Monday, March 22, 2010

My take on Remember Me, Part 2

I have a confession to make. I wasn't really planning on making this a 2-part post, but I accidentally hit "Publish Post" and had no idea how to recall it. Oopsy. But considering how long the post was getting, it probably wasn't a bad outcome.


Part 2

- Tyler and his dad: At first I thought this needed some development, but having had some time to let it sink in, I think it was a subtle, yet effective, representation. You got the sense that Charles was using his work to avoid having to deal with the loss of his son and his marriage, and Tyler's hostility toward his dad was well established. I found the scenes with the two of them really charged and compelling.

- Ally and her dad: I initially felt this was a bit weak, but grew to appreciate a lot of the unspoken relationship dynamics they had.

The relationship I do wish they had developed much more was Tyler and his mom. She really did seem like a sidenote, and it was difficult to get a handle on how she had changed from her son's suicide; it was very clear how the rest of the family had been affected.

The ending and 9/11

Hauntingly beautiful shot of Tyler looking out the WTC window

I cannot begin to tell you how I wish could turn back time and see Remember Me without knowing the ending. (Fuck you very much, Matt Lauer.) I know myself, and there is no way I would have picked up on the foreshadowing leading to 9/11. I really missed the emotional impact of the unexpected, because I knew exactly what was coming.

Superman, can you turn the Earth back a few weeks? Thanks!

But I had no problem with the ending... at all. Initially I felt it was unnecessary to kill Tyler - hadn't he and his family been through enough? Didn't we already get the message that we should appreciate every day and everyone in our lives because life is fleeting?

And then, because this movie stays with you and makes you think, a lot, I realized that the screenwriter's intention was to show the details of someone lost that day and how random everything about it was. Nothing else would have been a tribute to random acts in quite the same way.

I do have my own 9/11 story. I happened to drive by the WTC on my way to visit family in Greenwich, Connecticut the day before the attacks. The moment I would have seen the towers to my right, a massive downpour occurred making it difficult to see and drive. The rain ended as quickly as it started but managed to obscure the moment I would have viewed the towers, for the last time before they were gone. I was supposed to be in Manhattan later that week. My cousin, who's mother I was with, called us while making her way across the Brooklyn bridge, letting us know she was alright. My husband had clients at the Pentagon at the time, near our home. I had no idea if he was there that day and had to wait to hear from him. Many in Greenwich were directly affected and I was surrounded by grief-stricken people.

But it wasn't my tragedy. I ached for the people directly affected - those killed in the buildings, the responders killed trying to assist, the families left behind, surviving co-workers and people living and working near the attacks. Yes "my" country was attacked, but unlike many in the US I always considered that a pretty certain inevitably (considering the terrorism and war much of the world experiences regularly) so I wasn't exactly shocked. My life didn't change that day.

To me, the "national" tragedy was our leaders' response to the attack. Scaring the public with constant "Code Red" warnings, using the attacks as an excuse to take out Saddam Hussein (creating a war that still rages today and killing/wounding/destroying more Americans than the attacks did), the resulting Muslim xenophobia, exploiting citizen fears in order to obtain a reelection, and on, and on.

I'm certainly upset about all that, but not about a movie that killed off the main character on 9/11. I thought it was a sensitively, tastefully-done tribute to the true victims that day. That the critics couldn't get that, and condemned the filmmakers for it in their reviews, just shows how patriotism and flag waving get in the way of moving on. Close to ten years later, that is something many apparently still need to do. Unless you were directly impacted, the ending of Remember Me should not have been so personalized or condemned, IMO.

In Conclusion

I am really saddened that this film will be viewed by so few people. My attempts to get some 20-something females to see it this past weekend were met with mockery. Twilight has really done a number on Rob's ability to present himself in a serious character study. I guess time will tell once it goes to DVD (which unfortunately appears will happen pretty quickly) whether more people will be curious enough to check it out. I'm eager to see how it does overseas, but the critics have certainly done their damage.

I joked previously that I was going to love this movie so much that I'd want a microchip of it implanted in my brain, so I can watch it on a loop in my head. Scarily enough, my prediction was right! I feel like I miss Tyler and want to see him again. I haven't gotten my copy of New Moon yet, but you can bet Remember Me will be in my hot little hands the second it goes on sale.

Until then, there is that $6 day at my local theater tomorrow...hmmmmmm

Is is possible to see Rob having angry, makeup, wall sex too many times? I.DON'T.THINK.SO


  1. I really like your way of looking at it. I think it is a shame that anyone would have a problem with the way this film included 9/11. I, too, thought it was very tastefully done. I was lucky enough to have gone to the movie without knowing any of the spoilers. When I realized what was about to happen I said, "OH NO" out loud, even though I normally don't talk in theaters. I felt that it was a touching way of connecting with the victims.

  2. I absolutely agree with everything, including the fact that I would have liked to see the movie as it was intended to, unspoiled. (then again, maybe I would have felt sucker punched and depressed, I don't know).
    Now the really important question is: OMG!!! DO YOU LIVE IN DC??? (I've outed myself to go to the NM dvd release party at the Friendship Heights Borders, and the party was cancelled because there was no one else there), so if you're really a DC area fan, knowing you exist has made my day!

  3. Yes, Shotgun Charlie, I live outside of DC too! Sorry about your NM party. That's pretty surprising that NO ONE showed up - considering there were riots at Walmarts...

    That's a good question - would I have felt differently if I hadn't known the 9/11 connection until I discovered it in the film? I'm guessing no, since I don't feel any real personal connection to 9/11. I just think I would have enjoyed the scope of the surprise - like the way I was surprised by Sixth Sense. I love those kinds of twists.

    But yes, I probably would have been devastated that Tyler dies if I hadn't known. But again, I would have liked to have experienced that as intended - as a surprise.