Thursday, August 26, 2010

Remember Me Discussion Group

Who do you think wins the fight in the boardroom, Charles or Tyler? Why?


LTavares2010 said...

There are no winners. Charles missed a great opportunity to assume that his attitude to children is wrong, he needs to open up to them and get close to them, and Tyler leaves from there emotionally exhausted, devastated and even more disappointed. But for me if I had to pick a "winner", it would be Tyler. The reason is with him.
He's hurt, angry and unlike his father, Tyler speaks to the heart. He loves Charles and cannot understand why he is always so distant from him and Caroline. Tyler sees the sadness of his sister, her silence. She feels the lack of the father and he gets angry at Charles because nothing justifies this distance.
When Tyler goes to the office after his father didn`t attend the exhibition of his sister, need to be a fool to not realize how much Tyler is at the limit of his strength and he doesn`t want to accept anymore of this comfortable situation of his father of using the work as an excuse to not being more present in the life of Caroline.
Even that I understand the side of Charles, I cannot avoid to sympathize with Tyler, because there is no reason to a father to stay away from two children so sensitive and fragile that he knows that are suffering as much as him.

LIZ said...

I believe also that there are "no winners" in this scene. BUT, Tyler shows his feelings, ends up looking like a kid, but is HONEST and Charles' staff can't help but notice this. I believe this scene helps to bring them together later.

WhyIstheRumAlwaysGone said...

There are no winners I suppose, except that Tyler finally somehow forces his father to expose his own feelings and publicly admit his own grief about Michael. The clash between them reveals a lot about their relationship, it might seem like a dead-end, but as Liz says, it will help them to bring them together at a later stage. I still feel the scene is like a duel or display of power between the two: Tyler is determined that he will make his father show his feelings for his children, Charles wants to show him who's stronger. Both of them somehow fail to achieve their goals, but in spite of the apparent failure and their almost-fight, important things have been said and little by little, with time, they will do their work in both of them.

EnVzor said...

I’ll try my best to explain my thoughts, sorry if it’s not the clearest.

LTavares2010 has hit the nail on the head from the point of view regarding Tyler and I couldn’t agree more but I think Charles’s character is highly over looked by most people and is also missing some key details in this movie for us to get a solid understanding and empathize with him.

We are left to assume that after Michael died his divorce would of followed soon for various reasons. Out of all the characters in this film I think he has lost the most and also fallen the furthest, he has lost this eldest son, his marriage and the life he knew (with his family) which is probably why he worked so hard in the first place. He drops some lines throughout the movie like “that’s all there is, she knows I’ll look after her and I provided your world and hers” which gives you an idea of his mind set common in modern society that he is only needed as a financial provider now. He has no ring on his finger and the movie doesn’t let on that he has someone else in his life so we are assuming that he is alone.

Throughout the board room scene you can see Charles simmering and I think it’s because he knows everything Tyler is saying is correct, he eventually explodes but not at Tyler his anger is vented at his staff, he then recomposes and tries to stay civil with Tyler.

A few things stuck out to me that he says in the argument in the board room,

Your responsible for no one – Responding to Tyler’s “when you got something better to do” He says this almost like it’s a bourdon, he has many people who are relying on him for work, basically he is responsible for the lively hood of all the employee’s at his company.

You think you’re the first person to lose anything – I think this is pure frustration on his behalf that Tyler doesn’t realize that he too has also lost a great deal as discussed above with his marriage, his son, basically his entire life.

You didn’t find him – If you watch Charles here he is quite rattled by this and how upset Tyler is before Tyler provokes him further, watch his eyes focus in and his arms drop from the elbows out of the masculine defensive position, I think this is the quite possibly the turning point for Charles, he needed a big wakeup call and at the same time a realization that the kids need their dad on a level far greater than the financial supporter he has become, everything up to that stage like dinner etc has been more trivial matters but this hit him on a fundamental level as a father.

I don’t think anyone won the fight in the typical sense, but I think Tyler diffidently got his point across to Charles as you can see with the rest of the scenes that follow when he rush’s over after the hair scene, bails out Tyler again and waits for Caroline in the morning “that’s ok, I’m here”. You can also see it in his character after he drops her off and is re-composing himself in the car that he is doing the right thing and it’s still all sinking in.

The beginning grave yard scene you can see him over at his ex wife when Caroline is placing the stones thinking that should be him standing with her during this time, which you see him do towards the end of the movie. I don’t think he ever stopped caring I believe he didn’t know where he stood anymore and that was his struggle throughout the movie was finding his place.

I originally saw this movie with a mix of people ranging from 20 – 30 and I was surprised as how everyone was quick to bottleneck Charles into being a bastard without possibly seeing things from his point of view, maybe is the lack of finer details in the story so we can relate of understand his character and smaller screen time or could be today’s outlook on men in general that the just get on with things I’m not sure.

jessegirl said...

They both won, only didn't know it at the time at all. I've written about this before and you're probably bored with my words but it's in the Tyler and Robert Part Two articles.

I think I disagree with everyone on this. Of course, with my typical way of thinking, I see Charles, underneath it all, WANTING Tyler to call him out, wanting desperately to connect meaningfully with his remaining children, but his wall is too high. He needs Tyler and knows it--subconsciously. And Tyler has gotten through, only the result is delayed. The wall is down but Charles hasn't stepped through it yet. He still has to do that.
Yeah, they both won.

WhyIstheRumAlwaysGone said...

@jessegirl - I don't know, I find this scene very difficult to interpret. The thing is, I agree with your ideas too and I can't see why they should not complete our approach too. It all seems to fit, because it's a very complex scene with many layers and motives on the part of both of them. Charles does want Tyler to call him out, you are right, but at one point he also wants merely to fight him. I still can't figure out if you could say both of them win in the end or if both of them lose... I'm starting to believe it's a bit of both, but you only know the results a long time after. When teh scene is over you can't really tell. I've asked friends and spontaneously they all replied Tyler had lost, then on second thought they became a bit unsure. It's a fascinating scene anyway!

jessegirl said...

Yeah, mostly we all read into this scene when we interpret it. Tyler did not lose, absolutely not, even though he himself thinks so.

I am convinced that, despite the sparring, and because Michael is gone, both father and son KNOW (yeah, subconsciously) they need and love each other and need to get through to each other. Fighting is the only way they think they can do it -typical males.

But I think it's wrong to think that only the overt fighting to win the upper hand is what is going on. They are fighting to get back to each other, I'm convinced. They know no other way to do so, Charles being the old cock and Tyler being at that rebellious age. Tyler is fighting for his life and Caroline's. Don't think it's anything less.

Let me tell you, if it were just Tyler trying to get the upper hand, to break down his Dad's confidence, then he wouldn't have become so vulnerable. He would have become irascible and pugnacious, as he'd been with Neil. No, Tyler was fighting to believe his Dad loved him and that, therefore, life was worth living. Which is why he was so wounded during the exchange. I'm sure Tyler had bigger guns he could have pulled out against Charles if he'd wanted to. He could have shouted all sorts of desparaging things to Charles after the "you're responsible for no one" line alone. For example:
Tyler: "And you are? I take Caroline to school and back. I go to her art show. I do this and this and this. What do you do, besides write cheques? -Where were you when I graduated? When Caroline passed swimming course? When..." Fill in the blank. Believe me, Tyler could have ranted and rebuffed for a long time. He, I'm sure, had lots of ammunition. And, if he didn't acknowledge--by being vulnerable--that he needed his dad's love, he could have lashed back in good form. Don't underestimate Tyler's pugnacious, argumentative nature or his ability to give as good as he gets.

No, he shows his vulnerability and your friends--and many others no doubt--perhaps don't see much past the obvious until they think about it.
And, here's the kicker. Because he shows his vulnerability, he wins, and Charles wins. It is only because Tyler shows his wound that either of them can tend it. I'm convinced I'm right.

Jen said...

I think it was a draw and neither Charles or Tyler won the fight at the boardroom.

I think they both were forced to face their demons for the first time since Michael’s death. Charles has been consumed with his job not having time to deal with the fact his oldest child killed himself and he has avoided dealing with it. He feels by working and giving materialistic things absolves him from being involved in the daily events of his living children and it didn’t occur to him Caroline would be hurt he didn‘t show up at her art exhibit.

Tyler found his brother dead when he was 16 years old--the older brother, his idol who
he adored and spend time with gave up his guitar playing to go work for his father and kills himself. This act of suicide leaves Tyler broken and angry. He blames his Father for not supporting Michael’s dream of having a career playing his guitar even though we know realistically it’s a career that’s hard to attain a good livelihood. Tyler probably feels it’s Charles’ fault for Michael killing himself.

Tyler has made it a point to make sure that Michael is never forgotten and nourishes Caroline with all he can so she can recall the brother she lost at a young age.When Charles didn’t show up to her Exhibit I think Tyler was hurt angry and scared that his sister one day could have the same thoughts Michael did even though she is eleven.

I think the confrontation was a long time coming and it finally cleared the air I think
from then onward Charles was willing to help Tyler by posting his bail and Tyler willing to meet the lawyers at his Dad’s on that fateful day.

jessegirl said...

-"disparaging"- oops.

Hey, Jen, yeah that it ironic--the good terms they were on when they agreed to meet at Charles' office...that day.

Jen said...


Yes it was ironic. Charles lives with the fact he and his son had made peace before he died. Tyler saw the pictures of the family at a happier time and that made him happy to know his Father saw them every time he turned his computer on.

jessegirl said...

I'm just struck, as I revisit these posts, at this screencap. There is Tyler, his arms spread in a bid for love and understanding. Geez, Charles, for God's sake, go over there and hug him. I think I feel that every time I see this scene or photos from it.
And, Tyler, the wounded combatant who knows only that he MUST get through...he must.

Rob was so wrong; it's not about Tyler trying to break his father's confidence. Confidence and a male pissing contest it is not. Absolutely not.

"Please love her, love me, love us, Dad; we need your love so badly. Please." That's what Tyler was really saying no matter how much overt button-pushing he did. This is so clear to me.

Go Tyler!

Anonymous said...

I loved the boardroom scene and I believe Tyler won this and had to for his own sake, cycling all the way there, a no show at the gallery, he has a gal now so maybe a connection for him. The board members sat down only when Charles swore at them, they all were rooting for Tyler, like ok buddy we are with you, Charles needs to be a father!
So I think Tyler nailed it even if he left disgusted, Charles got the point, he was told by his need to change and now!
This scene to me was great, really good acting by all./kim

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