Now and then there are films made that have the power to reach out and touch your heart with a real, raw sense of honesty. Forget Me Not, a 2010 independent British film from directors Lance Roehrig and Alexander Holt, is a movie that does just this and more. I have no problem admitting that I’m a sucker for a well-done British drama. Throw in a pair of actors that have fabulous on-screen chemistry, a soundtrack you can’t get out of your head and more likely than not, the film ends up on my DVD shelf. Such was the case with the film Once, yet another film that WON’T eff you up.
The basic premise goes a little like this: A musician named Will meets the free-spirited Eve while performing in the London pub she works at. Over the next 24 hours, their paths become linked as they walk the streets of London together (some amazing cinematography, by the way) and slowly develop a connection with each other. It’s not as simple as it sounds, though, because Will is hiding a tragic secret from Eve that will eventually have to come to light.
As far as understated romances go, Forget Me Not strikes a chord in that it lets the plot play out in a natural, non-Hollywood fashion. The lead actors Tobias Menzies and Genevieve O’Reilly (relatively unknown to me beforehand) do an amazing job of bringing two people to life who meet under everyday circumstances and develop a relationship that comes with as many complications as any off-screen one might. If you’re thinking this sounds like just another “Before Sunrise” film, don’t walk away just yet. Sure, the basic idea may be the same, but Forget Me Not brings a sense of humanity and genuineness to the screen that is all its own.
Here are three reasons Forget Me Not won’t f*ck you up:
1. The dialogue and chemistry between Will and Eve feels completely natural. This isn’t a plot that’s been cooked up to try and sell you on “love at first sight” but rather it showcases a connection that could be possible for anyone. Just like in the real world of dating, the conversations in this film are often interrupted, left unfinished and bounce from one subject to another. The topics range from lighthearted to serious, just like what would happen to any couple getting to know each other. Often it’s the things that aren’t said in Forget Me Not that stand out the most. Rather than shy away from long silences or would-be awkward moments, the film embraces them and leaves it to the viewer to interpret them.
2. Neither Will or Eve are perfect people. They each have issues they’re working through, and these are revealed to each other as the film progresses. When has dating or falling in love ever been about perfection, though? Instead of perpetuating the idea that life would be better if it were like a movie, Forget Me Not takes the opposite approach. I’m not saying that it mimics every person’s life, but it does approach the idea of love from a more realistic angle–showcased in particular by the main characters.
3. Life doesn’t always have black and white answers or endings. When it comes to dating and relationships you may not always get the closure or answers you want either. These were a couple of things brought to mind by this film, as it doesn’t take a “normal” approach to asking and answering questions. Unlike a typical Hollywood love story, there aren’t simple solutions to be found in this film. Because of the heavy subject matter at some parts, you’d think it would be resolved completely by the end of the film. I won’t spoil anything, but keep this in mind: it’s all about interpretation. Just like in your own everyday life, there’s more to be found by reading between the lines. Through Will and Eve, we are reminded of this basic yet important truth.