A very memorable film

by Martin Hafer

Remember Me was one of the highlights of the Gasparilla International Film Festival in Tampa, Florida.  That was because this film features the legendary Rita Moreno and was shown just before Ms. Moreno was awarded her Lifetime Achievement Award from the festival organizers.  While any award is nice, Moreno will need to find room for it in her already crowded house.  That is because she’s one of the few people, as well as the first, to have won an Oscar, a Grammy, a Tony and an Emmy Award!  Clearly, she is a multitalented lady and it’s wonderful to see this 84 year-old actress, singer and dancer isn’t about to retire gracefully!

 Rita Moreno
Rita Moreno

The film stars Steven Goldbloom and this incredibly talented guy also wrote and directed the film…no small achievement for a man with only a few credits to his name so far.  How he convinced Moreno to appear in the film as well is anyone’s guess!  Along with this pair, Joel Kelley Dauten stars in the picture as well.

When the film begins, Vincent (Goldbloom) has taken off some time from his busy work schedule to make a brief obligatory visit to his grandparents.  It’s obvious he doesn’t want to be there and the visit is incredibly awkward.  To make matters worse, Vincent’s obnoxious cousin, Barry (Dauten), is there…and this makes Vincent all the more anxious to leave.  However, his plans are all cast aside shortly after he arrives.  In mid-conversation, Grandpa dies…and Vincent and Barry have no idea what to do next.  One thing for sure is that these selfish young men aren’t about to be inconvenienced by this death.  But they also know they have an obligation to do something about Grandma (Moreno).  Instead of just telling her about her husband’s death, they try to hide it from her.  The plan is to take her on an ‘outing’…but the outing is really just a trip to dump her at a retirement home many miles from her home.  Nice guys, huh?  Well, the plans don’t go as they expect.  First, Grandma tosses her many medications out the window.  Second, over time, Grandma isn’t quite what they thought she was.  Without the pills she’s an entirely different woman.  How is she different and what will happen to this odd trio?  See the film…I strongly recommend you do.

Remember Me
Directed by
Steve Goldbloom
Rita Moreno, Sean Conroy, Joel Kelley Dauten
Release Date
5 March 2016
Martin’s Grade: A

I liked this film for many reasons.  Part of it is because I loved seeing Moreno.  She was great in the film yet was also quite clear to credit Goldbloom and Dauten for making the picture so enjoyable…both to watch and to make.  We learned this during a long, engaging and occasionally touching interview with her and her co-stars following the film at the festival.  During these interviews, the capacity audience was very enthusiastic and impressed with her warmth and amazing vitality.  Heck, I’d love to be this amazingly youthful when I reach 70…let alone 84!  This was especially apparent when she broke into dance in front of us!  Additionally, and most importantly, the film is unique and well made and her performance, while excellent, doesn’t overshadow her co-stars.  Despite Goldbloom’s relative inexperience in films, he handled the project amazingly well.  His acting, direction and his script were first-rate.  It also didn’t help that Dauten was simply marvelous as his very strange but mesmerizing cousin!  Watch for this film when it is comes to a theater near you!  It’s sweet, funny and clever.

Rita Moreno, Steve Goldbloom, Joel Kelley Dauten
Joel Kelley Dauten, Steve Goldbloom & Rita Moreno