MRR Movie Review: Remember Me


Movie Review: "Remember Me"

-- Rating: PG-13
Length: 113 minutes
Release Date: March 12, 2010
Directed by: Allen Coulter
Genre: Romance/Drama

"Remember Me" is a 2010 romantic drama directed by Allen Coulter and written by Will Fetters. It stars Emilie de Ravin in the lead role, and other stars in the film include Pierce Brosnan, Robert Pattinson, Chris Cooper, and Lena Olin. Pattinson is also the executive producer of "Remember Me." The first scene in the film is set in 1991 and features an 11-year-old Ally Craig (Caitlyn Rund), who witnesses her mother's murder on a subway platform in Brooklyn. The film then flashes forward 10 years to show a 21-year-old Ally (Emilie De Ravin) attending New York University. Ally is living at home with her father Neil (Chris Cooper), a New York City detective. Roommates Tyler Hawkins (Robert Pattinson) and Aiden Hall (Tate Ellington) are then introduced to viewers. Tyler works in a bookstore and audits classes at NYU, but otherwise has little direction in life. He had his brother Michael's name tattooed on his chest after Michael committed suicide. Tyler has a tense relationship with his father Charles (Pierce Brosnan) but is very close to his younger sister Caroline (Ruby Jerins). Aiden is arrested by Neil during a violent street brawl and decides to get revenge by having Tyler sleep with Ally. Tyler begins dating Ally at Aiden's urging and bonds with Ally over the loss of their loved ones. Ally eventually spends the night with Tyler, who gets into a fight with her father when she returns home the next day. Neil hits Ally, who then moves in with Aidan and Tyler. Meanwhile, Caroline's paintings are being exhibited at an art show. Charles is unable to attend, prompting another argument between father and son. An angry Neil breaks into Ally, Tyler, and Aiden's apartment and confronts the couple about their relationship. Tyler confesses his original reason for wanting to date Ally, who becomes angry with him and returns to live with her father. Adrian later explains to Ally that the deception is his fault and that Tyler truly loves Ally, after which Ally decides to forgive Tyler. Robert Pattinson is best-known as Edward Cullen in the "Twilight" Saga, but he is also moving into film production. Pattinson fans may be surprised to find that "Remember Me" is even gloomier than the "Twilight" films. "Remember Me" is an intimate character study of fundamentally unhappy people searching for a way out of their unfulfilling lives. Director Allen Coulter makes a sharp departure from his previous film "Hollywoodland," a fast-moving, brightly-lit biography about Superman actor George Reeves. Cinematographer Jonathan Freeman also worked with Coulter on "Hollywoodland." Coulter and Freeman use dim lighting to reduce color and contour in most of the scenes in "Remember Me." This technique makes the scenes of urban New York especially gritty and provides an intentionally suffocating effect. The opening scene of the brutal murder of Ally's mother illustrates the dramatically rearranged lives of the characters in the film. Tyler and Caroline are also greatly affected by their brother's suicide. Although the characters are deeply wounded by traumatic events in their lives, there are lighter moments of laughter when Ally and Tyler flirt and begin to fall in love. Pattinson's character in "Remember Me" is physically very similar to his character in "Twilight." His hair has the same liberal amount of hair gel and the British actor still uses an American accent that is less than convincing. Pattinson is clearly fighting against typecasting with his role in "Remember Me," which is quite different from the character of Edward Cullen that he played in all five films of the "Twilight Saga." The extensive dialogue in Will Fetter's script is generally very dark, but it does show some humor. Ellington's character gets most of these lines, allowing him to show his character's quirky side. Pattinson and de Ravin also get some funny lines during the early stage of their courtship, when they are making quips to each other. Brosnan and Cooper are both convincing as domineering characters with intense violent streaks. Tate Ellington also does well as Tyler's cheerful but amoral roommate, who persuades Tyler to woo Ally, sleep with her, and then dump her. "Remember Me" has a painful climax that that will completely surprise most of the audience. It seems to come out of nowhere, although the film does contain a significant clue to its ending in the opening scene. However, even viewers who are expecting this ending will find it difficult to remain unmoved by it.

Rating 4 of 5

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