Be Warned, this
review contains huge, major, gigantic spoilers. You will have a line
warning before they unfold, but please be advised, Here Be Spoilers.
the words of one John Joseph Lydon, ďEver get the feeling youíve been
cheated?Ē Well kids, I have. Frequently. Yet rarely have I felt quite
as rooked or as indignant about it as when I sat to watch Remember Me.
Prepare for a kick in the guts covered in hearts and flowers, folks.
The creators of this romantic drama have given the world a strong
lesson in how to polarise and alienate audiences simply looking for a
good date flick.
New York City in the early nineties; an awful act of violence will
change the lives of Ally and her detective father forever. Having lost
her beloved mother in such a terrible way will keep the girl sheltered,
growing up in a bubble under the overprotective eye of her adoring dad.
A decade later, Ally, now a college student, will be the target of a
callous bet made between Tyler and his jokester roommate. Will the
handsome young man whose charms bring women to their knees and to his
bed be able to work his magic on the randomly chosen girl from Queens?
Not so much. Prickly and defensive, Ally gives Tyler the only
challenge heís ever had from a female and heís intrigued. The stupid
wager turns into honest pursuit and against either of their intentions,
the two become smitten. Tyler has his own background of trauma and loss
being the one who discovered the body of his suicidal twenty-two year
old brother a few years prior. The complete opposite of the smothering
paternal closeness Ally experiences, Tylerís family is shattered, his
relationship with his businessman father a particular ordeal for them
both as Tyler rebels against everything his dad stands for, settling
blame on the older man for the pressure that pushed his brother to kill
himself and his subsequent slapdash treatment of Tylerís little sister.
The coming together of these two wounded young people will affect and
change all their lives.
Pattinson executive produced Remember Me and for the most part I can see
why. Itís the best showcase for his acting skills heís yet had. He
puts his broody intensity to work at the louche wastrel who goes to New
York University but isnít actually enrolled there; spending his days
picking up easy chicks and making it even harder to find what you want
in the Stand Bookstore. Tyler is a simmering ball of pain and heartache
and often Pattinson recalls James Dean in his marble-mouthed,
heavy-lidded seething that boils to a frothy rage, yet he does deliver
the humour in the script awfully well. It is lovely to see Pattinson,
who I noted as totally over the Twilight movies with his awful
performance in New Moon (Click here for that review) so
completely engaged as he is in Remember Me. A lot of the credit for
that performance must go to his amazing fellow actors in this cast,
notably Emilie de Ravin as the sparky, tough Ally. Sweet, but
no-nonsense, her Queens native forces Tyler to face his life and all its
unpleasant issues if the two are ever going to have a future together.
De Ravin and Pattinson play off each other with all the chemistry that
eludes the Twilight films. (Funnily enough, a good portion of this
filmís built-in audience of Twi-hards wonít even be able to see this
movie for the fairly steamy sex scene and violence toward Pattinsonís
face that brings Remember Me up to a PG-13 rating.) De Ravin has a
real charm and luminosity onscreen and Iím looking forward to seeing her
in more. Chris Cooper gives yet another amazing portrayal as Allyís
haunted father whoís terrified at the thought of losing his little girl,
literally or figuratively, and Pierce Brosnan convincingly works
Brooklyn tough in a tailored suit as Tylerís dad and his main target of
ire. Remember Me also does a fine job of representing its New York
locales with shots inside Don Hillís bar, around the NYU campus, on the
Brooklyn Heights Promenade and inside the aforementioned Strand. I
totally bought Remember Me as an effective young love story and was sold
on its wonderful performances. Too bad all these positives are for
naught as what happens in the last few minutes of this lovely romance
completely undoes all that came before it.
start now. Run for the hills if you donít want to know.}
misunderstand me; Remember Me didnít have to have a happy ending. Had
the filmmakers chosen to dispatch Tyler by having him get hit by a car
while walking across the street or perhaps, as had Allyís mother, died
in a mugging gone too far, I mightnít have liked it and it would have
been yet another an instance of ĎWhat else do these people have to go
through?í, but it wouldnít have been an insult.
contentious meeting with director Allen Coulter, he vigorously defended
the conclusion of the film, because in his opinion he had made it
perfectly clear early on with the allusion to the years involved. He
also pointed out the very title as a huge clue that one of our two
lovebirds would perish. Yes, it is true that a brief caption at the
base of the screen lets us know our first scene takes place in 1991, and
when time almost catches up, the caption tells us itís ten years later.
No other reference is made to the timeframe until itís literally
written in huge letters on a schoolroom blackboard moments before our
hero is turned to ash (- Which we see falling on Allyís head in slow
motion.). As for the filmís title giving us a heads-up, the fact
that everyone involved - Tyler, Ally and all their families - were
living every day with the memories of their lost loved ones; that title
could have easily applied to Tylerís brother or Allyís mom. Either way,
I am not convinced that anyone who walks into this film is going in with
enough information that the ending wonít come as an extremely nasty
shock. We are spoon fed this love story that throughout its ups and
downs blooms into a nucleus of healing around which both families are
able to move forward with their lives after going through so much loss
and pain, then in the last ten minutes, it becomes a 9/11 film.
last moments suck all the air out of the film so terribly that nothing
else can stand. All the good works that have come before in the
previous ninety minutes are obliterated; all the wonderful acting and
intelligent, heartfelt representation of two wounded souls finding each
other Ė gone. This wasnít some deep, thought-provoking climactic
moment; this was a sucker punch, alluded to or not. I didnít sit in the
audience to watch United 93 or Oliver Stoneís World Trade Center. While
so much of the film is more satisfying than tripe like Dear John or
Valentineís Day; ultimately this is one of those, a romance, a chick
flick, a date movie. In this case, one thatís going to gives
unsuspecting viewers nervous breakdowns. Itís a weeper for all the
wrong reasons and I didnít appreciate the manipulation.
film will play different across the country, but I can only express my
thoughts as one person born and raised on Manhattan Island. The use of
that day, that moment, to add a bit more sturm und drang to your little
romance film is abhorrent. Believe me when I say that you would be
hard-pressed to find New Yorkers as unsentimental about that catastrophe
as yours truly, but even I am vehement in my feeling that that day is
not meant to be used as a gimmick or a plot device and certainly not for
an event as immaterial as this.
Lady Miz Diva
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