Chris Cooper, Pierce Brosnan, Lena Olin, Tate Ellington, Ruby Jerins
- Rated PG-13
- Buy the DVD
All photos © Summit Entertainment
Reviewed by David Medsker
emember Me” feels like it was written by a sullen teenager, an endless parade of melodrama blind with rage and completely irrational. You know a movie has gone off the rails when it asks its audience to root for a grown man as he physically intimidates an 11-year-old girl.
Tyler (Robert Pattinson) is a college-aged rebel without a clue, still mourning his brother’s suicide years earlier and hell-bent on making his ball-busting lawyer of a father (Pierce Brosnan) suffer along with him for the lack of emotional support he provides Tyler’s little sister Caroline (Ruby Jerins). Tyler runs afoul of a cop (Chris Cooper) outside of a night club, and when his roommate Aidan (Tate Ellington) discovers that the cop’s daughter Ally (Emilie de Ravin) goes to their school, Aidan dares Tyler to seduce her as a grudge fuck to her old man. Tyler accepts, succeeds, and falls in love. It isn’t long before Ally is living with the boys when her home life gets rough (literally), and Tyler learns that he’s not the only one suffering: Ally watched her mother get shot to death on a subway platform when she was 11.
This is quite possibly the flimsiest setup ever. A cop rightly throws an idiot kid in the slammer for assault, idiot kid exacts revenge by screwing his daughter…and this is all supposed to be both funny and romantic. It’s “The Taming of the Shrew” crossed with “Tin Men,” as told by someone who didn’t get the point of either story. It feels like the whole thing was written in reverse; it knows where it wants to end (more on that later), but isn’t sure how to get there, and ultimately makes concession after concession in order to get the characters where they need to be. The end result is that this “awesome” ending comes roughly 90 minutes after even the most dedicated member of Team Edward has stopped caring. You’d be hard pressed to come up with a movie that labors quite like this one does.
Pattinson has told anyone willing to listen that he wants to be a Serious Actor, and that’s fine except for one small problem: he hasn’t given us any reason to take him seriously, and his work here is no exception. He’s all elbows, stuttering, and petulance – the big fight in his father’s office, during a meeting, is painfully bad – and that’s before you factor in the character defects the script saddles him with. Even the good actors like Chris Cooper come out of this one dirty, and Pierce Brosnan is just not the guy you hire to play a tyrannical patriarch. The women fare a little better, but for the worst reason: the story doesn’t really value them much.
Lastly, there is the movie’s ending. I’m not keen on playing the role of the spoiler, but this one is sort of begging for it, because it uses one of the worst events in US history as an M. Night Shyamalan-style twist. There are a million different ways they could have achieved the same result, without exploiting a still-sensitive subject. But that’s “Remember Me” in a nutshell; illogical, boneheaded, and completely lacking in self-awareness.
Single-Disc DVD Review:
It’s not very often that a movie features more than one audio commentary on the DVD, but to see it happen on a movie like “Remember Me” is a joke. While director Allen Coulter’s track is ripe with details about making the film, the second track (featuring producer Nicholas Osborne and stars Robert Pattinson, Emilie de Ravin and Ruby Jerins) is a giant waste of time. There’s also a short making-of featurette that touches briefly on some of the film’s themes, but it’s namely just a place for the cast and crew to congratulate one another on a job well done. Apparently, the joke is on them, because the only thing you’ll remember about “Remember Me” is that it’s not very good.