Remember Me Reviews
This is a one-star film that gets a bonus star for a clever, unexpected ending, which, although good, lasts about three minutes too long.
I think the most infuriating thing about this film is the construction of the Ally character. She seems to bend to Tyler's every whim, carried away by a charm only she can see but remains a mystery to the audience. Her every action is so convenient that it gives the film, their courtship, their plot/genre-required argument and reconciliation a ham-handed contrived feel. Even her damage is so closely related to his that their destined meeting and her all-too-quick, all-too-willing assent to his lame pick-up line and even lamer request for a first kiss is worthy of nothing more than an eye-roll.
Robert Pattinson might have washed his hair for this role, which is an improvement from his Twilight work. Outside of the ever-so-adorable scenes with his sister, I can't be convinced that he's anything more than Edward Sullen - I mean Cullen. I want to say to him, "Bob - do you mind if I call you Bob? Actually I don't care. Bob: do a musical. No, not Nine. Do Oklahoma or Cabaret - something that requires smiling. Even fucking Hugh Jackman did Oklahoma. You must understand that I would never pay to see any of that shit, but at least it would prove you had some range."
Overall, the good ending is no reason to count down the minutes until this piece of shit is over.
had an ending i didnt see coming !!!
This is a major problem. Screenwriters are taught this basic rule in school never to introduce an entirely new concept in the third act, when the conflict needs to be resolved and equilibrium re-established. Remember Me's script breaks this rule by using a tragic event to enforce its message, that life must be lived to its fullest. Why? Because we don't know when we will be robbed of it. Fuck off filmmakers. A movie should never have to pull the rug on its audience like this to make sure they understand its universal message. Instead, this closing scene undermines everything that comes before it.
I read an article about a woman having lunch with her husband in an outdoor coffee shop. Somehow, a piece of the above building broke off, and fell on top of her, crushing her to death. This it tragic. This is horrible. But if a movie would be made of this couple's life, say, they met, fell in love, went through hardships, reconciled, and found solace in each other. Then in the last scene, this were to happen to the woman, how would you the audience feel?
Maybe I wouldn't hate the movie so much if every character wasn't a pure cliche lifted from other romances and family dramas, or if every dramatic scene wasn't so painfully contrived in ways only a screenplay could do. But with this new tacked on ending - whether or not it was intended from the beginning is irrelevant, because it comes across as very tacked on - the film can have more social and historical relevance than all the other formulaic teen romances that came out this year.
A romantic drama centered on two new lovers: Tyler, whose parents have split in the wake of his brother's suicide, and Ally, who lives each day to the fullest since witnessing her mother's murder.
Two young people with tragic pasts meet and fall in love in New York City. Tyler (Robert Pattinson) is the moody slacker son of a corporate fat cat (Pierce Brosnan) and Ally (Emilie de Raven) is the spunky daughter of a cop (Chris Cooper). Tyler dates Ally on a dare but finds they have a real connection and their mutual trust begins to heal past losses.
The first half of this romantic drama is about the two young lovers getting to know each other. They're both grumpy and sarcastic and their conversations are made up mostly of monosyllabic grunts and mumbles accompanied by much slouching and shoulder-shrugging. These scenes move a bit slowly, but in the second half, we see a much wider range of emotions and Cooper and Brosnan bring maturity and outstanding, nuanced performances. Pattinson is surprisingly good, in spite of his trademark unkempt appearance. Brosnan has outgrown his dashing leading-man days and graduated to wonderful, serious character actor status. Cooper gives a poignant performance and almost steals the movie.
The characters are multi-dimensional and the acting is fantastic. This movie was not just feel-good fluff. It was not a platform to showcase Pierce Brosnan and Robert Pattinson as eye candy. It was thought-provoking and intense. The characters were brooding, wounded, lovable and believable. The movie's twist was unique and effective.
I was a bit shocking to find out at the final scene that made me feel so sad for losing one of the family's life.
Tyler Hawkins (Robert Pattinson) is a troubled 21-year-old college student in New York City. He?s mostly estranged from his rich, distant father (Pierce Brosnan). Tyler?s older brother hanged himself five years earlier, and that personal tragedy still lingers. Tyler quotes poetry, writes letters to his dead brother, and has his share of run-ins with the police. Sergeant Neil Craig (Chris Cooper) busts Tyler and his friend (Tate Ellington, mostly annoying) one night after the duo tries to clear up a brawl. Then the boys discover that the sergeant?s daughter, Ally (Lost?s Emilie de Ravin) also attends their college. They devise a sketchy means of getting even: Tyler will date Ally. A subway mugger killed her mother when she was 9 years old, so the two bond over family misfortune. He asks her out for dinner and she appears cautious, but it isn?t long before love is in the air. Dad doesn?t approve but that won?t stop Ally from spending time with her special someone. Suddenly Tyler is vulnerable and coming out of his shell. It looks like things might work out though you don?t really comprehend why, then things take a sudden turn and very much do not work out. More details on that plot development later.
Remember Me does not work for many reasons, but as designed, it was never going to work. Allow me to go into greater analysis, which will naturally unleash a horde of spoilers concerning the film?s conclusion.
This movie will not work; in fact it refuses to work from a conceptual standpoint. The story seems retrofitted to lead directly to the ending. Screenwriter Will Fetters seems to have followed the M. Night Shyamalan approach to screenwriting and come up with a twist ending and worked backwards. You see dear reader, the film climaxes on a day burned into the memories of everyone who lived through it ? September 11, 2001. The movie plays coy with its timeline the whole time, never drawing too much attention to its exact setting. Tyler even goes to see American Pie 2 to lift his spirits, and who besides people who are crazy about film release dates would know that was released back in August 2001? There?s also a jump forward of ?ten years? from the murder of Ally?s mother in 1991, but that?s the last time the movie ever reminds you about time. Instead, it makes sure that all the pieces will be in place so that Tyler will be standing on the 90th floor of the World Trade Center, looking off into the horizon for the last day. Fetters? story uses a national trauma as a dramatic tragedy for his doomed lovers. But here?s the thing: anything else would have worked the same. Did Tyler really have to die in the 9/11 attacks? Could he not have had an accident, gotten mugged, hit by a car, or any number of other missteps that would have the same effect? The emphasis isn?t on the relationship of 9/11 to the characters; 9/11 just serves as the event to wipe out one half of our relationship. But any other event would have resulted in the same effect without coming across as so icky and exploitative. The movie does not work because it?s designed as a ?gotcha? ending but the only ?gotcha? is that 9/11 is shamefully used to spin this illusion that Remember Me is meaningful and transcendent.
The other half of this argument could go as such: Fetters was trying to tell but one tale of the many that lost their lives on 9/11, illuminating the fantastic human toll and how each number was a person with a family and friends that will forever miss them. That would have been sufficient. Hollywood and the cinema have a history of taking national tragedies and showcasing individuals who were lost. I even declared United 93, the docu-drama painstakingly detailing the final moments aboard that downed airline, the best film of 2006, and four years later I still stand by that declaration. Artists can take collective pain and showcase triumph and substance, allowing us a cathartic means for therapy and working through trauma. I believe with every fiber of my being that art has the power to heal and elucidate.
However, Remember Me is not that kind of art. If Fetters had a strong desire to showcase one of the lives lost that horrific day, that?s a noble effort. But the drama of Remember Me is stagnant and suffused with stereotypes and one-note characters bumbling around, uncertain what exactly they should be doing. It almost seems like everyone is simply waiting for the Big Event at the end, and that in itself is disquieting. The character dynamics of this movie couldn?t get more cliché. This sloppy, overcooked weepie has the Bad Boy and you know he?s troubled because he has stubble and smokes. Pattinson also spends 80 percent of his screen time looking forlorn. I?m sorry, but looking off screen and being forlorn are not replacements for good character development. He?s lost a brother and he?s mad at his distant, workaholic father, but you might as well describe him as Boy. That?s pretty much his extent in this film. His love interest could equally be named simply Girl. The two have a shared history of family tragedy, but then what? Do we learn anything about Ally as a person, about what draws her to Tyler (besides that haircut, of course), or how her life is made more whole thanks to the brooding bad boy? No. It would be generous to even refer to these characters as archetypes. They are characters in name only. Fetters has cobbled an equation that simply boils down to Boy + troubled past + Girl + troubled past = perfect future. Even worse, their whirlwind courtship feels like it exists in some movie world where gazes and hugs substitute for the excitement of romance, of feeling out the interested party and becoming overwhelmed with the sheer possibility of a relationship. This is only a love story from a the standpoint of that equation. You never believe for a second that anybody matters because they only feel like puppets meant to go through the motions until the film reaches its anvil of a climax. Then, you see, we?re supposed to feel because there is death, except I didn?t see any convincing signs of life beforehand.
The rest of the story is awash with bizarre and mostly lame elements meant to heighten the ensemble drama. For whatever reason, Tyler?s friend coaxes him into initially dating Ally as a contrived means of sticking it to her father. This tiny yet stupid hurdle will of course be revisited when the film?s second act break comes calling. But why does this past run-in even matter? Romantic comedies have all sorts of plots where the couple begins their time together through some duplicitous guise, and of course the truth drops just as guy and girl are starting to really like one another. But in Remember Me it isn?t a bet or something nefarious that brings boy and girl together. If anything, the run-in with dad could be seen as an introduction. The ?get revenge? idea isn?t something that?s ever revisited by Tyler or his friend, nor do they at any point provide further detail. It remains a vague notion from beginning to end.
Then there?s Tyler?s own family drama. The strangest plot addition is when Tyler?s younger sister attends a birthday party. It is at this birthday party that a cohort of mean girls gives Caroline Hawkins an unflattering makeover. This bad haircut is then played for ridiculous dramatic overkill. Everyone around the kid is speaking in hushed tones, trembling, recollecting as a family unit, and pretty much acting like Caroline had been molested when, at worst, she got her hair cut by some mean girls. Tyler even escorts his kid sis to school and almost decks one of the little girls responsible, instead choosing to huff and puff in her face like a raging bull. I guess when you?re Pattinson and a good third of your acting comes from your haircut, you take follicle care very seriously.
Remember Me is so anxious to be poetic. It?s not. It?s pedantic and faux intellectual. It wants to be a moving romance. It?s not. It?s two pretty but bland characters that just seem to play around furniture and eventually do it. They?re as interesting as bland pretty people usually are in these things. It wants to be a significant drama that manages to say something big. It?s not. It?s a slapdash effort revolving entirely around the eventual reveal of a ?gotcha? ending that does nothing to justify all the strained spinning. At best, the ending is in poor taste and a cheap trick to gin up sympathy and give the impression of substance. At worst, it?s ugly exploitation that reduces a national tragedy into a last-ditch effort to cover the empathetic deficiencies of a lackluster drama. Flogging national suffering to make an audience feel for your bland characters after an empty 100 minutes? That?s offensive. Remember Me isn?t worth any outrage. It?s a pretty but mostly empty venture designed around a twist. It is anything but worth remembering, even in disgust.
Nate's Grade: D+