BlueBobby, portrait

Remember Me and why I will

I came across a post on, an unofficial Remember Me site, regarding the vast difference between many critics' views of the film and those of the audiences, notably viewers who were from NYC or had loved ones who were lost that day.

I completely agreed with the author and began a short comment, including my own experience with the film and those of my teenagers. It rapidly became much more than a comment. I knew I couldn't post it as one, so I left something much more terse, and have brought my 'comment' here.

Here goes.

My fourteen year old son couldn't wait to see Remember Me and insisted we go to the first showing the day it opened. He is a musician, and as soon as we got home from the movie, he went into his room. He came out a couple of hours later with a song expressing his emotional reaction to the film and to that horrible day when he was only five, when it seemed as though an action movie had taken over NYC. It finally felt real to him and he understood. He recorded it, and we shared the link with anyone who wanted it, but only those who had seen the film.

We saw it again on RememberMeSaturday and he insisted that his sixteen year old sister come along. She was shocked and angered, hurt by what she felt was a cheat of an ending. She was quiet on the ride home, her only response that she hated the movie and would not watch it again. Two nights later, she convinced six of her friends to see it, one of whom was so overcome she ran out of the theater as the screen went black on the towers.

All of these kids, and others, came with me at midnight to Wal-Mart the night the dvd dropped. The lone electronics clerk tried to convince me that new movies are usually put out at 7 a.m., but I explained that we were having a viewing party that night. She watched as all ten teenagers returned from snack-gathering to stand nearby, and she left, returning several minutes later with two boxes in her arms. She pulled one open, and plucked out one of the pristine white boxes nestled gleaming within. My hands itched to hold it, and I was struck by a ridiculous sense of pride in being the first to buy a copy of this film at this store. She was unsure about the internet coupon I had, and we followed her like a middle-aged Pied Piper to the front to consult her manager. The coupon was accepted, the dvd and snacks paid for, and we dashed, giggling with anticipation, to our several cars. We practically raced each other the two miles to my home. After a bit of electronic juggling (we had a new flatscreen and a remote with far too many buttons), we settled in with popcorn, pillows and blankets, arms and legs draped across sofas, chairs and each other. A large box of tissues waited in the center of the coffee table for all, but especially for the two teens who had not seen it yet. We laughed and cried together, close friends and family, reminded so poignantly of how much we have in each other and how quickly and senselessly it can be taken away. The girl who had run from the intensity in the theater got to finally see the end, and was comforted as we all sniffled with her.

In total, I saw Remember Me five times in theaters, the last three alone. I listened for the laughter at Aidan's wry comments, the angry whispers over Caroline's disfigurement, and the gasp as the camera pulled back from our final sight of Tyler. Each time as I left the theater, I watched couples, friends and families as they shook their heads and wiped their eyes, blowing noses and talking. They were talking. They kept talking, all the way out of the lobby and into the parking lot. Talking about the film, about the end, about that day. About their 'that day'; where they were, who they were with and what they stopped doing to face what was happening. Teens asked questions, parents answered, bonds were strengthened and communication was deep, intense and very personal.

The last theater matinee I attended, the audience consisted of two young girls, probably eleven and thirteen or so, their grandmother, and myself. Before it began, I asked if they had seen the film before. They said no and asked if I had. I told them it was my fifth time and that I hoped they enjoyed it. I have to assume they were expecting the 'RP Romance' that was so-well marketed, as they seemed incredibly confused when they left at the end. The younger girl asked me why I had seen it so many times when it was such a depressing story. I told her I thought it was important to remember that day and those people, and that I didn't find it depressing, but uplifting, because it reminds me how precious my family and friends are to me. I told the grandma about the discussions it sparked with my own kids and she realized she would be answering questions all the way home. They began before she got out of the lobby.

Will Fetters, Allen Coulter, Nick Osborne and the talented cast and crew are to be commended for not only the very best in film-making, but such a delicate handling of this subject. They did what they set out to do - they helped us remember and reminded us to live every moment, because none are meaningless and some will be all we have.

I am as proud of this film as if I actually had something to do with its creation. My only contribution was the purchase of movie tickets, cds of the score and soundtrack, and the dvd, but I am pleased to have been a small part of the over $55 million it has brought in worldwide. Now all I can do is recommend it to others, and that I will continue to do, as long as there are those who haven't seen it.