Movie Review: Remember Me (2010)

Most anyone who knows me knows that I am a reluctant Twilight fan-girl.  Though the books aren’t great, and the movies are arguably worse, I’ve fallen for lead actor, Robert Pattinson, like any self-respecting twelve year old would (never mind the fact that I turned 23 a few weeks ago).

Naturally, when it was revealed that Pattinson would venture out of the world of Twilight to star in another movie, I was excited and thrilled to see the film, Remember Me.  However, due to the fact that all of my friends refused to buy tickets to see the movie with me (something about being embarrassed to see a movie with the Vampire guy in it), I had to wait for it to come to my local Redbox.

I’ll just cut to the chase by saying it was truly only worth a $1.

Okay, perhaps I’m being a bit harsh.  Writer, Will Fretters, created the story which focuses on Tate Hawkins (Pattinson), a 21-year-old student at NYU.  Tate is at all times angsty, moody and directionless; he’s brooding and dark and kind of like Edward Cullen, except less wooden and he doesn’t glitter in the daylight.

One evening, Tate and his roommate, Aiden (Tate Ellington), get involved in a street fight, and after mouthing off, Tate finds himself being accosted by one of the detectives (Chris Cooper).   Soon thereafter, Aiden sees the detective at NYU, dropping off his beautiful daughter, Ally (Emilie de Ravin).  Aiden cooks up a scheme in which Tate can get back at the cop by dating his daughter, sleeping with her and then dumping her.  Tate reluctantly goes along with the scheme, and of course, trouble eventually ensues.

The film also stars Pierce Brosnan, who plays Tate’s inattentive businessman father, Charles.   Besides the main plot of Tate and Ally’s eventual romance, there’s also a few side stories which focus on Tate’s damaged relationship with his father, his protective relationship with his younger sister, Caroline (Ruby Jerins), his mourning over the death of his brother, Michael (whom kills himself prior to the film’s start), and Ally’s relationship with her overprotective dad.

For the most part, I found the plot to be incredibly vapid and trite.  I feel as though I’ve not only seen this same story a million times, but on top of that, I’ve seen it done better.  Within minutes of watching the film, you know exactly what’s going to happen.  Of course, Tate and Ally really do fall in love.  Of course, her father finds out that Tate is the same kid he beat up.  And- you guessed it- after falling in love, Ally finds out that Tate lied to her and was just using her.  And then, as the obvious plot would go, Tate begs her forgiveness and explains that he really did fall in love with her.  Ah, who didn’t see that coming?

Then, however, the plot takes a surprising twist, which is probably the worst part of the film.  The ending was spoiled for me before ever seeing the movie as I browsed reviews, and I’m sorry to say that I plan on spoiling the ending for you too (so stop reading here, if you don’t want what happens), just because I find it simply ridiculous, and it’s basically the reason the film receives its two stars in my review.

Anyway, after Ally and Tate make up, things seem to be going better in Tate’s life.  He seems to finally be coming to terms with his brother’s suicide, he and his father are getting along better, and his father finally takes interest in his little sister (which is a main conflict throughout the film).  One day, Charles asks Tate to meet him at his office, and so Tate heads over and waits for his father at work, while Charles takes Caroline to school.  At school, we learn that the day is September 11, 2001.  Meanwhile, we get a shot of Tyler staring out the window of his dad’s offices, and the camera pans away to reveal that Charles actually works in one of the World Trade Center buildings.  No actual footage is shown, but within a few minutes we are told that Tyler dies in the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Honestly, I found this to be the worst part of the film- even worse than the clichéd plot.  The “surprise” twist was not only unnecessary, but also had nothing to do with the rest of the film, and amazingly just devalued the rest of the plot.  I mean, there was all this character development, and the film leads you to care about the characters and then Tyler is unnecessarily and quickly killed off in the end.  What was the purpose of it?

Worse yet, it just made the film even more depressing than it already was.  The movie begins with Ally’s mother being shot point-blank at a subway when Ally is 11, we’re repeatedly hit over the head about Michael’s suicide and how sad that is, and then Tyler dies at the end too?  Why?

I see where writer, Will Fetters, and director (Allen Coulter) were trying to go with the ending- it was supposed to be poetic, bittersweet, moving.  However, it really came off feeling rushed, cheap, and downright depressing.  It’s almost as if Fetters and Coulter didn’t know where to end the movie, so they just tacked on Tyler’s death at the end to bring it to a close.  The ending honestly made me feel as though the whole movie had been a waste of my time- I wanted my two hours and one dollar back.

Really, the only good thing I can say about Remember Me is that the acting was pretty stellar.  While I am a fan of Pattinson (admittedly more so for his good looks than anything else), I’ll admit his acting in the Twilight films is stilted, at best.  However, he really showed that he can act in this movie, and gave a surprisingly great performance.  He brought the character of Tyler to life, and though it can be argued that the role wasn’t too much of a stretch, Pattinson still showed a certain charisma and charm that we have yet to see from him in the Twilight roles.

Meanwhile, de Ravin turned in a pleasant performance as the tough around the edges yet irresistibly sweet Ally.  Pattinson and de Ravin had great chemistry together in the romantic scenes, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see Pattinson be offered a load of romantic comedy leads after this film.

Likewise, Brosnan, Cooper and 11-year-old Jerins, delivered equally solid performances.  Jerins really stole the show for me; though the youngest in the cast, she showed incredible depth and emotion in her character and was a delight to watch.

It’s actually such a shame that a cast so strong got wasted on a film so bad.  I think this could’ve been Pattinson’s chance to break out of the Twilight role; however, the horrible plot might have ruined things for him.  I feel as though the film could’ve been written by someone else, or even ended a different way and been significantly better, but alas, this is what we’re stuck with.

I suppose if you’re a fan of Pattinson, the film would be worth watching for his performance and the additional two hours of eye-candy; otherwise, just stay away.

Rating: 2_stars.svg


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