What the "Remember Me" Spoiler, My Latin Education, and 9-11 All Have in Common
If you actually want to see the movie "Remember Me", stop here. When I saw the ads, I knew instantly this is one of those melodramatic weepy romances, like "Autumn in New York", in which a lover doomed to die manages to "save" the beloved from being jaded before untimely demise. This story is nothing new-Dumas fils wrote about in La Dame Aux Camelias. Because Emilie de Ravin (better known as Claire from Lost) seems jaded in the ads, I figure the "twist" was the BOY saves the jaded girl before his untimely death.
And I was right.
What I missed is that the BOY DIES IN 9-11. Yep, the whole romance is Pre-9/11/2001.
And just when my mind was going to explode with rage, I read this metafilter thread,
which restored my sanity as well as reminding me about 2 things.
When I was in middle school, I studied Latin for 2 years. The text book was kind of like Dick and Jane, only in Latin, and with historically accurate details. The lessons followed the every day doings of the "average" family in the Roman Empire. It covered events like watching gladiators, punishing slaves, and even regular religious practices so while learning Latin, we also learned history. So for two years, we dutifully read about the lives of these family members-hell we even read about their dog. Then in the very last lesson THEY ALL DIED WHEN MOUNT VESUVIUS EXPLODED! We had no idea they WEREN'T in ROME, but they were in fact in Pompeii. For the last day of class, we watched The Last Days of Pompeii just to cement the horror into place.
This movie made me think of that not in the least of which because it's a crappy pull the rug out from under you for no real reason type of way. I do admit that it was at least a very dramatic ending to what was a fairly dry textbook.
What's truly odd is my Latin teacher was named Mrs. Hightower and that experienced filled me with a lifelong desire to see Pompeii, which I did a few years ago where I did indeed see A DOG PRESERVED IN ASH FROM THE EXPLOSION!
It's also Mrs. Hightower who I thought of on the morning of 9-11 when I stood on Waverly. After the first tower collapsed, the Idiot Formerly Known as My Fiance, squeezed my hand said "I'm sure everyone got out." I knew they didn't. I knew because Mrs. Hightower told us that many people in Pompeii stayed after the volcano exploded thinking things would get be OK. (She failed to explain that was because there had been a severe earthquake in 17 years BEFORE and many Romans had fled thinking the city doomed. However, the city recovered.)
I looked at the plume of ash and thought that 2,000 years hasn't changed human nature so much. Some of them stayed, I thought, sure that everything would be OK.
Shame upon the makers of "Remember Me" for using such a huge tragedy just to lure tweens until the multiplexes or rather Caesar si viveret, ad remum dareris. (Translation: If Caesar was alive, you would be chained to an oar.) But if you MUST use real tragedy to manipulate your audience, at least TEACH THEM SOMETHING OF VALUE WHILE YOUR AT IT.
Thus I make the following proposal:
When I took Latin, some of the high school Latin students would put out a monthly all Latin newspaper. They would write about current news stories in Latin, but on the back page some enterprising student would translate the lyrics of a current Top 10 song until Latin. (You haven't lived until you have read the lyrics to Monkey from Wham! in Latin, I swear.) I think to make amends for this epic insult, the entire film needs to be dubbed in Latin.
Seriously. I would pay for that Twilight twit to have to memorize lines in Latin. But until then, all I have to say to him is "Faciem durum cacantis habes ." (You have the face of a man with severe constipation.)
Labels: "Remember Me", 9-11, exploitation, latin, pompeii, spoiler, tragedy
Bad Bunni posted at 3/11/2010 06:30:00 PM