Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Our Remember Me Reviews

Dear God, Please get Robert Pattinson out of my brain.

That's what I really wanted to title this post.

It's almost 1am, several hours since I watched Remember Me, and I'm feeling pretty raw as I try to make sense of what I experienced and provide you with my unsolicited opinion.

Let's get the ending out of the way. I had guessed a few weeks ago that September 11, 2001 was going to be the "twist ending" everyone was talking about. I was hoping to God I was wrong, but alas... Also, for the record, I never read the script or engaged in any discussion about the plot of the movie, but I connected the dots (Damn you Matt Lauer).

My feeling could change, but I believe, as many critics did, that the ending was unnecessary. The characters and the extreme difficulties they face having lost family members was strong enough to give depth to the characters and movement in the plot. By creating a modern Greek tragedy, with a quick sequence of coincidental events seemingly destined by the fates, it diminished the core of the film, founded on the relationships between Tyler and his family and Ally and their individual internal conflicts. It was simply too much. I may also feel this way because of the fact that I, like Caroline, am the youngest and only daughter with two older brothers. That kind of loss is unimaginable to me. I could go on, but I will choose to look at it as Betsy Sharkey from the LA Times wrote,

What some will see as a sucker punch, I found more of a footnote, for what ultimately matters in "Remember Me" is all that comes before.

Setting that blunder of a finale aside, the film was enjoyable. The acting was well done and the dialogue was filled with a good balance of heartbreaking, endearing, and humorous moments. I laughed a lot more than I thought I would, that's for sure. I particularly loved the scene in which Tyler is walking Caroline home and he starts speaking in mock French - sacre bleu!

I have to talk about some of the other issues I had with the plot. Aidan's suggestion of getting back at Emilie's father is the first. While he and Tyler were in jail, Aidan (who tended to annoy me in general) blabbered on about Tyler being stupid to mess with the cop. So what does he do? He turns around and tells Tyler it would be fun to add the daughter to the mess, just to screw around with the cop. That's an unsound transition, for me at least. Sure, the revenge/betting scenario isn't new, but it didn't fit with the progression of the movie, although it could be explained by Aidan's erratic personality. Also, I am still confused about the whole fight scene. I couldn't really understand what was going on. All I kept wondering is, "Do those guys have Irish accents? Is there an Irish mafia in New York?" There are a few other minor details that I felt didn't incorporate well, but I'll wait for my second viewing to see if those concerns dissipate.

The most startling scenes were those involving Ally's father: the scene in which he slaps Ally and when he chokes Tyler. I was very curious to learn more about Ally and her father's relationship. She tells Tyler that she trusts her father, so I'm wondering if there were any moments of abuse in the past. The scene in which she comes home and he's using steel wool to clean a non-stick pan was a great way to show the mending of their relationship.

Despite Will Fetters' slightly convoluted plot, I loved the dialogue between the characters and thought the humor was smart, especially the line Tyler gives when Ally claims the alias Anonymous -- "Is that Greek?" -- Priceless!

Remember Me is a film worth seeing and discussing. It attempts to explore universal themes of love and loss, to which everyone can relate. In addition, the ensemble of characters showed the variety of issues and challenges that each individual member of a family face. The main characters are carefully crafted enough to care for them and want to understand their past and hope for their future. I hope these successful aspects of the film won't go unnoticed, and people can begin to see Rob for his work and maybe even give his fans a little more credit for admiring him for that, rather just passing it off as a girlish fancy.



twmmy said...

Amy, ok you don't like the end. But please, show an another strong end to say what the movie is saying. Have you read this ?

InstantKarmaGirl said...

I guess I don't understand why people don't like the ending.

Is it because we didn't see it coming until the date was on the blackboard?

Because I thought that was kind of the point.

NO ONE saw that day coming.

And EVERYONE'S life changed.

I've never thought of the ending as a blunder. I thought it was tasteful and respectful and it brought me to tears, the same way watching it on TV nine years ago brought me to tears.

WhyIstheRumAlwaysGone said...

Good point IKG. Most people never saw the ending coming. Will Fetters explained that that was all the point fo the film - to recreate an event that came out of the blue. No one knew anything on that day. But some viewers will always disagree for many reasons or will never be able to accept the ending, even if we try to explain.

Sophie said...

I think if you look for it, you can see the foreshadowing of the ending. Like, the movie starts in 1991 and then it flashes forward 10 years. In that class with Ally, the professor talks about terrorist attacks. I'm sure there's more but these are just ones I pulled off the top of my head right now.

I completely understand why the ending is emotional but I guess, ultimately, I don't understand why 9/11 is treated like it should never been shown or discussed in movies, unless it's United 93 where the movie is just about 9/11. Why is the topic so sacrosanct? After all, we have movies about the Gulf war, Vietnam, etc. What's wrong with having open dialogue about it?

I absolutely loved this movie. Not once did I think the ending was cheap or uncalled for. It's a movie about senseless deaths and the affects that has on the people left behind. I cried so much at the end. And as cheesy as it sounds, I did leave it appreciating life a little bit more. That's the ultimate message, I think. That nothing is certain so you need to make the most of your life as you live it.

Natalie said...

I think that the ending did shock people, just as the events of 9/11 shocked people. The point is, you never know when something like that is going to happen, so you have to be prepared for it. You have to "live in the moments", as the poster says. Also, I think there are actually a lot of clues as to what's going to happen in the end, you just have to look closely. I didn't notice the first time I saw it, but they show the Twin Towers in the background of one of the first shots.

InstantKarmaGirl said...

As soon as it said 1991 and then ten years later, my instant thought was, "Oh God, 2001, New York..."

But then I got swept up in the absolute pain present in this family and I forgot...and then it said on the blackboard and I said, "Oh, no," really loudly.

And then the long shot of Tyler looking out the window on a the most beautiful day New York had seen in a long time.

It makes me cry even now.


I don't know why people don't want to talk or explore the's interesting because I've been trying to engage people in my real life about it and NO ONE wants to talk about, at all. It saddens me because I think everyone's just trying to forget...but we can't, we shouldn't.

And also, there was A LOT of foreshadowing...

OMG only 4 more days!

jessegirl said...

Amy, have you read the article and the 333 comments where Brad Brevet interviews the screenwriter Will Fetters? It's pretty enlightening, on the subject of the ending. Read what so many people, some 9/11 'survivors' had to say. Here's the link:

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