I watched a Hallmark Hall of Fame movie last night that I actually kind of liked. It was called Remember Sunday. It was about a man named Gus who had the same sort of problem that the Drew Barrymore character had in the movie 50 First Dates: every day, he forgot what took place the day before, while still keeping his long-term memories from before the accident that caused his condition. Gus is developing a romantic relationship with a sweet waitress named Molly, but each day he has to remind himself of who Molly is through notes and recordings that he made of their conversations.
While the movie sounds like 50 First Dates, it is actually quite different. In 50 First Dates, the Adam Sandler character is trying to romance the Drew Barrymore character. She is the object of a man’s affections, and she doesn’t really struggle with her condition; rather, it’s the Adam Sandler character who faces challenges as he tries to woo her! In Remember Sunday, Gus is trying to develop a relationship with Molly even though he knows that he will forget her the next day, and he wonders if Molly would reject him were she to learn of his condition. As Gus’ ex-fiancee tells Molly later in the movie, Gus is capable of having children; he just won’t remember who they are each day. The movie did a good job detailing the hell that Gus was going through in terms of his condition: not being able to become intimate with new friends or to learn new things (Gus was a scientist prior to his accident).
I tend to admire people who stick by the person they love, whatever that person is going through. I think of Adam Sandler in 50 First Dates, or the James Garner character in the movie The Notebook. When I watched the movie Sybil, in which Sally Field played a woman who had multiple personalities, I was disappointed that the person who was romancing her did not stick by her. I was hoping he was better than that, that he would be that special kind of person.
In Remember Sunday, it’s not always clear that Molly is that special kind of person. She seems to be at first, but later she leaves the relationship, perhaps because she questions whether she truly has what it takes. But she comes back to Gus when she is looking at a meteor falling in the sky and remembers a conversation that they had about astronomy. She realizes that she loves him and that she wants to have a relationship with him, whatever his condition might be.
At times, when I have watched movies on the Hallmark Channel, I’ve noticed inconsistencies in the plot that spoil the whole movie. I won’t list examples, since I don’t clearly remember them right now. But I’m just saying this as a launch-pad to my next point: there was one inconsistency that the movie could have done without. Gus was planning to ask Molly to marry him, and he left a note to himself about this on his computer, which Molly erased. At the same time, Gus told Molly that, if an operation did not work out for him, she should get out of his life, since she deserved so much better. Which was it? Did Gus want to marry Molly, or did he want to condition the relationship on whether or not his condition got cured?
The movie was pretty good in terms of humor. For example, Gus has a best friend, who gets frustrated because he has to remind Gus each day that he (the friend) and his wife got a divorce. The movie was also good at depicting the struggles that many people face: having to pay back one’s student loans, having hopes and dreams, etc. Molly ends up inheriting a bunch of money (or, more accurately, she gets the money that was hers from the sale of her aunt’s house), but would be that everyone were that fortunate!
The characters were quite likable. There was Gus, with his bumbling quality. There was Molly, who was cute and sweet. There was Gus’ devoted sister. I’m not surprised to find out that these actors are fairly well-established. The guy who played Gus is the star of the TV show Chuck, which I have not seen, but which others have told me is good. And I’ve read that his character on Chuck is himself rather nerdy! Molly is played by Alexis Bledel, who has been on The Gilmore Girls and had a brief span of time on Mad Men (she is actually engaged to the guy who plays Pete Campbell on Mad Men). And Gus’ sister was played by Merritt Wever, who was nominated for an Emmy for her role in the series, Nurse Jackie. Of course, there have been established actors who have played in some pretty bad movies, so having established actors does not necessarily make a movie good. But, in my opinion, they did a good job in Remember Sunday. I doubt that the movie will get nominated for any Emmys, as happened with the Hallmark Hall of Fame movie My Name is Bill W. But I’m glad that I taped and watched Remember Sunday last night.