Friday, September 24, 2010

Remember Me Discussion Group


At the sweets shop, why does Charles interrupt the delightful exchange--Whistler--between Tyler and Caroline ("Pass the sugar.")? How does he feel about the beautiful relationship between his two remaining children?

2 comments:

LTavares2010 said...

I think Charles is a regular person. He is owner of a strong personality, he is an ambitious man and works a lot to give a good life to his family, to have a meaning to his life after Michael`s death.
It seems to me he is upset and jealous every time he sees Tyler and Caroline happy together, and he imagines that they are trying to live their lives as if nothing had happened. In these moments Charles looses his patience and acts immaturely only to call the attention and always provoking Tyler.
Diane always try to circumvent the situation but Tyler does not ignore and reacts.
Charles is only seeing his own suffering and is not capable to see what is really going on with his children. He thinks Tyler is a rebel boy and irresponsible, and Caroline, he thinks she is only a little girl, he has no time to be with her but he thinks she has Diane to taking care of her .
Charles sees himself as a sacrificed man, that needs to be strong and pragmatical all the time, to continue to be a well succeeded man. Charles, probably, was educated for being like this and it is difficult to him seeing in Tyler the man that he, Charles, still is.

jessegirl said...

If Charles doesn't see how Michael's death is affecting Tyler, he is blind. He must know about the journal Tyler carts around with him everywhere. If he begrudges Caroline a little bit of happiness and some jokes when she is with Tyler, yes, you are right, he acts immaturely. He has no idea what a hard time Caroline has with her class mates? He is that blind?
But jealousy? He has no right to that.What is he doing, peeking out one of those tiny windows in the fortress he's built around himself, to see his children enjoying each other, and resenting the meaningful relationship they have been able to forge a out of the debris of their brother's death and the break-up of the family?
Maybe Charles sees 'only his own suffering'; bereaved parents are sorry figures and their level of grief makes selfishness normal. But he has no idea of what love means--as he so cavalierly accused Tyler of--if he has no idea of how Tyler takes care of and has assumed responsibility for Caroline, if he can't see how much they need his love. When he lobs this line at Tyler in the boardroom I see a man who is just as self-righteous as his son. In this scene we always mention Tyler's youthful self-righteousness, but now I see Charles bears the self-righteousness of the old, filled with cliched sayings, the type which assumes older people are wise and know these things--about love and responsibility--just because they've been around longer.
You speak of Charles as if he were from a previous century, the aloof breadwinner. But he had quite a rich life parenting and taking joy in his children before, as the screensaver photos show.
Yeah, I know, I'm being hard on him again. I just see the needs of those children so clearly and his ex's attempts to restore the family to some semblance of its former self; not discounting that Les is now her steady rock. I think she aches for Charles to bond with his children and I speculate that Charles' aloof attitude towards her after their son died was too much for her to bear. The 'strong' personality is only a hard personality, hard, unyielding, obdurate. Stubbornness is not strength. Again, I will say--having gotten off the track a bit--that Charles' way of coping with his grief is weaker than Diane's. Diane owns her grief. Charles destroys with his form of grief. He undoubtedly is terrified that if he allows himself to get close to Tyler and Caroline, that if the unthinkable happens, how will he cope? Well, we know the unthinkable did happen. It is very complicated when such strong primal feelings are involved.

I think Rob is right. Only an actor like Pierce could bring enough sympathy to the role to have us try to understand him. And we should try because Charles deserves our sympathy too.

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