Chicago Sun-Times

Husband behind the wheel is cruising for a bruising


Jon should be told that impeding the flow of traffic is a very dangerous practice. His childish behavior could incite road rage, and it is everyone’s responsibi­lity to minimize instances in which road rage can occur.

Contact the Department of Public Safety to get a copy of the Texas Drivers Handbook. That way you can show Jon in black and white that his behavior is not only wrong but dangerous.

While some husbands are not receptive to a wife’s comments about their driving, most will listen to what a state trooper has to say about good driving practices vs. bad ones. Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that.

And one more word of advice: Continue being the driver as often as possible. Your lives could depend on it.

I was discussing with my 26-year-old daughter how parents punish their kids, when suddenly she told me that she hated that I would make her write “lines” when she was growing up. She mentioned that one day I made her do it when her friend was there to play with her.

I felt really bad about this and wonder why she is bringing this up now.

It came up now because punishment was the topic of conversati­on, and she flashed back on how humiliatin­g it was to have been punished in front of a friend. Clearly it made an impact— and it would be interestin­g to know if the infraction was repeated after that. Write to Dear Abby at

‘The Vow” is a well-behaved, tenderhear­ted love story about impossibly nice people. It’s not even about whether they’ll get married. They’ve been happily married for four years. The problem is, she can’t remember them. She can’t even remember her husband.

Paige and Leo are a young Chicago couple. She’s a Lake Forest blue blood who angered her parents by dropping out of Northweste­rn law school, moving into the city and enrolling at the School of the Art Institute, where she sculpts clay into such forms that Leo mistakes a pile of fresh clay for one of her artworks. Leo has opened an independen­t recording studio, arguing that although everyone may be able to produce songs on their laptops, he can aim higher— at the heights of an old Sun Records session, for example.

They live happily. They are in love. She is estranged from her parents. They look great together, and as played by Rachel Mcadams and Channing Tatum, why shouldn’t they? The actors bring a dreamy warmth to their roles. Then one snowy night, the two are rear-ended by a truck. He wakes up in the hospital. She remains in a drug-induced coma to assist her brain in reducing its swelling. When she recovers, she has no memory of ever meeting or being married to Leo.

Indeed, she thinks she is the same person she was before her life changed. She thinks she still lives with her folks (Sam Neill and Jessica Lange) and is still engaged to Jeremy (Scott Speedman). Her parents, who approved of Jeremy but not of Leo, couldn’t be happier, and expect to bring her home with them. Leo persuades her to come home with him and see if any memories return, but it’s as if she’s living with a stranger.

The film is based on the real-life story of Kim and Krickitt Carpenter; she never did regain her lost memories, but they’re together today, with two children. Paige and Leo don’t seem headed in that direction. Leo is a paragon of patience, taking Paige to their favorite date spots, reminding her she’s a vegetarian, showing her the studio she has forgotten. But all of this is alien to the old Paige; she’s still attracted to Jeremy.

Scott Speedman is a good choice for the old fiance. From some angles, he reminds us a little of Wile E. Coyote. From head on, he’s friendly and handsome. He isn’t necessaril­y a bad guy. Nor are her parents evil, though there is something snaky about the Sam Neill character. They connive to take advantage of her memory loss, which convenient­ly has eradicated everything they disapprove of.

This same story could be a fraught melodrama with pumped-up characters and dire consequenc­es. “The Vow” is more of a sweet date movie for Valentine’s Day. But it’s all too painless. One can imagine the anguish of the case in real life. How, really, do you approach the subject of having sex with your husband if you don’t remember him? “The Vow” never really grapples with those issues. It’s pleasant enough, but that’s all.

A footnote. The film is said to be set in Chicago. It’s strange it has so many second-unit shots of the city: skylines, elevated trains, the Music Box movie theater. Yet the couple itself is rarely seen in them. There is one nice shot of the newlyweds running across a footbridge into Millennium Park and ending up under the Bean, but otherwise something fishy is going on. Yes, the movie was shot mostly in Toronto. Poor Toronto. Poor Chicago. Poor Paige and Leo. Poor Jeremy, even.

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