In A Love Rediscovered
Everybody loves a good romance, but hasn't every love story been told by this
point in the history of cinema?
Spyglass Entertainment Co-Chairman Roger Birnbaum admits he'd grappled with this
question for years. Then a news story crossed his desk: "I read an article about
a couple who'd been in a car accident and the woman never recovered her memories
of the man she loved." Immediately, the unusual nature of the story spoke to
What happened to New Mexico residents Kim Carpenter and his wife Krickitt -- an
initially tragic but ultimately uplifting saga of a man and woman who found each
other again after a seemingly insurmountable obstacle - touched many lives when
it was first reported. The Carpenters would eventually publish a book about
their experience in 2000.
Spyglass producer Jonathan Glickman describes what interested them in the
Carpenters' story. "We got excited by the idea of telling a story of a
relationship that was inspired by true events that had not yet been seen, but
was also relatable to anyone because of the universal themes about the need to
adapt to change for any relationship to last."
Krickitt Carpenter, who has been happily married to Kim now for 18 years even
though the period of memory she lost never returned, boils down what happened to
them this way: "My husband is amazing. He did everything he could to win me
back. Life is full of ups and downs and challenges, but you have to dig down and
be the best that you can be."
Honoring the emotional reality of such an extraordinary incident required coming
up with an original story that had the right balance, explains Glickman,
"Because the story is so emotional and gripping, we didn't want to make it a
melodrama, but something that could elevate itself to one of those classic love
stories like The Way We Were or Love Story and at the same include relationships
between parents and daughters, sisters and friends. The script needed to be
accessible, with humor and a light touch throughout, so that we don't take
ourselves so seriously."
If that sounds like a tall order, it was. After years in development, Spyglass
was delivered a script the producers were thrilled with. "A love story, if told
properly, should be able to connect with cultures all over the world." Roger
Birnbaum sums up: "After a few attempts and over a decade of trying, we found a
particular take on this story that made sense to us and the kinds of movies that
we are making now at Spyglass, which are commercial, mainstream movies that we
hope can touch audiences all over the world."
The next step was finding a director who could deliver on the promise of the
script. Spyglass met with Michael Sucsy who had just wrapped a movie of his own,
the much-lauded HBO film Grey Gardens. Glickman smiles, "We met with Michael and
clicked instantly. He found things about the story that none of us had thought
"I just thought it sounded like an incredible premise for a film," says Sucsy.
"The fact that two people are already in love when the movie starts, and then
they're ripped apart, and then they have to find a way back to each other, that
really touched me. The thing that hit me the most was the fact that this could
happen to anybody at any time. A lot of time when we deal with memory loss, it's
about Alzheimer's and growing old, but I thought this was a really universal way
of being able to relate to the problem."
Jonathan Glickman proclaims: "Michael Sucsy is a true superstar. He is
confident, he is smart, he's funny, but most importantly, he has a real
emotional soul and he's not afraid to get true dramatic moments, which is why
Grey Gardens was such a success. He's a top-notch director and we really were
lucky to have him leading the ship on this. It was almost as if we had waited
that long to get Michael Sucsy to direct it."
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