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Is Remember Me a True Story?

July 28, 2020
4 min read

Remember Me is a romantic drama film that follows Tyler and Ally, each dealing with a personal tragedy, as they navigate life, manage estranged relationships, and fall in love in New York City. Alyssa Craig, a student at the NYU, still has nightmares about the unfortunate day her mother was fatally shot at the subway, right in front of her, ten years ago. Ally lives with her detective father, and the two don’t share a great relationship. Tyler Hawkins, who audits classes at the university, stumbles upon Ally and after spending some time together, they begin dating.

Tyler confesses to Ally that his parents split up after his brother, Michael, took his own life at 22. He is very protective of his bright younger sister, Caroline. Tyler has an estranged relationship with his father and doesn’t like the way he ignores Caroline. Tyler and Ally explore their relationship, while dealing with their respective traumas, until a bigger tragedy strikes. Allen Coulter serves as the director of the 2010 film that opened to negative reviews from the critics and the audiences, mostly because of its jaw-dropping ending that caused the viewers to let out a collective gasp in shock and disbelief. The controversial aspects of the film might make you wonder: Is this inspired by real-life events? Well, we might be able to help you with that.

Is Remember Me Based on a True Story?

No, Remember Me is not based on a true story. But, significant events in the film are based on real-life. Quite early in the film, there is a scene where Robert Pattinson’s character, Tyler, and his roommate, Aidan, get embroiled in someone else’s brawl outside a pub, leading to their arrest by Ally’s father, Niel. Well, it has been taken straight from Robert’s experience in The Big Apple. And on the very next day, the makers decided to add it to the movie.

In a 2011 interview with Collider, Robert threw light on the harrowing incident. “We were down in Alphabet City, and this guy jumped out of the car with a little mini baseball bat and just hit my friend in the face. The whole thing. It was literally the day before,” he said. Robert added that he was annoyed that he couldn’t act the way he does in the movie, and instead ran away from the scene. “I didn’t see what was happening until it was too late. (laughs) The police looked at me and was like ‘oh it’s alright you don’t have to give one,’ and it was because of the Twilight thing. I was like ‘no, I wanna give a testimony!’ (laughing) ‘I wanna be a witness!'”

Now coming to the major development that changes the whole meaning of the movie, the emotional, disturbing, and “offensive” ending. If you haven’t watched the film, stop right here because you wouldn’t like it if the climax gets spoiled. In the very end, the camera pans on the blackboard, where Caroline’s teacher writes… September 11, 2001. Cut to Tyler standing by the window of his father’s office, located on the 101st floor of the North Tower of the World Trade Center, staring blankly at the sky, contemplating life in peace.

Shockingly, the screenwriter, Will Fetters, began the script with the ending and weaved a story against the backdrop of the tragedy, to pay homage to all the people who lost their lives on the fateful summer morning. The idea for the script germinated after Will read several 9/11 obituaries.

In a 2010 interview with MTV, director Allen Coulter gave his take on the ending that divided many. “The fact is that, from the very beginning, this is a story about what we call ‘the bolt from the blue’ — the unexpected event that alters the trajectory of your life,’ he said. We start with a very personal story, and as the story unfolds that very notion is enlarged upon and goes from the personal to the universal. We felt we were trying to humanize that kind of event.” So by adding a tragic yet personal touch, screenwriter Will Fetters tried to humanize the fatalities by giving them a name – Tyler Hawkins.

Read More: Best Tragedy Movies of All Time

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