Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Remember me review

My review of Remember Me appears in Fast Forward Weekly in Calgary.

Remember Me memorably awful

Romance aims for deep meaning, falls far short of the mark

In the indulgent and banal romantic drama Remember Me, Robert Pattinson (Twilight's pretty, pale and brooding vampire heartthrob) proves he's not looking to stretch much beyond his comfort zone. He trades fangs for bleached teeth as Tyler, a young New Yorker with a pulse (barely), who's also pretty, pale and brooding, but for good reason. He's still grieving his brother's suicide, which has essentially turned him into one of those sensitive, tortured douches who quotes Gandhi, writes poetry, creates "funny" and complex filing methods at his bookstore job and audits university classes for no good reason. Well, one good reason: He meets Ally (Emilie de Ravin), a girl with her own demons from witnessing her mother's murder on a subway platform 10 years earlier.

Tyler's grief has manifested itself in numerous clichéd ways: chain-smoking, sleeping late and an inability to abide authority. He's indignantly angry with his workaholic father (a miscast Pierce Brosnan) for not being more loving towards his sister, Caroline (the film's sole bright spot, played by Ruby Jenirs), a 12-year-old wise-child being bullied at school. His short fuse leads to a scuffle with a hardened cop (Chris Cooper), who also happens to be Ally's dad. Tyler allows himself to be coerced into trying to hook up with her as revenge, but ends up falling for her instead.

The script, from first-time writer Will Fetters, is annoying and clunky, repeatedly congratulating itself on its own perceived cleverness. But be assured, it's never clever, not once, to anyone over the age of 12. The dialogue thinks it’s layered with subtext and philosophical grandeur, but is ultimately laughable. Sample exchange: Ally: "I don't date sociology majors." Tyler: "Lucky for you I'm undecided." Ally: "'Bout what?" Tyler: (pause and meaningful stare) "Everything."

The dialogue, though, isn't even the worst part. Nor is having to listen to Pattinson (English), de Ravin (Australian) and Brosnan (Irish) rock-climb the slippery surfaces of their American accents. It's the slow-motion wreck that happens within the last 30 minutes of the film as you realize for sure, without a shadow of a doubt, where this is all heading. The climax aims for deep meaning and subtle contemplation, but settles for grossly obvious and emotionally ineffective, appealing only to Twihards and young girls who cut themselves. Remember Me proves impossible to forget, but for all the wrong reasons.


Anonymous said...

I swear there are two movies out right now called Remember Me. Either that or we're all living in parallel universes where in Universe 1, jaded, cynical critics who are fast becoming irelevant aren't in touch with what the public likes in movies. And in Universe 2, contemplative critics willing to look deeper than the de-caf latte on their hemp desk find meaning and poignancy in this little film you just trashed.

I'm thoroughly aware that not all movies are for all people but you merely have to look at the feedback from GENERAL public screenings (and yeah, that's right, I said general, not Twihardcentric) and you'd see that this movie is actually getting overwhelmingly positive feedback. I'm offended that you think this film is for 12-year-old morons who like sparkly vampires when A) that was never the target market and B)that script has so many layers and themes running through it that you obviously couldn't detect, that it ended up on the Hollywood Blacklist in 2008 as one of the best unproduced scripts out there that year.

I feel sad for critics who are so closed off or biased to begin with that they can't see that something they may not appreciate or even understand, may still contain many redeeming qualities that the public will appreciate, understand and consequently talk about all over the Internet.

Thankfully there are also still REAL critics out there that can criticize but remain fair and so as always, the reason bloggers like yourself remain bloggers is because there are still critics in the world like Ebert and even Todd Mccarthy who know how to talk film criticism without offending the public who may not feel the same as they do.

Maybe you should take note of that and think about it for a bit...let it percolate before you pick up your poison pen and unleash it on the next victim you don't understand.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous"Twinkleimdb" just go back to your "robsessed" life. Just because your life is being lived vicariously through this movie does not mean that everyone else also has to LOVE this movie and LOVE Robert Pattinson. I also find it humorous that you are arguing for a movie that, I believe, you have yet to see. Reading a script and seeing the adaptation on screen are two completely different things.

Anonymous said...

Hence why it's rated pg-13, and why they are premiering an Eclipse in the beginning of the movie. That should have told you everything right there.

emmi said...

To the second Anonymous:
The first comment basicaly reacted to the way of the review was made. You can identify a review by the way it's written. If a review is cynical and written in a way that the reviewer thinks"I'm so smart, all those other simple people should listen to me cause I can write a very clever review ..."you can feel the reviewer Is a person that has a big stick shoved in a certain place...
I dunno why it's like that. I didn't see the movie, I read the script and I found things I didn't liked in it, I give the script a 7/10, maybe the movie is better maybe not.
I just feel that some reviewers think that the "Twilight" power or as they like to call it - the "Twihards" will have some effect on the BO results, So they prefer to backlash the movie.
I can backlash any movie . It's really easy.

Anonymous said...

You might be interested in what this article from Newsweek has to say about the film:

Anonymous said...

God, that dialogue sounds dreadful! Sounds like a winner.
I love when people mistake blatant emotional manipulation for complexity. (ie 1st Anonymous)

I went and read about the is all I can say.