To keep it accurate, the Farmington couple wrote the book about their saga themselves.
The Carpenters sold the movie rights to their story in 1996 but objected to movie scripts that strayed too far from the truth. One such script is still used as an inch-tall riser to balance a family portrait.
But after 19 years, a book deal, magazine articles, dozens of nationally televised interviews and two children, the Kim and Krickitt story is ready for Hollywood.
"The Vow" a movie based on the Carpenters, will be released Feb. 10, just in time for Valentine's Day.
"At one point in time this movie was going to be rated R and oh man, I threw a fit," Kim said. "It had the F-word in it and that was not acceptable. It takes a lot for me to say a bad word. In our family, if you say a bad word, you have to pay for it."
In November 1993, the Carpenters were in an automobile accident on I-40 west of Gallup. Both were badly injured and Krickitt, who doctors said had less than a 1-percent chance of surviving, was comatose for months after the accident.
Krickitt woke with no recollection of the year prior to the accident, which included all memories of her husband, Kim, and their marriage 10 weeks before the crash. "The Vow" is based on the story of Kim and Krickitt's recovery and romance, plus the usual Hollywood sensationalism and glamour, the couple said.
How the couple overcame Krickitt's head injury is the love story. Though they both downplay the struggle.
"We just did what we said we would do," Krickitt said. "We said, till death do us part.'"
The Carpenters remain married and have two children, Danny 11, and LeeAnn, 8. Kim is the San Juan County executive officer and Krickitt is a substitute teacher for Farmington high schools.
To this day, Krickitt cannot remember about a two-year chunk of her life: The year before and after the accident. Her head was struck from behind in the accident and her brain hit the front of her skull, damaging her frontal lobe, which controls short-term memory and personality, she said.
"I would love to say that I fell in love with him again because that's what everybody wants to hear," Krickitt said. "I chose to love him and that was based on obedience to God, not feelings ... I chose to love him because I made a vow."
The movie, produced by Spyglass Entertainment, has inaccuracies, the Carpenters said. It stars Channing Tatum and Rachel McAdams as Leo and Paige, who are the fictional Kim and Krickitt. It was filmed in Chicago and Canada instead of New Mexico.
"And there's no baseball," Kim said, another difference between the real life story and the Hollywood version.
The Carpenters are preparing for movie premiers in Hollywood and Farmington on Feb. 6 and Feb. 8, respectively, and the international premier in London.
The tragic car accident started becoming a worldwide love story in 1996. At the time of the accident, Kim was a baseball coach for New Mexico Highlands University in Las Vegas. He was named the coach at age 23 and was the youngest college baseball coach in the country.
A television reporter tracked down the young former coach to do an update on Kim's coaching career. Instead the reporter stumbled on Kim and Krickitt's story and reported it.
The Albuquerque Journal ran a version of the story a few days later, and soon, outlets like ABC News, Dateline NBC and Good Morning America were requesting interviews.
"People kept telling us they were encouraged by our story," Krickitt said. "One day I was praying and said Lord, if people get encouraged by our story and if you want to do something with our story, I give it to you and pray that something happens.'"
The couple wrote a book called "The Vow: The Kim and Krickitt Carpenter Story," published in 2000.
"It keeps our story intact," Krickitt said. "It's our story; we wrote it."
The Carpenters are releasing a new version of their book called "The Vow: The True Story Behind the Movie," to coincide with the movie release.
The new book includes tidbits of family information from the past 10 years, like the media circus that surrounded Danny's birth, which was around the same time the book was released, and LeeAnn's brain injury. Her parents dropped her on her head during a Connie Mack World Series game when she was 8 weeks old, and she had to be flown to Albuquerque to be treated for a head injury. She recovered.
"It tested us. It tested us to the end," Kim said of the accident and life that followed. "But I think it's given us a greater appreciation for what we've overcome."