Isn't it crazy how hard it is to remember someone's name? You meet a person, they introduce themselves and minutes later, you've got nothing. How do filmmakers expect you to remember dozens of characters after only spending a couple of hours with them? Does it even matter? Who cares what a character is called as long as what he or she is up to is interesting?
Recently, a friend suggested that names are losing their meaning. Think about it; pick two or three of your favorite films from last year and there's likely a key character whose name you just can't recall. Come to think of it, I can't even remember the name of a primary character in a film I caught just a week ago. But does that affect your opinion of the film? Do you enjoy it any less even if the name doesn't stick? There are so many different ways to consider the issue, it's nearly impossible to pinpoint an exact answer to the title of this article.
To start, let's talk generic names. You'd think it'd be a smart option considering they're mainstream and perhaps easier to remember, but in the cast of 'The Kids Are All Right,' that's not quite true. What are the names of Annette Bening and Julianne Moore's characters? Jules is the one that comes to my mind; not Nic. And what about the kids? How could anyone forget a name like Laser, especially compared to Joni? Perhaps this is just me, but in this case, it's the more unique of the bunch that's easiest to recall.