitt Carpenter detail the time they fell in love …for the second time. The book includes a newly-added chapter and photo insert.

Now you can get it for your Kindle for just $7.64.

You can also get it in paperback for just $8.63, down from $14.99.

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Review: Dear John

Recap: It’s a story we’ve all heard before. Boy meets girl. Boy falls in love with girl. Boy goes off to war. Sadness ensues. But the story of Dear John goes a little further. Not only must the soldier and protagonist, John, return to his duties in Germany and leave behind his new girlfriend, Savannah. He must also say goodbye to his father, who suffers from Asberger’s syndrome.

Dear John is a love story between John, who’s on leave from the military, and Savannah, who’s building homes during her spring break from UNC. The unlikely two fall in love in just a few weeks. But in that time, Savannah — who is studying psychology at school — points out to John that his father may be autistic. Even though that would explain his father’s isolation and awkwardness, the suggestion erupts into a fight that ultimately brings John and Savannah — and John’s father — closer together.

Before they know it, John and Savannah are two halves of a (very) long-distance relationship. After a year, John returns to Savannah, and though things have changed, their feelings for each other have not. John, once again, goes back to the army. But then September 11th happens. And though he promised Savannah he wouldn’t re-sign, he feels obligated to venture off to Afghanistan. And that one decision is the one that would change both of their lives forever.

Analysis: In true Nicholas Sparks fashion, Dear John is a love story that not only deals with the hardships of love and the questions about fate and destiny, but with disease and chronic illness. The story focuses on the effects of autism, pertaining to John’s father. It also deals with physical illness — cancer — from which Savannah’s friend, Tim, suffers. Throw war on top of that, and you’re dealing with a book that has a lot of heavy issues.

The first part of the book focuses on the love story between the two main characters, but the latter portions are much darker. The characters brood, yearn for each other, and generally make the reader depressed. Not to mention, John and his father are rather likable, but I didn’t love Savannah. She was too much of a “goody-goody,” and an annoying one at that. The problem here is that if I don’t love her, it’s hard for me to understand why John does. Therein lies a major flaw.

I still enjoyed the book regardless. There’s really nothing like a romance — no matter how annoying the characters are. And the parts about the war were also done well. Though I wasn’t a fan of the ending, I understood that it was reality. Sometimes our lives don’t go the way we plan, and sometimes it’s our own fault. But that’s the way it is, and that’s what Dear John is really all about.

MVP: John’s dad. As Savannah blatantly points out throughout the novel, John’s father did an excellent job of raising him, despite his autism. As more and more illnesses are discovered, doctors realize that older patients were overlooked in their youth. That seems to be the case here. When John’s father was young and a little “off,” there was no reason to believe anything was actually wrong with him. The idea of this character is a good one, and Sparks does it the right way.

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