×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Remember Me

Fate sticks its foot out to trip all the characters in all the worst ways in "Remember Me."

With:
Tyler Hawkins - Robert Pattinson Ally Craig - Emilie de Ravin Sgt. Neil Craig - Chris Cooper Diane Hirsch - Lena Olin Aidan Hall - Tate Ellington Caroline Hawkins - Ruby Jerins Charles Hawkins - Pierce Brosnan Janine - Kate Burton Les Hirsch - Gregory Jbara

Fate sticks its foot out to trip all the characters in all the worst ways in “Remember Me,” a grave romantic drama with grandiose thematic intentions. Framed in a portentous manner with a calamitous ending that will only come as a surprise to those who haven’t been paying attention, the modestly scaled film delivers some moving and affecting moments amid a preponderance of scenes of frequently annoying people behaving badly. It is precisely the young female fans of star Robert Pattinson who will react most wrenchingly to this doomed romance, which should enjoy a short but sweet B.O. life.

Pattinson is in heavy James Dean mode here as a reckless, unwashed, chain-smoking, intensely confused pretty boy named Tyler who, as Dean did in “East of Eden” and “Rebel Without a Cause,” has major father issues. Turning his back, at least for the moment, on his family’s wealth — dad Charles (Pierce Brosnan) is a mighty Wall Street lawyer, while classy mom Diane (Lena Olin) has remarried and is raising precocious 11-year-old artist Caroline (Ruby Jerins) — Tyler rooms with crude low-life Aidan (Tate Ellington) while occasionally attending NYU classes between drinking bouts.

On a dare, Tyler hits on hot little classmate Ally (Emilie de Ravin), a working-class Queens lass who’s the only daughter of a cop (Chris Cooper) who recently threw Tyler in jail after a drunken brawl outside a nightclub. As revealed in the mortifying opening scene, Ally, as a little girl, witnessed her mother’s murder on an elevated subway platform; she and Tyler are thus able to morbidly bond over lost loved ones, since his own older brother committed suicide on his 22nd birthday — and Tyler’s 22nd is just around the corner.

As if this weren’t enough ominous emotional baggage for one movie, there’s plenty more, from the pain little Caroline feels from being ignored by her absent father to the story’s overarching historical setting; suffice it to say that the action, as announced at the outset, is set in 2001.

Debuting screenwriter Will Fetters structures the drama so that Tyler’s and Ally’s love affair, mostly conducted in the former’s squalid apartment, might seem like an escape from, and potential purgative of, the jagged emotions that plague them both. Unfortunately, the romance never feels intense or deep enough to fully serve this purpose; director Allen Coulter would have achieved a significantly greater connection had he been able to sweep the viewer up in the heady feeling of two wounded people falling hopelessly in love for the first time and trying, but failing, to prevent the other forces in their lives from gnawing away at their fleeting happiness.

This atmosphere of temporary escape never translates into desired privileged moments, partly because the lovers must share their nest with Aidan, one of the most gratingly obnoxious roommates ever invented. Whenever he turns up, you just want him to get lost, and matters aren’t helped by Ellington, who adamantly delivers most of his inane remarks at the top of his voice, as if that’s the only way he can get anyone to listen to him. It’s painful.

Then there’s the matter of Pattinson’s opaqueness. No one could deny that the actor is very watchable, but he’s also either incapable of or coy about letting anyone get inside what he’s feeling. One needs to palpably feel Tyler’s turmoil, which at times, particularly when his father disappoints Caroline most callously, nearly eats him alive. Tyler and Ally once or twice become physically rambunctious but never get carried away, resulting in less-than-fulsome viewer investment in their relationship.

Best known for her six seasons on “Lost,” de Ravin registers well with an agreeably assertive screen presence. Beautiful in some shots and almost ordinary-looking in others, the diminutive Aussie thesp has a chameleonlike presence that calls to mind a cross between Julie Christie and Samantha Morton. Cooper nails the fear and frustration of a limited man who’s already lost one significant woman in his life and senses he’s about to lose another. Brosnan concisely registers the frosty and seemingly unthawable outer layer of a downtown titan.

Even if you know, or think you know, what’s coming at the end, the emotional undertow is hard to resist and is of a piece with the picture’s articulated philosophical position about doing all one can during one’s brief moment on earth. Gotham locations are evocatively but unostentatiously used, Marcelo Zarvos’ fine score stirs added emotional turbulence, and tech contributions are more than solid.

Remember Me

Production: A Summit Entertainment release of an Underground Films production. Produced by Nicholas Osborne, Trevor Engelson. Executive producers, Carol Cuddy, Robert Pattinson. Directed by Allen Coulter. Screenplay, Will Fetters.

Crew: Camera (Deluxe color), Jonathan Freeman; editor, Andrew Mondshein; music, Marcelo Zarvos; music supervisor, Alexandra Patsavas; production designer, Scott P. Murphy; art director, Katya DeBear; set decorator, Diane Lederman; costume designer, Susan Lyall; sound (DTS/Dolby Digital), Ken Ishii; supervising sound editor, Dave Paterson; re-recording mixers, Reilly Steele, Paterson; visual effects supervisor, Aaron Weintraub; digital visual effects, Mr. X; associate producer, Michael Lannan; assistant director, Joseph Reidy; casting, Joanna Colbert, Richard Mento. Reviewed at Aidikoff screening room, Beverly Hills, March 4, 2010. MPAA Rating: PG-13. Running time: 113 MIN.

With: Tyler Hawkins - Robert Pattinson Ally Craig - Emilie de Ravin Sgt. Neil Craig - Chris Cooper Diane Hirsch - Lena Olin Aidan Hall - Tate Ellington Caroline Hawkins - Ruby Jerins Charles Hawkins - Pierce Brosnan Janine - Kate Burton Les Hirsch - Gregory Jbara

More Film

  • Soul Pixar

    Disney Unveils Pixar Movie 'Soul' With 2020 Summer Release Date

    Disney has unveiled “Soul” as an upcoming original Pixar film, which will debut on June 19, 2020. “Soul” will be the second original Pixar film next year after “Onward,” which opens on March 6. The studio announced Wednesday that it had dated the film. While plot details are scarce, Pixar did release the tagline for [...]

  • Riverdale Alladin Avengers Endgame

    'Avengers: Endgame,' 'Riverdale,' 'Aladdin' Top 2019 Teen Choice Award Nominations

    The nominations for the 2019 Teen Choice Awards have been revealed, and voting has opened for the top movies, TV shows and music that has dominated the last year. “Avengers: Endgame” and “Aladdin” are the top contenders in the movie category with nine and five nods, respectively. In TV, “Riverdale,” “The Flash” and “Shadowhunters” each [...]

  • 'Toy Story 4' Box Office: Pixar

    Box Office: 'Toy Story 4' Building to $140 Million-Plus Debut

    After a lackluster few weeks at movie theaters, it’s Woody and Buzz Lightyear to the rescue. The dynamic duo is returning to multiplexes for Disney and Pixar’s “Toy Story 4.” The fourth installment in the CGI series is expected to earn north of $140 million when it opens in 4,500 theaters across North America. If [...]

  • Yu Dong, Andrew Lau, Han Han,

    Shanghai Party: Red Carpet Rolled out at Bona Film Group 20th Anniversary Event

    No deal announcements. No talk of the Chinese film industry’s ongoing winter of discontent. Instead the parade of talent on stage Wednesday night at Shanghai’s Wanda Reign hotel put their troubles aside for a moment and celebrated the 20th anniversary of producer-distributor-exhibition company Bona Film Group. At regular intervals, Bona’s founder and chairman Yu Dong [...]

  • Critics Groups Form Coalition For Diversity

    Film and TV Critics Announce Coalition to Increase Diversity in Entertainment Journalism (EXCLUSIVE)

    A coalition of film and television critics associations are teaming up help foster greater diversity in entertainment journalism. The new Critics Groups for Equality in Media (CGEM) is comprised of the African American Film Critics Association (AAFCA), the Features Forum of the Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA), GALECA: The Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics, the [...]

  • Leonardo DiCaprio Martin Scorsese

    Paramount Buys Martin Scorsese-Leonardo DiCaprio's Crime Thriller 'Killers of the Flower Moon'

    Paramount will finance and distribute the Martin Scorsese-Leonardo DiCaprio murder mystery movie, “Killers of the Flower Moon.” Paramount chief Jim Gianopolous announced the deal Wednesday at the studio’s CineEurope presentation in Barcelona. Scorsese will direct and DiCaprio is attached to star in the adaptation of David Grann’s non-fiction book. Eric Roth is writing the screenplay. [...]

  • Franco Zeffirelli Remembered

    Franco Zeffirelli: An Artist and a Paradox

    When popular artists pass on, it can often be a surprise to learn just how old they were. But the news of Franco Zeffirelli’s death, at 96, inspired a major double take. The extravagant Italian maestro of theater, opera and film lived to a vibrant old age. Yet for many of us, the name Zeffirelli [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content