Spoiler alert: If you’re on OS, and particularly if you’re reading my blog, I’m thinking you’re not likely to see Robert Pattinson’s new film, “Remember Me,” so this may not be much of a spoiler for you. However, if you plan to stand in line in the rain to buy tickets for this thing, stop reading right now, because in the next few words, I’m going to tell you what happens: He dies in this movie.
You couldn’t pay me to sit through this. I’ve seen all I need to see in the trailer and the TV spots: brooding misunderstood young people (oh, please), grunge plaid, and some moldy shower-tile grout (presumably symbolic of the fact that brooding young people are too evolved to use a little Tilex).
I’ve also heard all I need to hear, and I can sum it up with this line, which Pattinson utters in a voiceover (cue acoustic guitar in the background, because acoustic guitar is, you know, socially conscious): “If I knew you could hear me, I would say our fingerprints don’t fade from the lives we touch.”
I can’t be certain Pattinson’s character is speaking from the hereafter when he says this, but “If I knew you could hear me” implies that either he’s dead or his love interest is in a coma, and since I know he dies, I assume it’s the former. “I would say our fingerprints don’t fade from the lives we touch” implies something, too: deplorable writing.
The boyfriend and I saw the TV spot last night. I turned to him and said, “If you die before I do, you’d better not haunt me with some lame-ass shit like, ‘If I knew you could hear me, I would say our fingerprints don’t fade from the lives we touch.’”
“No problem,” he said. “What do you want me to haunt you with?”
“I don’t know. Something that tells me it’s really you.”
“Well . . . you’d probably say something like, ‘Hey, baby, have you seen my car keys?’ I don’t know where you’re planning to drive in the afterlife, but I’d know for sure it was you. Or maybe, ‘We don’t have any chocolate.’ Then I know it was you, and I’d know you were in hell. What would I need to say for you to know it was me?”
“Whatever it is,” he said, “you’d better start it with, ‘Goddammit, baby.’”
That’s very true. That phrase prefaces many things I say to him: “Goddammit, baby, you left the milk out. Goddammit, baby, don’t flush the toilet while I’m in the shower.”
Reading these words here, you may think I’m a shrew, but that’s because you can’t hear how I say them—admittedly with a little exasperation, but also with the love that develops in a 17-year relationship if you’re lucky, and if you are committed to one another, and if you always want what’s best for the other person.
“Goddammit, baby” is a lot more us than “If I knew you could hear me, I would say our fingerprints don’t fade from the lives we touch.” Dead or alive, if the boyfriend ever said anything to me that was remotely that idiotic, I’d snort. If I ever said anything like that to him, he’d howl.
An affectionate “Goddammit, baby,” the occasional snort, the eternal search for his car keys . . . that’s real life. It’s real love. It’s the difference between an authentic relationship and deplorably bad dialogue.
I will say this, however. After seeing that TV spot a few times, I’ve gained new respect for Robert Pattinson. Just try saying that line out loud. Go ahead: “If I knew you could hear me, I would say our fingerprints don’t fade from the lives we touch.” Doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, does it?
Now try a line that’s a little more authentic—which is pretty much any line you can think of. Just start it with “Goddammit, baby,” and feel the love.