Who are the most memorable forgetful characters in the movies?

Total Recall is released here next week. Yes, we know that sentence sounds familiar. It was first written in 1990, when it was Arnie not Colinie (doesn’t really work, does it?) trying to the recalling. Like, totally. Chances are we won’t be recalling the remake in a few years’ time, but we definitely won’t forget about these amnesia-hit characters in a hurry.

8. Clementine Kruczynski (Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind, 2004)

When Mark Owen went solo after Take That, he had a great song called Clementine. It was sort of his Mona by Craig McLachlan. There’s no way I’d want it wiped from my memory, unlike poor Joel Barish (Jim Carrey), who finds himself erased from the brain of hair colour-changer Clementine (Kate Winslet). What a bitch. What a great movie. Really should have had Mark Owen on the soundtrack though.

7. David Aames (Vanilla Sky, 2001)

You would think the only thing Tom Cruise might forget in this film is where he put the 27 hair products he just used to make his mane that shiny, but he even manages to forget he died. How you could forget a week in which you dated both Cameron Diaz and Penelope Cruz is anyone’s guess.

6. Jason Bourne (The Bourne movies, 2002-2007)

Bourne. He forgets everything about who he is. Except how to beat the crap out of people with rolled up magazines. I reckon he was just playing dumb half the time and just messing with people’s heads.

5. Charlene Baltimore (The Long Kiss Goodnight, 1996)

Geena Davis conveniently forgets she is a trained killer instead of a homely schoolteacher in her then hubby Renny Harlin’s action flick. Luckily, Brian Cox is on hand to remind her. As he reminded Bourne that he was Bourne and Wolverine that he was Wolverine. Cox, handy man to have around when you’ve misplaced something. I’ll bet you’ve forgotten Geena Davis was in Fletch.

4. Leonard Shelby (Memento, 2000)

The poster boy for movie amnesia, Guy Pearce is terrific as Leonard Shelby, who follows the clues inked into his body to find out who killed his wife.

3. Dory (Finding Nemo, 2003)

I’m gonna put it out there: Finding Nemo is my favourite Pixar film. Which is amazing when you consider someone as potentially annoying as Ellen DeGeneres is in it. But flipping heck is she brilliant as the voice of forgetful blue tang fish Dory. ‘Just keep swimming…’ what a great mantra to live by.

2. Joanna Stayton (Overboard, 1987)

More than 40 years ago, Goldie Hawn won an Oscar. And that was before her career got good. One of the great comedic actresses of all time, there was no stopping Hawn as mean rich bitch Joanna Stayton, whose amnesia is exploited to the hilt by Kurt Russell’s handyman. But come on though, who wouldn’t want to wait hand and foot on Snake Plissken?

1. Laurel Sommersby (Sommersby, 1993)

There are few things that make me cry. One is Claire Danes dying in Little Women with Winona Ryder lying beside her. Another is that bit in Black Rain where Andy Garcia gets his head cut off. Okay, so there are lots of things that make me cry. But nothing gets a lump in my throat faster than Jodie Foster screaming, ‘Because I never loved him the way I love you!’ at Richard Gere in a courtroom in forget-me-not drama Sommersby. Gimme that over A Few Good Men any time.

WHO ARE YOUR FAVOURITE FORGETFUL MOVIE CHARACTERS?

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4 Responses to “Who are the most memorable forgetful characters in the movies?”

  1. There’s something fascinating about these amnesiac characters – Eternal Sunshine and the Bourne franchise are among my favorite film stories – but it can very quickly feel like a gimmick if not handled correctly.

    On a side note, I think it’s ironic that this Total Recall remake was one of the most forgettable moviegoing experiences I’ve had in a long, long while. I feel like all I can say about it is “Yes, it was a film. It had actors in it.”

  2. Good picks – I would round out the top 10 with Long Kiss Goodnight and Mulholland Dr., I think

  3. I think it’s funny that Dory got put a notch ahead of the character that made short term memory loss famous. Some great characters in there, video games are much more notorious for having characters with memory loss.

    Also, the Lamb is compiling e-mail addresses of member sites. If you could send an e-mail to largeassmovieblogs@gmail.com with your site name and e-mail address, that would be great.

  4. “I’m gonna put it out there: Finding Nemo is my favourite Pixar film. Which is amazing when you consider someone as potentially annoying as Ellen DeGeneres is in it. But flipping heck is she brilliant as the voice of forgetful blue tang fish Dory. ‘Just keep swimming…’ what a great mantra to live by.” so true

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