Friday, July 02, 2010

Friday - Day 12 of Summer Vacation

******MOVIE SPOILER ALERT*********
"Remember Me" with Robert Pattinson (of Twilight fame) amd Emilie de Ravin
******MOVIE SPOILER ALERT*********
******MOVIE SPOILER ALERT*********

OK, you have been warned.

H was out playing guitars last night.
When he does this, I usually plunk in front of the TV, watch some stupid movie he has no interest in seeing, and knit.

Last night, I watched "Remember Me."

RPatz plays Tyler Hawkins, a 22-year-old New Yorker who is coping with a family tragedy, and trying to be a good son and brother, and who falls in love with the daughter of a cop who unjustly beat him up and has pretty horrific family history of her own. It is NOT a comedy - it is a complicated, thoughtful, actually quite lovely movie about a young man trying to find his way in the world, and Pattinson displays acting skill of which I did not, frankly, think him capable. (Of course, he was also nice to look at...)

The movie was just about over, and I could not puzzle out how in God's green earth they were going to end it. It seemed pretty clear it wasn't just going to be some smarmy happy ending, the rest of the movie was too complex for that....but the smaller tragedy of what happens to the character is compounded by the huge scale tragedy of the day -- it ends on Sept 11, 2001, which you should see coming, looking back - but you don't see it at all.

RPatz's character is waiting for his high-powered father in his offices...the camera pans from him looking out at the city, saying what a beautiful day, and then the camera slowly pans out to outside the building looking at him, silhouetted in a window of one of the WTC towers. And from there...well....

I had a visceral reaction - I felt like I was going to vomit.
I sobbed, and could not stop.

Does everyone else remember sitting in front of CNN or Fox that day, watching live footage, praying and shaking and crying (and in my case, frantically speed dialing two loved ones who worked across the West Side Highway from the Towers)? I felt like that's what we all did, that tragic and horrible morning.

Till now I have pretty successfully avoided any commercial representation of that day on purpose...."Man on Wire" was bad enough and that was just the Towers, not what happened. This was...different. Punch to the gut.

And *I* am lucky, because everyone I love who was in danger at all was safe at the end of that day.
And it still affected me that way.

I am experiencing, in the words of Joke, "hangover" today.

I can't shake it.

I really, really wish I had never watched it.

But then I would have missed an otherwise wonderful movie.
Even the ending, while maybe manipulative, was not trite or overdone.

But I have a very hard time with anyone using the events of that day for any form of entertainment.
I finally stopped sobbing, but my eyes are still swollen today.

I probably should have just watched "New Moon" again.


Bearette said...

I've removed it from my queue. I hate endings like that.

sueeeus said...

I'm glad that you summarized it. Now I know. I remember that day, listening to the morning talk radio guys, and I thought it was just more of their stupid banter, so thought it was a joke, that an airplane flew into a building. And then it turned out it wasn't, so the next thought was that it would be a crazy time at work because of the airplane stuff. And then. It played out the way it did. And EVERYTHING has changed dramatically, ever since that day. I hope you feel better soon. Sigh.

BabelBabe said...

it was such a good movie otherwise, and I guess many people had no trouble with the ending. but i really do have a big problem with using that day for any sort of entertainment value at all. not to mention I hated to see his character die, he was such a good kid (in the movie, I mean, Tyler).

Suse said...

Gah, I just left a long comment and then lost it when I stuffed up the word verif.

I was wondering, without trying to trivialise your reaction, or indeed the events of Sept 11 and community reaction to them, about when it become ok or even appropriate to reference traumatic events in books and films.

(I would say never, in cases where they are trivialised or made fun of, but what about when they're referred to sensitively and with dignity?)

I was thinking about other actual events from both ancient and recent history including medieval witchhunts, WWII, Elizabethan beheadings, the Vietnam War etc etc, and wondering when was there consensus about when it became ok or appropriate or less traumatic to refer to them in narratives?

And then I wondered about say the London Tube bombings of even more recent history, and whether many Londoners would find it too painful just yet to see that event depicted in film (or book).

I want to stress I'm not trying to argue with you, just trying to nut these things out. Not terribly articulately I'm afraid, but hopefully without causing offence.

I hope you're feeling better soon darl.

Sarah Louise said...

Ugh. It sounds like a "cheap" way of ending the movie from what you've said. And Suse's point is an interesting one. I did a paper in college on Arthur Miller and how theatre should be daring...

but that is a thought for another day. I haven't seen any of the Twilight movies, but my latest brain candy is Ugly Betty. I actually purchased S.3 because who knows when I'll get it from the library.

I prescribe virtual cupcakes (they are my specialty--you pick what kind and no calories).



BabelBabe said...

No, Suse, I get your point. And I think for many people that time has already come. I am probably just an overly-sensitive delicate flower : ) It was a powerful ending. That was the problem, really. too powerful, at least for me.

Elizabeth said...

Rob Pattinson can act, really?

Mary said...

It still shocks me when I see the Towers in a movie shot before September 11.

So this movie ending would be worse.

It was a most terrible day for the rest of the world. I cannot begin to imagine what it was like for Americans.

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