Forget Me Not (2010)
★★★ / ★★★★
Will (Tobias Menzies) is a musician who was booked in a bar where Eve (Genevieve O’Reilly) works as a bartender. After exchanging flirtatious smiles from across the room, they go about their separate ways. That same night, Will plans to kill himself. The razor, pills, and bathtub are ready for him, but there is a phone call. Eve is on the other line. She tells Will that he has forgotten his guitar and he should pick it up before the bar closes. The two meet up and spend almost an entire day together.
“Forget Me Not,” based on a screenplay by Mark Underwood, has a simple premise but it is able to explore a spectrum of emotions in mature and insightful ways.
This can be attributed to the strong chemistry between the two leads. O’Reilly plays Eve with such lightness and vivacity. She enjoys asking questions with a smile, throws in an inappropriate joke here and there, and the way she tries to connect with Will holds a certain delicateness. On the other hand, Menzies plays Will as a man surrounded by walls that he becomes a mystery. His sadness piques our interest. The question why he wishes to kill himself is constantly in the back of our minds. But he is not just a character who wants to commit suicide. He wants to make a connection but his fears often get in the way.
The best example of this is when Eve asks a question about Will’s parents. Before the question is asked, they seem so close that we can almost feel the two yearning to grab each other and lean in for that first momentous kiss. But after Eve asks a seemingly innocent question, the spark disappears almost immediately. Will’s walls were up again. It seems like they are back to square one.
The characters’ contrasting personalities are relatable and we are able to emotionally invest in their playful interactions. We want them to be together. One of the most moving scenes involves Lizzie (Gemma Jones), Eve’s grandmother, who has an appointment for a cognitive exam. As a person who has had experience with people inflicted with dementia, among them Alzheimer’s Disease, the scene is as real as it can get. There is an explicable sadness that looms when someone you have known (and has known you) your entire life is slowly being taken away. They are alive but they do not feel like the same person. They stop being able to recognize you; they forget the many things you have been through together; they even stop recognizing themselves. It is an eye-opening moment for Will and Eve because it is a reminder that they should not take the time they have for granted. In a way, the message is also directed at us.
“Forget Me Not,” directed by Alexander Holt and Lance Roehrig, is about two people struggling to find the right rhythm when they are around each other. What they share is best reflected in a wonderful scene when Eve and Will dance at a party and only the duo listen to the same song while sharing earphones from the same iPod.