Friday, March 12, 2010

I'll Stare Intensely At You - Remember Me - Movie Review

Remember Me = C+
Written by Will Fetter, Directed by Allen Coulter
Opens Mar. 12th 2010

Alright folks. Either you've swooned for Robert Pattinson in Twilight or you've rolled your eyes at the thought (if you didn't gouged them already). I actually sit in the middle of it all. Since he's Cedric from Harry Potter, I have a soft spot, and I didn't mind all the swooning and intense glaring in Twilight, but seriously, the boy could have washed his hair once in a while.

SPOILERS BELOW. Yes, considering the movie looks like it's solely a romantic drama between Robert Pattinson and Emilie de Ravin (herself a cult figure as Claire in Lost), who knew there would be spoilers?

Yes, most of the movie moves from one contrived shocking moment to another contrived shocking revelation so that we understand the intensity RPatz's Tyler Hawkins must feel as a poor-little-rich-boy who falls for Emilie de Ravin's Ally after an initial bet by his plot propeller/roommate Aiden (yes, it's one of those stories, topped only by the fact that Ally is the daughter of the cop (Oscar winner Chris Cooper slumming it here) who arrested Tyler after he tried to be a good samaritan, oh yes, he's that too). The script is generous in its earnestness, and while there are some moments, sometimes first time screenwriter Will Fetters tries way too hard to get to those moments and some more finessing of the script would have helped.

RPatz gets to brood and mope and look intensely with his sanpaku eyes (like in Twilight but without fangs but still just as pale) and the camera essentially makes love to him as he makes love to Emilie de Ravin, and it's all swoonworthy and good if that weren't just it. RPatz and Emilie make do with what their given, which is already more than what Kate Burton (Grey's Anatomy), Gregory Jbara (Billy Elliot the Musical), or Lena Olin (Alias) have to work with as the adults that care for RPatz's Tyler, but the two lovebirds attempt to hold the movie in all it's young love glory as best they can as it slowly moves from one swaying moment to the next.

Ruby Jerins (above, Nurse Jackie) is adorable as Tyler's younger sister, a device to perfectly show Tyler's loving side, and a plot point that hinges on their father's coldness, played with a jarring accent by Pierce Brosnan.

And then as the love story comes to it's minor dramatic conflict and minor dramatic conclusion, just as we get to the happily ever after portion...


in what had been hinted throughout the film (and if you had been doing your calculations right), the film turns into World Trade Centre September 11th movie as tragedy hits our beloved Tyler.

At this point you either run out screaming while rolling your eyes as you try to gouge them, or you're wiping them with Kleenex. Strangely enough, considering the schmaltzy manipulative creaky script that preceded up until this point, I completely bought into it all and sort of resounded myself to RPatz and Emilie de Ravin's forever love. Director Allen Coulter has by this point smoothed the entire movie into one big glossy memorial to the "real" New York (with big kudos for getting the look and feel of life as young 20's in 2001 correct as a bygone era) that the entire lovey dovey swoony set up was a prelude to the REAL moment of the film.

It's a flawed script made into a sometimes tedious film (all the swooning gets a little slow and tiresome by the 2nd hour) that has a lot of likable qualities, including strong leads (despite wavering accents), strong if sometimes underused secondary cast, but its earnestness is so matter-of-fact that you can't even make fun of it. THEN the 9/11 twist comes in and you realize you either really can't make fun of this film, or you find it's the biggest sham around.

I liked what Time Out New York's Keith Uhlich said "I can’t say any more beyond telling you that I came out of the screening with an ear-to-ear grin I don’t usually get from even great movies. Bless you, R.Patz & Co., because this gloriously steaming pile is officially in the bad-movies-we-love pantheon".

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