While researching the previous post, I discovered that Carly Schroeder, one of my favorite actors from Mean Creek, has a new horror film in the can. It’s called Forget Me Not, and according to IMDB, it should be out sometime this year. The film stars the aforementioned Schroeder as Sandy, a graduating high school senior whose friends start disappearing. Soon it becomes apparent that the spirit of a deceased girl haunts the group. Here’s the trailer:
As with Sorority Row, it appears that the filmmakers have thrown in plenty of softcore sex to get viewers interested (surprise surprise). Schroeder, by contrast, appears rather chaste in all of her scenes in the trailer, making her an obvious candidate for final girl status. I expect, then, that this will be a pretty formulaic slasher pic.
More interesting to me is the way in which the trailer depicts adolescent female friendships. The intertitles spell out themes of rejection with quotes like, “Remember the friends you had?” and “They remember you,” before closing the trailer with “Some friendships last a lifetime” and “Some last longer.” The trailer itself features a young woman asking similar questions of Sandy, implying that Sandy has left this friend behind for a cooler crowd.
While I find such representations of female friendships troubling because they perpetuate negative stereotypes about women and girls, I also feel that such films portraying female friendship and rejection resonate with me emotionally. My life has been marked by ugly female-friendship-break-ups from pre-adolescence until just after college. These experiences have been more emotionally traumatic for me than any one of my break-ups with a boy. You can read all kinds of queerness into this fact, and it also seems to bear out Adrienne Rich’s theory put forth in her essay “Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Existence.” In that piece, Rich suggests that women (and I’ll add girls) have long been discouraged from forming cohesive friendships, in part out of fear that these relationships might become sexual. She also suggests that such relationships threaten males in power, who would rather divide and conquer females than face a united front.
According to Rich, films like Forget Me Not are part of the problem, and I agree whole-heartedly. Still, I can’t help but hope that this movie might help some women contemplate the consequences of their actions toward the women in their lives. Unlikely as it is, pleas don’t fault my optimism.