'Forget Me Not'

Two lonely people in the night -- and the next morning, and afternoon -- find one another in the Brit romance "Forget Me Not."

Two lonely people in the night — and the next morning, and afternoon — find one another in the Brit romance “Forget Me Not.” First directorial feature for Alexander Holt and Lance Roehrig, who’ve made shorts with scenarist Mark Underwood, is a pleasant if slender affair reminiscent of “Before Sunrise,” with a little “Once” tossed in. Opening at the Culver Plaza Theaters on March 4 in Los Angeles, it has a shot at attracting a small slice of those sleepers’ arthouse date-night audiences.

After playing at a bar — the song we hear is a naked plea for companionship — Will (Tobias Menzies) walks across the street to his flat and comes very close to slitting his wrists in the bath. Putting that off for the moment, he gets a call from bartender Eve (Genevieve O’Reilly), who says he left his guitar behind. Soon afterward he finds himself intervening when she’s threatened by a hostile drunk. That crisis averted, they wind up walking across London, attending a latenight party, sharing personal stories and gradually caving to mutual attraction. But Will keeps withdrawing at odd moments, until he finally reveals the source of his despair.

Some early comic moments are shrilly overstated, and the songs both sung and soundtracked (most written by scenarist Mark Underwood) are on the blandly earnest side. Nor is it especially convincing that somber, moody Will and perky, slightly colorless Eve belong together, beyond it making sense in movie terms.

Still, “Forget Me Not” moves gracefully toward a conclusion that will trigger tears from some viewers, though others may find it a bit too heavy a tragic load for the film to bear. Gemma Jones has one good, long scene as Eve’s grandmother, confused and distressed by what appears to be the onset of Alzheimer’s.

Packaging is pro, with good use of less-familiar London locations, though DVD reviewed had aspect-ratio distortion.

Forget Me Not

U.K.

Production

A Cinema Epoch (in U.S.) release of a Quicksilver Films presentation of a Quicksilver Films production. (International sales: Kaleidoscope Film Distribution, London.) Produced by Rebecca Long. Co-producer, Steve Spence. Directed by Alexander Holt, Lance Roehrig. Screenplay, Mark Underwood, from a story by Rebecca Long, Steve Spence, Underwood.

Crew

Camera (color, HD), Shane Daly; editor, Kant Pan; music, Michael J. McEvoy; art director, Anastasia Portas; costume designer, Matt Price; sound, Simon Gilman; assistant director, Mark Hedges; casting, Cara Beckinsale. Reviewed on DVD, San Francisco, March 3, 2011. Running time: 92 MIN.

With

Tobias Menzies, Genevieve O'Reilly, Gemma Jones.

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