WARNING - SPOILERS AHEAD!!
We were not meant to see Remember Me more than once. But we did. I swear it was like the powers that be were conspiring against us: we faced hurricane-strength wind, torrential rain, downed trees, leaky theaters, unintelligible audio, aghast significant others, and personally I took a coooold shower because my furnace shut off sometime yesterday and I didn't have time to wait for things to heat up before we headed to the theater for the THIRD time (after being thwarted entirely yesterday). But we did it. We even sat through the trailer for that god-awful Miley Cyrus movie THREE TIMES. Ugh. You know we love you guys, right???
Before I address the gazillion-ton pink elephant in the room, let me say a few things: I am a bit of a cynic. And I am not prone to crying or getting super-emotional. I get impatient with people who are flighty or unpredictable. Plus I don't usually watch sad movies. There is so much fucked up shit going on in the world that I prefer to see movies that are funny or romantic or action-packed, and not the ones that remind me of all the fucked up shit going on in the world. I can say the same thing for my taste in books: I like my escapism to be light. Plus, whether I'm reading a book or watching a movie, I don't think ahead or try to figure out what's going to happen. When I read mystery novels (er, or "back when I used to read mystery novels and other things that were not Twilight"), I am not the type of person who wants to figure out "whodunnit" before the author reveals it. Same thing with movies - I just go with it and don't think ahead (I have no idea what any of this says about me as a person but I suspect it's not flattering).
Needless to say, the inclusion of September 11th at the end of this movie left me really flabbergasted. And left JJ and Myg flabbergasted, too (you can read Myg's take on the movie here).
I'm (apparently) not observant enough to have noted the pre-Sept. 11th set-up (although it does explain the oddly dated-looking dress that Ally was wearing when they went out to dinner AND why they were watching "American Pie" in the theater - which seemed SO random - so there's that). I hadn't pondered why the movie was called "Remember Me". I didn't question the timing, and I didn't know about the ending. I knew something happened - and assumed that someone was going to kick it - but nothing specific. Even though Raptor sent me a tweet earlier this week that said something like "WHAT THE FUCK IS UP WITH THAT FUCKING ENDING?!?!" So when I saw it, my jaw definitely hit the floor. I think I muttered "NOW I know why everyone was so pissed off" as the shot pulled back enough to see where he was standing. JJ walked out.
If I can take a step back for a moment, I want to say that I thought it was a decent movie. It wasn't a great movie. Robert Pattinson did a great job with his character and the script he had, but it wasn't the best-written movie of all time, and while I loved watching him onscreen for a couple of hours, he's not a phenomenal actor. He's good. Better than a lot. This movie really did let him show his acting chops more than Twilight, and I didn't think "Edward" once, which is really saying something. Chris Cooper was great, and the girl who played Caroline was awesome.
My problem is with the appropriation - or misappropriation - of September 11th , of their taking all of the emotions from that day to give the movie more of an emotional wallop than it would have otherwise packed. Even if there was no happy ending to be had, using 9/11 instead of having the character die in some other tragic way was a cop-out (assuming they needed to kill off Tyler, which I don't get). They excused themselves from having to show a brutal murder, a random fatal accident, a sudden and lethal physical malfunction. Because none of that feels like it belonged in this movie, and I don't think September 11th did, either. It was unnecessary. I think that the filmmakers intentions were sincere, but they used the wrong means to get their message across.
I was also pissed about the use of a real (and well-known) incident from 9/11 in the movie: Tyler's dad would have been in the office, workaholic that he was, but he was ostensibly turning over a new leaf and taking Caroline to school. This sounded very similar to the fact that the CEO of Cantor Fitzgerald--a company formerly headquartered on the upper floors of one of the towers and which lost over 650 employees that day--was not in his office that morning because he was taking his child to the first day of school.
Overall, this movie kind of consumed our weekend. Honestly, my anticipation for the release of Remember Me centered around getting some RPatts eye-candy that would hold me over until June. It never occurred to me that this movie would spark such a furor or leave me feeling this wound up. Even now, my original intention was to write something a little more light-hearted than this ended up being, but I guess I was sidetracked by the 9/11 tie-in - I couldn't really get past it.
There was a lot more to this movie than the last ten minutes. I'd like to get to that another day. I scribbled pages and pages of notes - funny notes! - as I watched it the second time around (I was writing in a tiny notebook in huge print, but still - pages and pages!). We know that a lot of you will not agree with our take on this movie; it would have been a lot easier to write something less likely to piss a bunch of people off. But we love you guys and wanted to be honest.
Have at it in the comments - let the flaying begin!
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