Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Most Misunderstood Film of the Year - Ropes of Silicon

Even though Remember Me does not make the list of Brad Brevet's top 10 films for 2010, he does mention it as the most misunderstood film of the year. Mr Brevet gets it and has really supported Remember Me!

Remember Me :
Perhaps the most misunderstood film of the year. People called the ending a "twist" which I guess means any time you're walking around your house and you stub your toe it's a twist because you didn't expect to do it. This movie presented events in a way no other film has dared to try, the same way we lived it, without knowing and without warning. And I applaud it for having the guts to do so.

To read more of Brad's year-end review, please click here:
Ropes of Silicon Top Movies of 2010

To read Brad's original review of Remember Me, please click here:
Remember Me Review

Thanks Sammie!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Remember Me Eligible for Writer's Guild of America Award

Remember Me is one of the 43 films that are eligible for the 2010 Writer's Guild of America Award for Original Screenplay.

Ballots must be cast by Monday and the list of the final five nominations will be announced on Tuesday.

In order to be eligible, a screenplay must have been written by a WGA memebr and must be submitted to the WGA for consideration.

We here would love for Will to get the credit that he deserves for writing this wonderful script!

To read the entire article and to view the list of all films, please click here:


Remember Me Rated Top 10 Best Film

Clint from has rated Remember Me as one of his top films of 2010.

10. Remember Me

Robert Pattinson delivers one of the richest and most weighty performances of any actor this year with his uneasy son and lover at the center of director Allen Coulter’s love letter to 9/11 (yes, there is such a thing).

To read the rest of Clint's post on Remember Me and the rest of his list, please click here:
Clint's Top 10 Films of 2010

Friday, December 24, 2010

The Love Stories of Remember Me

We are extremely excited to present Jessegirl's latest lovely article explores the different types of love in the various relationships in Remember Me.

by Jessegirl

Remember Me is not a chick flick, dick flick or any other genre film. It is not a love story, but many love stories. Yes, it shows us the delight of Ally and Tyler falling in love as games, jokes, discoveries and secrets spice their encounters. Emilie de Ravin and Robert Pattinson brought authenticity to their portrayals. It was easy to believe them. And I’ll get back to that romantic love later. But Remember Me delivers so many other kinds of love as well. I’ll touch briefly on a series of ‘love in the moments’.

I have talked about the compassionate tone of this film before and that is still the bottom line. So we have tiny gestures of kindness sprinkled through the film. For example, in the diner, we see Tyler totally immersed in his journal, oblivious to every reality except his internal monologue, and the waitress comes by with a plate of food which she puts on the table as she orders him—“Eat something”. Clearly he’s a regular and she’s been employed there awhile and she feels enough tenderness for Tyler to look after him.

All the little moments Janine has with Tyler also indicate an almost maternal caring for him. In a lovely scene in the diner, she interrupts her coffee run to stop by his table while he is—what else?—writing in his diary. Her smile is so very heart-warming and Tyler responds with a delighted sparkle in his eyes and a genuine smile on his face. They both wrap their exchange of pleasantries in a glow of pure contentment, revealing deep affection for each other. This is an example of ‘love in the moments’ in its purity.

Now Les, not shown in his complexity, illustrates what support looks like. He is always respectful of the Hawkins’ private grief, allowing them their space at the gravesite yet standing close enough to Diane to be the presence she needs. When, at the end, the Hawkins visit Tyler’s grave, Les takes a step back, knowing that Diane and Charles need to link arms as parents. At the sweets shop we see this gentle man second Diane’s enthusiastic expression of Caroline’s talent. Then, later, when, after the bullying incident, we hear him on the phone running interference for Diane as he simultaneously brings Caroline a tray of refreshments. At Tyler’s birthday party we only see him silently helping clean up and at the beach house he participates in a family game of charades. Altogether Les is a solid bulwark for his damaged step family, his love offering security.

Then there is Aiden, the irresponsible, live-for-today kind of guy who comes up with a cruel revenge scheme mainly because he is still too immature to grasp the concept of consequences and not—IMO—from maliciousness. Often the clown, Aiden tries every which way to bring his grief-laden friend into the present. Whatever his many faults though, Aiden is there to help Tyler when the chips are down. Not only does he go to the Hirsch home after the bullying incident, but he brings Ally with him, having gone to her home to intercede for Tyler first. He does this when he notices how depressed his friend is about the situation with Ally. Love between friends is complicated, but obviously Aiden loves Tyler.

Love is not just feel-good times putting viewers into their comfort zone. Tainted and damaged people have difficulty expressing love without the filter of anger, impotence or desperation. So we have two old cocks, Neil and Charles, one running hot-tempered and the other cold, but both loving so fiercely after loss that their actions threaten to destroy what they still have. And we have Diane, the mother, desperate to hang onto what is left. So she adjusts Tyler’s collar, pounds the table to get his attention, puts undo pressure on him to act as an intermediary between her and her ex-husband. She brings Caroline every dessert at the art show, to compensate for Charles’ absence.

Charles’ cold demeanour towards his remaining children is terror.

Neil’s over-protective, smothering intrusion into Ally’s life is terror.

Diane’s clingy, needy desperation with Tyler and Caroline is terror.

They are all terrified to lose what they have left and react in accordance with their individual personalities to the impotence of their grief.

This complex film on the face of it seems to begin and end with hatred. We have Ally’s mother violently shot in the subway, and, as a bookend, Tyler murdered in a terrorist attack at the end. But of course the bookends are really love. In the opening scene the first thing we see is Ally and her mother sharing time, the mother twirling her daughter, both of them ‘living in the moments’, their love for each other clear. Then, after the murder, we see Neil, grief-stricken, picking up the wedding ring and then his young daughter, shattered as he could be only if he loved deeply. And the real end of the film, the requiem montage, is all about love. One doesn’t ache, grieve, and heal without the impetus of love.

Grief cannot exist without love and where there is great grief there is great love. I have written about grief from so many angles in other articles and there’s no question that grief is the catalyst for all the action here. It is impossible to understand the heart and soul of this film or of the characters—or indeed of the actors’ portrayals—without understanding the grief inherent at its core. This is such an excellent and rare presentation of grief that what I covered in other pieces had to be said. That done though, I am trying, now, to touch on the love which would precipitate grief.

Caroline and Tyler, siblings sticking together through thick and thin, young and struggling, always sustain each other and have so many loving moments together. Almost every scene with Tyler and his little sister shows how deeply they love each other. I could recount them here but it would be a long list. Theirs is a mutual support. Caroline gives Tyler a wake-up call at the beginning. She insists they have a birthday party for him despite his hesitation about the significance of a 22nd birthday; it needs to be celebrated. This is how she shows him how important he is.

Meanwhile, Tyler protects her, looks out for her, but in a hands-on way. He spends time with her, providing her world with the emotional security all children need as much as the air they breathe. He takes the time to discern the source of Caroline’s pain, asking her questions about the girls. He soothes and comforts her by reading to her in bed in what is, for me, a favourite perfectly pure moment of tenderness. He shares wisdom with her and jokes with her at the Alice statue. When she asks if he’ll come to the art show, he replies, “abso-freaking-lutely!”. You bet he’ll be there for her anytime she needs him. All of this shows that Tyler is the only caring male blood relative who is present for her. Indeed, their relationship illustrates how vital to love being present is.

So many types of love are represented in this film. And there is romance too. This is natural for the young lead characters, given their age. Ally needs it also to become independent. And Tyler needs to be taken outside the realm of his dysfunctional family in order to ‘wake up’, so Ally’s influence is fresh.

Indeed Tyler, the lost soul, stumbles into this relationship with just enough life left in him to grab love when it is offered to him. And, as is the way with love, it heals, empowers, mellows, softens, multiplies. Ally’s unique perspective, her dessert first philosophy, her quirky personality, all intrigue Tyler and keep him guessing. Only with her does he have light-hearted fun, squirting her with water for example, his eyes wide open like a mischievous school boy. A little thing called enjoyment has come back to Tyler via Ally. The sex is full of meaning, the scenes bathed in an amber glow to emphasize the warmth suffusing their encounter.

By the time Tyler sees the screen saver, he and Ally have declared their love for each other and that power alone has softened his attitude towards his Dad. This is not only a good thing, but a necessary one. In a way the screen saver is, at that point, weirdly, both surprise and confirmation. Love has lightened Tyler. His burden is lifted. He all but skips to his father’s office, even before he sees the photos. He has been smiling all morning, even before he sees the pictures. They are just lovely confirmation.

Love has rescued him. Suddenly the veil of grief has dissolved and Tyler can enfold his brother in the embrace of loving memory. Tyler, that last day, is Tyler in a moment of release. Allen Coulter phrased it as Tyler being “released from his battles” [Podcast about Tyler, with Fetters, Osborne and Pattinson. June 20, 2010].

Remember Me shows us a plethora of little moments, so many of which capture, within each small glimpse, love exchanged. Despite what some have said, these moments are not maudlin, but are executed with a fine hand. In fact, much is conveyed with facial expressions and minimal gestures, like when Tyler touches Janine’s arm, or when he approaches Ally so very slowly before they make love the first time. Even the relationship between Caroline and Tyler is devoid of big bear hugs, sloppy kisses or tears, yet none of those are needed for us to be convinced of the deep and abiding love they share.

The stories in Remember Me draw together the characters and show us the good and the loving shining out beyond flawed humanity. They are love stories which can lighten our own burdens, can guide us to be released from them like Tyler was. They show us how to smile all morning long, as Tyler did, and greet the day.

No matter what comes.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Remember Me Listed

I don't think that anyone here missed the film, but it is great to see it mentioned. Hopefully, some who hadn't seen it before will take the recommendation and see it now.

Yeah, the first line is alittle snarky, but it's the over all thought and mention that counts!

This film, a heartrending relationship drama (it’s both about the rapport between a young couple and also one between a young man and his estranged father) that played to the tick of a 9/11 countdown, proved there’s much more to “Twilight” vamp Robert Pattinson than blank stares, sparkles and tree hopping. Quite simply, Pattinson was an eye-opener in this film. Skeptics need see it.

To read the rest, including the snark, please click here:

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Remember Me - Massively Underrated

Laremy Legel at has listed Remember Me as one of the massively underrated films of 2010.

And if Remember Me had featured Ryan Gosling instead of Robert Pattinson it would have been correctly hailed as great. But people got far too caught up in the ending and Pattinson's celebrity to catch that he was really freaking good in this movie. Definitely worth a watch if you you're a fan of relationship dramas.


Sunday, December 12, 2010

More on Remember Me's DVD Sales

Alt Film has written an article that Looks at the relative success of Remember Me's DVD sales.

The Robert Pattinson vehicle Remember Me, which divided critics upon its early March release, has reportedly grossed $11.03m on DVD in the United States, with more than 600k units sold. The source for these figures is a site called The Numbers, which focuses on home video revenues.

To read the rest of their article, please click here:
Alt Film

Here are some other DVD vs domestic box office percentages from films that were released around the same time.

Dear John..... 36%
The Last Song......24%
She's Out of my League.....29%
Our Family Wedding.....30%
Brooklyn's Finest.....36%
When in Rome......24%
Leap Year......39%
From Paris with Love.....53%

Box Office

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Remember Me Discussion Group

Many people have said that RM has a message. For you, what is it?

Remember Me DVD Sales

Through 11/28, Remember Me has done $11,034,174 in DVD sales!! That translates into 619,652 DVDs sold.

BTW, these numbers do not include Blu-ray sales.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Let Love In

Today, we welcome a new guest blogger, J. Jacobs, who explores a part of the realtionship between Tyler and Ally.

Letting your guard down is one of the most difficult things you can do in a relationship, especially if something you've experienced in the past makes you want to build a 10-foot thick stone wall and alligator-inhabited moat around your emotions. However difficult it may be to open up to a significant other, it is something upon which any strong relationship depends. No one wants to be in a romantic relationship with a stranger, so if you'd like for your relationship to thrive, you'll need to let your partner know who you really are and where you're coming from. Of course, this is a lot easier said than done.

in Remember Me (2010) Tyler and Ally are both bringing very disturbing family histories to their relationship. It is hard enough to watch your parents grow apart without knowing that the conflict stems from your brother's previous decision to end his life. Also, imagine trying to get through each day without being haunted by the memories of your mother's murder on a subway platform. These are the family histories that Tyler and Ally brought to their relationship, yet it was still able to blossom and grow. What was important in Tyler and Ally's relationship was not the fate or the physical attraction that might have brought them together at the beginning, but the fact that they came to know each other as real human beings. Tyler and Ally were able to open up to each other, and in the process, learned valuable lessons about what is important in life.

No matter what you've gone through, you can't let your past be the end of your happiness in the future. Life brings with it immense joys and immense pleasures, but we must understand that these are all a part of living. It is impossible to go through life without having people disappoint you, but we can't group everyone into the same category of "disappointers". Just because someone hasn't been there for us in the past, doesn't mean that others won't be there for us. Take Tyler and his father, for example. Tyler's father, an overworked businessman, didn't seem to realize when his children needed him, whether they needed him to show up for an art exhibition or to simply listen. If Tyler would have harbored all of the emotions he had towards his father and let them spill out into his relationship with Ally, their love would have withered away quickly. Overall, if you're someone struggling with a troubled past, let love in, because doing so will help you in more ways than imagined.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Remember Me Discussion Group

Do the characters in Remember Me "live in the moments"?

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Remember Me is Favorite Film

Viewers have voted Remember Me to be their favorite Robert Pattinson film in the People's Choice Weekly Movie Poll (we 11-24).

The results of the poll was:
Remember Me 36%
Eclipse 33%
Twilight 23%
New Moon 5%


Thursday, November 25, 2010

Remember Me's Tag Line - "Live in the Moments"

As a Thanksgiving treat, Jessegirl has written a lovely article that examines Remember Me's tag line and title in terms of Remember Me's past, present and future.

~by jessegirl November 25, 2010

So many audience members, commenting on their experience of Remember Me, express their take on its tag line, “live in the moments”. Invariably they see it as a message about life, even a lesson, which the film has brought home to them. Some take it to heart and vow to change their behaviour. In essence, people interpret it as a call to appreciate and be thankful for what they have now. This has something is common with the message of the North American Thanksgiving holiday.

Will Fetters’ simple words—which did not make it into the film—are, I think, most indicative of the tag line’s meaning. From the original script:

"You can’t know
So don’t take it for granted
But don’t take it too seriously
Don’t postpone what you want
Don’t leave anything misunderstood
Make sure the people you care about know
Make sure they know how you really feel
Because just like that
It could end."

Tag Lines:
Let’s backtrack a bit.

Tag lines are created for marketing purposes and act like catchy sub-titles which give people a little bit more information about the film, especially its tone. So we have: “It’s a job. It isn’t personal...well, maybe a little”, which lets everyone know that The Bounty Hunter isn’t a serious drama but is a romantic comedy.

This device will help pull in the right audience. Some titles, like She’s Out of My League, need little explanation, but tag lines like: “How can a 10 go for a 5?” are one-line promises that you will have a good laugh when you see the movie. One of Hurt Locker’s tag lines implies gritty nobility: “You don’t have to be a hero to do this job. But it helps.”

And Alice in Wonderland goes for the biggest demographic in its unabashed “Fantastic fun for the whole family”. Most of Dear John’s many tag lines emphasized gushy romance, for example: “Love brought them together. Will fate tear them apart?” This reads like something off the back cover of a Harlequin romance.

Generally speaking, I don’t think this marketing tool is meant to deliver a life lesson or philosophical message. Although Precious indicated hard-core realism capped by a general conclusion about life, spelling it out for you: “Life is hard. Life is short. Life is painful. Life is....Precious.”

I have never, as I recall, taken tag lines to heart or pondered them in any way. They’re just the slogans or jingles for movies, nothing more. “Live in the Moments” is no exception and never struck me as being very meaningful. At first it even sounded trite to me. The film itself is profound in its exquisite execution of a poignant story. Once seen, the film begs a wise tag line, something which will stick with you. For me the title, ‘Remember Me’, doesn’t need anything else.

Live in the Moments:
Bear with me as I analyze this phrase a bit. It can be taken many ways.
Jimmy Fallon, in his interview with Pattinson, determined, off the cuff, the tag line meant: “Do what you want, ‘cause you never know what’s going to happen.” He was kidding. This reminds me of the old song, “Let’s live for today”, which has a reckless connotation and seems hedonistic, an endless party, you know, sex-drugs-rock-‘n-roll. Enjoy but don’t take responsibility.

Or does it mean carpe diem, because if you don’t seize the day it will be lost? That you will have wasted it? Some of those commenting use words like:
Live –intensely, every moment of your life;
Live –in the best possible way;
Live –in the present (not in the past);
Live –life to the fullest;
Live –a good life, with good intentions;
Live –every day as if it were your last;

The thing is, what is the best, the fullest, a good life, to one person is different for another. The terrorists attacking that day no doubt thought they were living that day as if it were their last, living it to the fullest. Believe me, they seized that day!

The tag line, by itself, has nothing to anchor it and clarify it. Living in the moments means nothing separated from Will’s words about expressing love to those you care about because “just like that, it could end”. “I love you,” Tyler and Ally said to each other that last morning. That was what was important. That was part of what Will meant. It’s not living for today because you don’t know what tomorrow brings. It’s telling and showing the people you care about love, because anything could happen tomorrow, anything could take them away, or you, like Tyler was taken away. Just like that.

Live in the moments”, without the rest of the sentiment, can be interpreted too many ways and is not good enough to carry the burden of insistence. (While I am pondering all this, am I ‘living in the moment’?)

Past, Present, Future:
It’s ironic that the title and the tag line contradict each other. If you are remembering, you are living in the past, not ‘in the moments’, not in the present. Everything about memorializing, never forgetting, is bringing the past into the present, keeping the past—in this case, Tyler’s life and 9/11—present, always. And ‘always’ means the future.

And when people ‘get on with their lives’, it means they work towards a future, like Aiden, buckling down to his studies because his friend’s death sobered him up pretty quickly. So Aiden’s partying mode, his ‘live for today’ way of being, was discarded for a more serious attitude. I don’t think Aiden and Tyler left things unsaid between them. I think they knew they loved each other.

One of the most significant things we do is ponder the past and learn from it. And we are always in the past when we are grieve, re-living the moments we had that person with us, or those moments we screwed up—all the Hawkins except Caroline do this—or moments we had no power over—like Ally in the subway, or Neil, absent at a crucial time. Grieving takes us to the dark night of the soul, to confront monsters more powerful than those in any fantasy world.

Grieving is not just a snap-shot parade of remember-me-moments which we want to relive—like Charles—or a journal in which we talk to the lost love because we miss him so much—like Tyler; it is guilt that we didn’t get it right, that we were somehow responsible. And guilt keeps us stuck in the past. Guilt is a very necessary thing, in the right circumstances; it would, for example, have served the hijackers well. Instead, they deluded themselves into thinking they were martyrs while they were slaughtering innocents. I bring this up to remind us that guilt has its purpose but, like any necessary thing, it can be misplaced.

Why should Tyler feel guilty about Michael? And why should he think Michael is guilty? Why should Neil feel guilty, for not being there, in the subway, that night? Diane and Charles, like any parents who lose a child, whether that child is a baby or a young adult, whether through accident, illness, murder, feel guilty because it is their job to protect. A dead child means you’ve failed. And some of the guilt could be well placed. Perhaps—we don’t know the details---Charles was so overbearing that he killed Michael’s hope for his future. (I’ll get back to hope and the future later.)

Living in the Past:
If anything obliterates the present, it is grief. A veil or film lies between the mourner and the world. He experiences things through filmy glasses; he knows the day is clear but an invisible veil hampers him from seeing it that way. It is removed from him, just out of reach, not quite there.

In many ways, Tyler’s preoccupation illustrates this [I covered this fully in Tyler in Remember Me - The Human Face of Tragedy and Tyler's Journal ] When Tyler keeps scribbling in his journal, he is in that other world. Should he be more present, more ‘in the moment’? Should he be fully present to what is in front of him? Well, apart from the fact that he can’t be, I don’t think he should be either, not at all. Tyler’s ruminations about his brother and about life are crucial to his healing and to the way he will be able to live his life in the future.

And should Charles refrain from living in the frozen past of his family’s life as it loops on his screensaver? It might not be the best way to keep his family close, but at least it includes them all, and he can imagine Michael there, imagine life before he and Diane parted ways.

But Charles is treasuring a past when the family was intact, instead of making sure his loved ones know every day that he loves them. The wall he has built around himself to shield him from his own guilt and loss has to come down so that he can turn to his loved ones instead of turning them away.

Charles needs a wake-up call, and Tyler desperately tries to give him one. One of the saddest things in the story is that Charles was just beginning to waken out of his guilt-induced stupor when Tyler died. Charles is the character who most needs to ‘live in the moments’, to cease taking for granted what he has. The irony may be that by living in the past, seeing Michael’s face every day at his desk, he is giving thanks for what he had but ignoring the beautiful children he has left.

Weighted down with real or misplaced guilt, the characters are stuck in the past and grappling with their internal demons. What will get them out of it? Well, in this way the film was perfect. Tyler’s voice-over, simple, short yet eloquently saying it all: “and I forgive you”. This is the biggie. This is the hardest thing, yet it is the only thing which will get all of them out of the past. Tyler has forgiven his father, and Michael. It is unstated, but Tyler has also forgiven himself, -for not being what he couldn’t be for Michael, for being what he shouldn’t have been to Ally, and just for surviving. That’s why Tyler is so serene at the end.

Coulter, Fetters and Pattinson thought it was just acceptance, but it went deeper.
We all saw that calm and serene softening look on Tyler’s face; he was untroubled, facing the day. It is ironic, but at the end Tyler was living fully in the moment. He was healing. Relationships wouldn’t be miraculously smooth sailing, but a good start had been made. After forgiveness, we can heal. Until then, not. Until then, ‘live in the moments’ is impossible.

The Future:
I have touched on the past: “Remember Me”.
I have talked about the present: “Live in the Moments”.

And what about the future? Well, it is what can be faced, as Tyler did at the end, only after forgiveness and love has made it possible to heal. The future is Charles and Diane linking arms at the gravesite. It is Aiden becoming studious. It is Charles with his arm on Caroline’s shoulder, then holding her hand in the museum. It is Neil and Ally hugging each other tightly. It is Ally on the subway, holding fast to her memories of her mother and of Tyler, and then letting their spirits go. None of them take each other for granted anymore. But it took the death of their dear Tyler and Janine to do that. It took death. It was a high price.

Remember Me explores the past and bids us never to forget. It reminds us to make the most of every moment, make sure the people in our lives know how we feel about them. And, Remember Me points us in the direction of a hopeful future.

The future is being able to believe that the spirits of Ally’s mother, of Michael, of Janine, of Tyler, can and will both stay with their loved ones, yet also soar away. Stay and soar. Their fingerprints will never fade from our lives. They will touch us and we can hear them, always. The future is hope.

Tyler at that window. Our hearts stop. But. Tyler at that window is hope.
He has to know we can hear him.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Love Letters for Remember Me

Congratulations to our sister site, Regards sur le film Remember Me - Looking at Remember Me who has posted their 100th post!

The feature of this lovely post is Love Letters for Remember Me. The post is filled with artwork and editorials about the film, submitted by the followers of the blog.

Please take a couple of minutes to check out the beautiful artwork and writing.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Vote for Remember Me

People's Choice Movie Poll for this week is your pick for your favorite Robert Pattinson movie. Remember Me is one of the choices.

Voting is open until November 24th!

Click here to vote:

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Remember Me Discussion Group

Charles tells Tyler he doesn't know what love is. Why does he do this to Tyler? Is he right? Does Charles himself know what love is?

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Remember Me Discussion Group

What's your impression of how men and women react to it? How differently and how much the same?

Saturday, November 6, 2010

The Legacy of Remember Me – Part Two

We are very excited to have Part 2 of Jessegirl's very insightful and touching article about the Legacy of Remember Me. This piece deals with the legacy that Remember Me leaves inside each of us individually.

-by jessegirl- November 2010

Remember Me delivers its gut-punch and then its flash-forward conclusion but the audience is left to deal with a welter of feelings and a jumble of thoughts. And, in the process of dealing, a number of things often happen. Taken together, these things are clear indicators that this little film will have a lasting impact. As I’ve said, legacy is that which remains. I believe that Remember Me has already found entry into the hearts, minds, souls, and memories of many of its viewers.

It touches us. We love it and it finds a place in the heart.
It provokes thought. We think about it and it finds a place in the mind.
It changes us. We go inside ourselves and it finds a place in the soul.
It stays with us. We remember it so it finds a place in the memory.

However, I must concede that for whatever reason some viewers don’t like it at all. With some, it is just a matter of taste. Fair enough. And some just don’t like sad endings. Okay. Others are offended by the ending. Some, like many critics initially, absolutely do not get it. They do not understand the whole grieving aspect of the film and, if they don’t understand that, they do not understand most of the characters’ actions. Some supporters think these detractors are uncomfortable with grief—accounting for their nervous laughter — or that they are jaded. Perhaps. But some of them are either wilfully obtuse and/or callous. Because it doesn’t take a genius to tap into Remember Me’s core, nor does it take a person who — like Remember Me’s characters — has been affected by grief. It takes an open-minded, sensitive, fairly intelligent person. That’s all. However, when speaking of all art, “the good ones don’t serve it up to you – you have to work for it” [Tedracat. IMDb: RP board “Re: People Who Criticize...”]. I’ve voiced this same sentiment in other articles myself.

So it should be understood that while Remember Me’s fingerprints don’t fade from the lives it touches”, it is obvious that it won’t touch people who lack sensitivity and open-mindedness. I invite those of you who have read both these articles to voice your opinion on what Remember Me’s legacy will be.

A Place in the Heart
The emotions are fully recruited when viewing this movie. However, apart from the shocking engagement of the opening subway scene, which puts them on high alert, the emotions come slowly, innocently, quietly, like that first scene which introduced viewers to Tyler. After the sweets shop scene though, we know the ride is no longer smooth. From there we become acquainted with all the characters’ feelings — e.g. Caroline’s hurt that her father doesn’t love her—and things become complicated pretty quickly.

Our feelings are brought into play subtly, via the actors’ natural performances. Viewers begin feeling with and FOR the characters, not just the protagonist, but also all those in Tyler’s world. This becomes emotionally taxing but I don’t think most viewers are aware of how draining it is until the end. It builds gradually, a myriad of feelings popping up, approaching and receding, colliding. It is all pretty manageable until the climax, and then all hell breaks loose.

When Tyler stands by that window, the flood begins. Nothing can be contained anymore. It is so stunning that some people stay, riveted, momentarily unable to move, to function, to breathe. And many, many people cry. From comments on various sites, blogs, message boards, this phenomenon is very common among men as well as women, teenage boys, middle-aged men. I have dealt with the powerful emotional experience which characterizes the immediate impact and which has a strong cathartic component. [Tragic in Remember Me]

So, boom, huge heart-rending sorrow.

Somehow, it is like the deepest part of you awakens, and all the pain which comes from loving has to be let out. The deepest part of you awakens. It’s like that. It’s a physical feeling. Your chest tightens. You cannot breathe. Tears start pouring down your cheeks. You close your eyes, your lashes wet. You squeeze your eyes shut but your chin trembles anyway. You bite your lips to keep the keening animal sound from escaping. You can barely contain this pain of loving and losing him. So you don’t. You let the pain out. The best and deepest part of you is awake. And so Remember Me has your heart in a vise grip.

Many people have expressed this awakening in different ways, every one of them trying to find the right words, as I have just now tried. Today, this comment was made on a fansite:

-“When I saw it in the theatres I felt like I had been kicked repeatedly in the chest, along with the symphony of sadness and angst and emotions I don’t even have names for because I had never felt them before....feeling lasted for of the most profound emotional and mental experiences I have ever had...” [Jill. ThinkingofRob. Oct. 27]. The deepest part of you awakens.

But not all the feelings are dissipated with a good cry. Some are residual because catharsis is not instant; it takes its time to work through you. It opens personal wounds and if you have enormous ones you have a bigger job coming to terms with it. Hence the overwhelming need to share stories of personal losses in the safe venue of an anonymous comment on a website, and to read experiences of others and know that you are not alone. There are so many of these stories and they make for illuminating reading, but one will suffice to highlight the depth, the intensity of emotion RM has the power to evoke. One viewer reports:

-“I saw a grown man (around 55 years old) standing outside the theatre with tears streaming down his face...[he said] ‘Tyler was my son that day. Tyler was my son that day.’...[She and her friends and this stranger sat in a cafĂ©, shared silence] Tears all dried up, we began to share stories and the weight had lifted.” [alliecullen. Robsessed. RM spoiler post March 16]

How often does this emotionally-laden scenario occur after a movie screening? The tears, the support and discussion with strangers? In this particular way, Remember Me’s reception has been highly unusual. It’s astounding really. When reading this anecdote, I could hear the man’s anguished cry:
“Tyler was my son that day.” The deepest part of you awakens.

A Place in the Mind
That story illustrates how the intense emotion pushes forward a drive to understand what just happened because, despite the bittersweet requiem, the viewer is still in shock. When the numbness wears off people need to talk about it. They have a need to talk to others, to discuss, blog, comment, phone, tweet, email, use any method at their disposal.

Because Remember Me is such a multi-dimensional, layered film, because it leaves some things vague or not spelled out directly, it is a rich source for discussions on motivations of the characters, on back story, on what might happen next. It’s amazing what has been done already on this blog in the discussion comments and on forums and on some of the articles created from the controversy, and on Pattinson fan sites which put out ‘spoiler posts’ at that time.

Some of the discussions centered on the ending because controversy always generates discussion and even now debate and dissension continue. When Bryan Reesman submitted his article to Moviefone, he reported: “A topical Moviefone story can often pull in one or two dozen comments. Some have topped 100. This one reached 300 within 12 hours of being posted. At one point last night, I was literally receiving 78,000 views, easily making it the post of the night and landing it a top spot on AOL’s main page.” The Brevet and Bartyzel articles also, as I’ve stated before, attracted lots of substantive comments.

Right from the get-go this film has produced a lot of discussion and it hasn’t stopped. More than seven months after its release people are still commenting. At IMDb there are ‘newbies’ who have just watched the DVD and either comment on old threads or start new ones [e.g. ‘Oscar?’; ‘Extremely Underrated Film’; ‘The Critics were wrong about Remember Me’; ‘Some love for Remember Me’; and so on.] All kinds of people who gave it a pass before, now effuse about the film.

So an aspect of the film’s legacy is happening right now. I’m still writing. You’re still reading. Original viewers and new ones are still commenting. New discussion posts continue to appear. [“Remember Me script vs film’s ending” on ThinkingofRob, Oct. 27]

I can’t hope to cover the variety of discussion about this film. But it is intergenerational, with older people teaching younger ones about 9/11, with people expressing the view that Remember Me should be used as a teaching tool, be taught in high schools and universities, with students already writing essays about it, and with others sharing their stories of grief, loss, and problems.

It is also global, with people from other countries coming to understand the attack from a human perspective. This young man from Australia, who has just now discovered the film through the DVD says: “Not many films do this to me, and I am a big movie buff...But it blew me away...[the ending] invested me in these characters and gave me an understanding and emotion for the attacks that occurred...I now have...a connection, an investment in the tragedy...” This new enthusiast goes on and on. “Everyone did a brilliant job and this film is just remarkable, 10/10. Awards I hope because this film is wonderfully crafted...” [MadDogAbbey. IMDb: RM board. “Blew Me Away”. Nov. 4]

If you are one of those who have been profoundly affected by Remember Me, then the need to share is strong. You recommend the film to friends, relatives, co-workers, the clerk in the video store, or any random people if talk vaguely suggests a connection. You have to overcome obstacles of misunderstanding, misconceptions about ‘that vampire guy’, and a host of issues which are clamped around this film like a shell around the pearl. If you encounter dismissal and still continue, your efforts border on evangelism or ‘pimping’—as one supporter called it. Uh-oh. This is how normal word-of-mouth has become complicated for this film. When you realize this is becoming counter-productive, you stop. Then, much later, some of those who dismissed you see the DVD in the store, think ‘why not’, buy or rent it. Or they view through Netflix. All of a sudden message boards sport new posts called: ‘I was shocked how well done this was!’ New viewers want to share, all kinds of people who gave it a pass before. After Pattinson won the Teen Choice Award for Best Actor for Remember Me teens and tweens have finally decided to give it a chance, and are blown away, -for their own reasons.

By all definitive measures, Remember Me is not a sleeper hit yet though. Those complicating factors from pre-release to thorny word-of-mouth have plagued it all along, no matter how enthusiastic much of its audience has been. It’s not even on the nomination ballot for the poll-driven People’s Choice Awards, while all kinds of lesser titles clutter the ballot.

But the search for common bond by talking with others about Remember Me is a much greater legacy than any of the awards. People come at it from different experiences , some of loss and pain, the broken brave place, but all of them come from that same deep place in the heart. They reach out to talk to others. They can’t stop thinking about it and reach for meaning. Remember Me lets them know on this profound level that it is all right, that it is the reason we are all here. And that in the end, no matter how many words we use to find the meaning, it is the sharing that matters, not the words.

A Place in the Soul
We are more than physical, thinking, feeling beings. We are more than the sum of all these. Tyler leaves, others leave, but something of them is left behind because they were also something more. It’s weird but Pattinson’s statement about the film [to Talking Pictures TV] seems somehow appropriate here. “When you see clips they don’t make any sense outside the movie. It is such a kind of whole....” Remember Me is definitely more than the sum of its parts too.

Something else is at work here, an undefined force which binds with gossamer threads, which enters our souls. It gets past all our defences. And once it is there it never leaves. -“It’s a rare piece, in that it touches the soul of the audience like a good movie should.” [Milouette. IMDb. Re: The critics were wrong about Remember Me. Oct. 10]

Generally, people do not speak of films this way but if this were the essential criterion we used to judge a film’s worth, there would be a huge shake-up in film evaluation. This aspect is rare and most films, no matter how cleverly crafted and artistically or technically rendered, no matter how skilfully acted, do not have it. We can appreciate their excellence but they do not touch us deeply. They win awards, are on ‘best’ lists, but they lack this rare quality which is present in spades in Remember Me. Because compassion is ever present in the tone of Remember Me, it does have it.

Part of It is the ability to change lives, to aid in transformation. It is the ability to connect with the deepest part of ourselves, the part that will itself be left behind, that will be our own legacy.

I have reported on the ‘haunting’ quality of Remember Me before but must come back to it here because people are continuing to use this word repeatedly. There are posts named “Haunting” where newbies who have been introduced to the film by DVD, need to unload, to let others know, to gain assurance that they are not unusual. For example, “I saw it last week too and it’s still haunting me and I’m glad I’m not the only one!” [Bsloths. IMDb. RM post. Sept. 17] They do this partly, I think, because of the intensity of their reaction, and partly because it rarely happens when they watch movies. So they don’t know how to handle it. Then someone who saw the film months before informs them that they are far from alone, that many people feel this way. Sort of a “welcome to the club”.

When people talk about Remember Me haunting them or that it “had an amazing impact on my psyche” [ForRentWithMark. IMDb. Oct. 6] we all know it has gotten into the soul. That type of effect is hard to get rid of. It stays.

A Place in the Memory
When viewer say Remember Me stays with them, then it has taken up residence in their memories. I’ve shared comments like those below before; just realize there are many, many similar statements.

-“It stays with everybody who sees it. That is the mark of an exceptional film.” [Laurie. Robsessed ]

- “It’s rare for a movie to stay with me as long as RM has...its haunting me now (in a good way).” [Verlinda. Brevet]

- “I was profoundly moved by Remember Me – I can’t get it out of my head.” [Paula. Brevet]

-“If I’m still thinking about a movie the next day I consider it usually to be a good movie. I have been thinking about this one for the entire week.” [Cindy. Brevet]

And one image that sticks in everyone’s mind more than any other is Tyler standing at that window, just before the screen goes blank. It has become an iconic moment in the film; this article is not long enough to quote everyone who has mentioned it as something they cannot forget. The image is memorable because it is the moment when all realizations coalesce.

I like what this viewer said about that moment:
“Have you ever been in the vortex of a storm? Where it is so quiet and calm and perfectly still? That’s how I feel when Tyler was standing by the window. So eerie and nerve-wracking.” [shufflebin. Robsessed- Bartyzel post]

Tyler was ‘quiet and calm and perfectly still’. He was at the still point, the centre, and at that moment it was made clear to all that that centre would be forcibly removed. That in itself would be enough to make it stay with viewers. But of course it was so much more than the protagonist’s life. It was September 11th, and all that that implies. So 9/11 was part of the realization that something evil would fly in to take away Tyler and so many others. All of this was fused together, inseparable.

This one unforgettable, emblematic moment and the silence which follows is flanked by Zarvos’ score, the montage of Tyler’s last morning before and the montage of his loved ones after. And the music adheres in its own way to the silences. The music ties everything to the memory. And, likes all good music, when we hear it again, it harkens back to its source, to the film. Music is perhaps second only to scent in its ability to evoke memories.

One of Remember Me’s legacies is as a touchstone to remember 9/11, but with a perspective that has humanized the tragedy. That is the key difference between it and any other 9/11 films. Seen through the lens of this fictional character’s life, the terrible significance of the event is brought home, making it both more real and more personal. By doing that, Remember Me has become an effective way to keep 9/11 in the memory of contemporaries, to ensure that those too young to remember will know, and to bring it into the future. Lest we forget.

To explain Remember Me’s reception, some have called it a movie before its time. However, its universality as a human tragedy and its bond to a national tragedy makes its relevance both timely and timeless.

Remember Me’s true legacy goes beyond the tangible measurements I talked about in part one of this piece. Nice as the other forms of recognition are, I hope those who made this film realize that they have accomplished what really matters. Remember Me touches us. It provokes thought. It changes us. And it stays with us. Heart, mind, soul, memory. How many other films have done that, -can do that?


Sources for comments and quotes:

Ropes of
“Reacting to Remember Me: an Interview with Screenwriter Will Fetters”, by Brad Brevet. March 16, 2010.

Comments from the site:
about the Bartyzel post.[“Post-Movie Coffee: Remember Me”, by Monika Bartyzel. March19, 2010. “Post-Movie Coffee: Remember Me”, by Monika Bartyzel]
and various ‘Spoiler Posts’ about Remember Me, dated March 12, 13, 14, 16, and April 2, 5th. (The comments for this film in these posts on this huge and popular fansite were notable for their intelligence, insight, perception, thoughtfulness, as well as their passion. These particular posts should not be dismissed.)

Attention Deficit“Remember Me: Stirring up Controversy and Emotions”. March 16, 2010. In the quote he is referring to his article: by Bryan Reesman. March 15, 2010.

“Remember Me script vs Film’s Ending” Oct. 27, 2010. Thinking of

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