The Search for the Most Unintentionally Funny Twitter Account is a Progressive Boink feature that scours the wilds of Twitter in a hunt for the Twitter feed with the highest humor to intended humor ratio.
Will Fetters is not a bad guy. His Twitter feed reveals a deeply earnest young screenwriter truly committed to his passion project: a meditation on grief and how we carry it. He's grateful, fiercely proud of his movie, and humble when the situation calls for it.
The only problem was that the project into which he put his all was Remember Me, the movie whose climax is an insane CGI shot pulling away from Robert Pattinson as he stares out of the about-to-be-exploded World Trade Center. It sucked. Really bad.
Will Fetters came away from Remember Me unscathed (unlike Robert Pattinson in the final moments of the movie, lol!). If he hadn't, I wouldn't be writing this. Someone pouring every ounce of will, determination, and work they can muster into realizing a dream, and then actually seeing it through, only to have it crumble before them, forcing them to recede back into a life of drudgery and obscurity, isn't funny. There's a reason that Roadrunner cartoons don't end with Wile E. Coyote's mangled corpse lying helplessly at the bottom of a canyon as the buzzards begin to circle.
Resilience removes the stakes in anything, turns tragedy into comedy, or, in Will Fetters' case, tragicomedy. It makes it OK to laugh (much like Rudy Giuliani did when he went on "SNL" after 9/11, lol!). Fetters is now working with Clint Eastwood, writing the screenplay for his remake of A Star is Born. He's done just fine for himself.
So with all that in mind, Jesus Christ is his Twitter feed funny. It's almost too perfect, too tidy in its structure. The amazing thing about it is that, from the in media res opening several months before Remember Me's premiere ("hello citizens of twitter, i'm Will, i write screenplays that rarely become films, but one finally did, 'remember me', so... here we are") to the build-up to the climax to the denouement, it's actually a better composed and plotted work than Remember Me turned out to be.
Fetters starts out so, so enthusiastic. Dude just knows that Remember Me is something special, because it's so personal, so crackling with Life and Truth as he knows it.
Fetters' excitement builds and builds until it froths into a fever pitch, this electric anticipation of his movie hitting theaters and resonating with every last person who's ever known love or grief or loss. He is ready for Remember Me's success:
saw a near final cut of 'RM' today. its better than i could've imagined or even dared to hope. never been prouder of anything in my life— will fetters (@willfetters) January 30, 2010
from my head to the page to film, i knew tyler better than any other character, I was tyler once. rob became him. http://tinyurl.com/y8ekfet— will fetters (@willfetters) February 17, 2010
this trailer best captures the essence of the film. anyone on the fence about seeing should be shown it - http://tinyurl.com/yld9b5y— will fetters (@willfetters) March 3, 2010
Hope everyone goes, hope everyone loves, hope it's everything anyone who has read the script expects and more - it certainly was for me— will fetters (@willfetters) March 13, 2010
And then the movie comes out.
Four days of radio silence, and then a few curt allusions to the critics savaging the movie and audiences avoiding it like poison ivy:
for the record, i'll never being anything but proud of the film and indebted to Allen, Nick, Rob, Summit and many others for making it— will fetters (@willfetters) March 16, 2010
emerging from my cave just to let Hildie and the rest of you all know that i do hear your voices. they're a gift.— will fetters (@willfetters) July 1, 2010
And then Will Fetters goes quiet. For two years, and presumably on and on, forever.
Look, I'm not making fun. It's not schadenfreude that makes Fetters' Twitter feed funny. I take no pleasure in his charging forward with all his might, only to slam into a brick wall. He took a risk and it didn't work out. We should all be so bold. What makes it funny is something more like fremdscham, another German word that I've been trying to Make Happen ever since I stumbled across it. It means, roughly, "stranger shame," and it's the secondhand embarrassment you feel for someone who may not even realize he's doing anything embarrassing -- the squirmy feeling you get while watching the British "Office" or "Curb Your Enthusiasm."
OK, so that's one level of what's funny here. We've all been Will Fetters at some point, rushing headlong into just putting ourselves out there, only to crash against the shock and horror of rejection. That he got up and dusted himself off and is now a successful, routinely employed screenwriter makes it cathartic, nudging the tragicomedy firmly in the direction of comedy and away from tragedy. And then there's the structure of the thing. Goddamn, it's perfect. It's like a Fabergé egg, just this flawless little artifact. It's a short story, told inadvertently.
There's another thing I love about Will Fetters' Twitter account. Here's what happens in Remember Me: Robert Pattinson and Claire from "Lost" fall in love. They experience the trepidation, the butterflies-in-stomach highs and the stumbles, the pride and exhilaration and joy of budding love. And then, at the height of their story, American Airlines Flight 11 smashes into the North Tower and their love in one devastating instant becomes a memory. Sound familiar? That's the story of Will Fetters' Twitter feed! Remember Me, his big 9/11 tragedy movie, was Will Fetters' own personal 9/11! Worlds within worlds.
Will Fetters, I nominate you as the second candidate for the Most Unintentionally Funny Twitter Account. Sorry about your movie, dude.
For more unintentionally funny Twitter accounts, check out our Twitter Twuesday section.