Title: Remember Me
Directed By: Allen Coulter
Starring: Robert Pattinson, Emilie de Ravin, Pierce Brosnan, Chris Cooper, Lena Olin, Ruby Jerins, Tate Ellington
We can’t expect every movie to be good, but there’s nothing worse than walking out of a theater downright angry. Overall, Remember Me is rather boring, but manages to squeeze in a few powerful moments making it worthwhile. But when a real life tragedy is used as a last ditch effort to evoke emotion, Remember Me transforms into something you’ll be eager to forget.
Edward Cullen, er – Robert Pattinson leads as Tyler, an NYU student who’s undecided – about everything. He adores his young sister, Caroline (Ruby Jerins), but struggles with his father’s (Pierce Brosnan) negligence. Compounding the issue is a recent family tragedy filling Tyler with resentment and rage. During one of his outbursts, a noble effort goes wrong and Tyler assaults a cop (Chris Cooper) earning him and his best pal, Aidan (Tate Ellington), a night in prison. When Aidan sees this cop dropping his daughter (Emilie de Ravin) off at an NYU building, he sees it as an opportunity to seek some revenge. He dares Tyler to approach her and when he does, a harmless gag becomes a budding relationship.
Ally manages to console Tyler to a degree, but harbors troubles of her own. When she was just a young girl, Ally witnessed the fatal shooting of her mother. Ever since, it’s been she and her father living together in their humble abode in Queens. An alcohol induced mishap, prevents Ally from phoning home to inform daddy she’ll be spending the night out. When she returns the next morning he lashes out to excess and she flees into Tyler’s arms. Being bed buddies pushes their relationship into overdrive, growing ever so close to one another and attempting to guide each other through their dysfunctional lives.
You know when you’re in a daze and someone shouts your name? It’s like a bolt of electricity zips through you’re body returning you to consciousness. That’s the effect Pattinson has on this movie. Yes, I’m a girl and yes, I find Pattinson quite good looking and clearly that has an effect on this film. Remember Me moves at a snail’s pace nearly lulling you to sleep at times, but then Pattinson gives you a leer with a twinkle in his eye restoring your senses. His natural appeal isn’t his only ability; to Twilight haters surprise, Pattinson is a fairly good actor as well. It’s just too bad the story is a major snoozer.
The dialogue is natural, but predictable creating a desperation to get the show on the road. When Tyler approaches Ally for the first time, it’s far too obvious his advances will be rejected and ultimately reversed setting the stage for the first date. Further tarnishing the moment is the fact that Aidan’s whole get-back-at-the-mean-cop plan is unfounded. In fact, it’s completely unnecessary. The concept is used as a contrivance to justify dad eventually needing to settle the score with Tyler for his daughter’s sake. Whether or not this ploy existed, the altercation has the same impact.
However, Remember Me does have its moments. The chemistry between Pattinson and de Ravin is uncanny, but the connection that’s far more memorable is that between Tyler and Caroline. Not only are the scenes shared between Pattinson and Jerins the most effective instances, they lend Pattinson’s character a very necessary softness. His passion for his sister’s happiness transpires to his lack of ardor towards his father. Brosnan does stern and heartless quite well enhancing Pattinson’s more emotional outbursts. The two share a particularly compelling moment after Brosnan’s character backs out of Caroline’s art show.
However, anything Remember Me accomplishes is lost thanks to an insultingly inappropriate ending. The film carries on at a leisurely pace, delivering minimal sentiment and then hits you with a grandiose and invalidated finale. This error could be overlooked had it not been based on a true event. Yes, the film takes place in the year this tragedy occurred and, if attempting to reflect the year accurately, this incident’s inclusion is necessary. But why set it in that time period to begin with? All this event’s insertion accomplishes is ruining the movie’s few achievements and leaving viewers in disgust. This is a true story that had a serious impact on people throughout the world, not a device to garner some last minute emotion.
By Perri Nemiroff