Love for the Forgetful: An Analysis of Remember Sunday

Remember Sunday is about Gus, a former astrophysicist who suffered a brain aneurism rendering him unable to remember subsequent memories after a night’s sleep, and Molly, a nice girl who works as a waitress while she waits for her pending inheritance.

Gus copes with his situation by reorienting himself every morning through files, post-its, and a portable audio recorder. His daily loss of actual memories alienates him from the people around him. He is kept in “romantic isolation.”

But then in a diner, he meets Molly.

We first see Molly barely resisting to pick up an ongoing voice message from her ex-boyfriend who apologizes to her and insists on getting back together. Through a conversation with her roommate, we see that bad relationships are not new to Molly.

With this in mind, we can understand why Molly, being a total stranger to Gus, leaves a message on his recording pen when he leaves it on the table to take a phone call. She thought he was a nice guy, as opposed to the other men she had encountered in the past. Earlier, she overheard Gus saying that he liked the smell of the fresh flowers, which she personally picked. For her, it was a rare occasion for a man to show her some appreciation. She reciprocates by thanking him through the voice recording that he only discovers later that day.

Gus is the kind of person who literally writes down “smile at strangers” on his to-do list. Thus, he does not give much thought to this chance encounter at the diner.

Even so, our knowledge of romantic movies tells us that Gus and Molly would meet again. This time, they would both connect because of Molly’s familiarity towards Gus.

At the same time, Gus’ condition tells us that things are bound to go wrong. Losing his files to technical complications was one problem. What if someone steals his notes? What if his laptop crashes and erases all his files? His memory would be gone. Losing his files then forgetting Molly and jeopardizing their relationship was a bigger problem.

Regardless, we are curious to know how their story is resolved. Ricky Lee, in Trip to Quiapo, explains that the goals of our character are connection and disconnection. If there is nothing to connect (Molly and Gus getting together), there is no story. Likewise, if there is nothing to disconnect, there is no story.

Remember Sunday presents a refreshing role reversal as opposed to Adam Sandler wooing amnesiac Drew Barrymore everyday in 50 First Dates. Gus, the pursuer, is the one who forgets. He takes actions to remember Molly everyday to be with her.

Gus and Molly find hope in a brain treatment. However, Gus asks Molly to “erase” herself from his life if the surgery does not work. He wants her to have a normal life. Afterwards, Molly finds out from Gus’ sister that they had tried the surgery before and it did not work. To fulfill her promise and to pursue her lasting happiness, Molly leaves Gus.

Regardless, after what seems to be weeks of moving on, Molly goes to see Gus at the pawnshop where he works. Molly introduces herself and Gus only recalls her name from a label on an envelope he found in the shop earlier that day. He had set Molly’s ring aside and intended to return it to her instead of selling it. When he hands it to her, Molly emotionally echoes what Gus had said to her while stargazing one night, “Sometimes comets are thought to be lost but then they come back into orbit. And when they’re calculated, scientists find they weren’t lost at all. They’re found.”

The comets serve as a metaphor for Gus’ memories. This tells us that if one person connects with another, nothing could change that – not even the loss of memory. Thus, Gus is drawn to Molly every single day.

Despite all that, love could not change Gus’ condition. The story concludes with the couple starting over again with a cup of coffee. By Molly choosing to stay, she comes to terms with the fact that things would never change. It is a romantic, but unrealistic circumstance.

References:

* Lee, Ricardo. “Pre-Writing 1. Concept.” In Trip to Quiapo: Scriptwriting Manual Ni Ricky Lee. Quezon City: Bagong Likha Publishing, 1998.

* ” ‘Remember Sunday’ Hallmark’s Sweet but Improbable New Movie.” Sister Rose at the Movies. April 19, 2013. Accessed September 27, 2014. http://www.patheos.com/blogs/sisterrosemovies/2013/04/5146/.

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