My review of Remember Me appears in Fast Forward Weekly in Calgary.
Remember Me memorably awfulRomance aims for deep meaning, falls far short of the mark
Published March 11, 2010 by Andrea Warner in Film Reviews
Twilight’s Robert Pattinson is a different kind of brooding in the banal romantic drama, Remember Me.
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.