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At-A-Glance Film Reviews

When You Remember Me (1990)



Reviews and Comments

How did Kevin Spacey get roped into making this made-for-TV rip-off of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest? Watching this, it makes me appreciate the Jack Nicholson movie all the more. This tells the same sort of story but so stunningly ineffectively that all I could do was wince at the screen and wonder if there was anyone in the world who would fall for it. The story had all the subtlety of the "laugh" cards television studio audiences are shown during the taping of sitcoms. "Cry," the director says. "Feel really bad about the hero," he says. "Hate this bad person," he says. This movie didn't have a director. It had a puppeteer.

Unlike some movie audiences, I'm not especially sensitive to audience manipulation. My attitude is, if I'm being manipulated into something I'll ultimately find an entertaining and/or enlightening experience, why should I be resentful? But when that manipulation has no substance behind it -- when it's mechanical and hollow and heartless and makes perfunctory attempts to yank heart strings at evenly timed intervals, that's a long way from entertaining and/or enlightening. It's more like irritating and/or insulting. If you'd like being irritated and/or insulted, by all means, help yourself.