Saturday, 3 April 2010

Review: Remember Me

Year: 2010
Director: Allen Coulter
Screenplay: Will Fetter
Starring: Robert Patterson, Emilie de Ravin, Chris Cooper, Pierce Brosnan

Synopsis is here

It didn't take me more than a few minutes to guess the ending of Remember me. When the film's Gorgonzola cheese ending took place I had my head in my hands. I was slightly frustrated with what had took place. The reason? It almost undid all the good this movie has within it.

OK. Now don't laugh. As a straight, 26 year old man, who had so many issues with twilight I would need a therapist to get through them, I find this a hard thing to say...I really dug this movie. Now if I didn't write a film review blog and co-host a podcast I probably wouldn't go near a movie like this. Hell my girlfriend wouldn't touch it (she thinks Robert Patterson is ugly). However as a film reviewer with a podcast in tow, you do find yourself watching stuff you'd scoff at in real life.

The film has a tried and tested formula, the ending is not only predictable but cheesy and don't expect any visual mastery or epic storytelling. However, as a romantic drama, a date movie and a showcase for Robert Patterson...the film WORKS. Instead of being bored out of my mind, I found myself quite involved with the characters and the drama of the movie. This is a movie about guarded people who despite their losses, are given the chance to open up due to the connections they make, no matter how insignificant. It's not spectacular, it's not a high art, but it is thoroughly entertaining for what it is.

The reason for this is director Allen Coulter manages to coax convincing drama from the films actors and Will Fetter's mostly good natured script. It follows the right beats and hits the right mark. Coulter's time as a TV director clearly allows the people within film to breathe. The characters aren't special, but their well rounded and likable. We're not watching award winning stuff, but it is very manageable and goes down a hell of a lot smoother than I imagined.

A small amount of praise must go out to the two young leads who take something that should be quite tired passable. Robert Patterson with his wannabe James Dean brood and restraint quieter moments shows that when the material is stronger than "stand and look pretty" he is a capable actor. His most "showy" moment does show he weaknesses but his smile and all round charm minimize the damage. Emilie de Ravin's Ally is not only cute but a nice fit for Patterson's moody Tyler and levitates the role above the one note love interest display that it could have been. The chemistry works from the off and keeps the movie on it's path.

Seasoned pros Chris Cooper and Pierce Brosnan are slumming it a bit but still bring in the gravitas needed for their roles to be interesting. It was quite amusing to see Brosnan lose it in an office, as was Cooper going medieval on R-Patz ass. But I think that may be Twilight residue still inside me.

Unfortunately Remember Me suffers from having an obvious ending, badly executed, with an event that many critics have considered offensive. I'd love to say it's trying to deal with something that many would still find difficult...but alas it falls flatter than the pancakes that everyone is so interested in eating in the film.

But in all honesty, from a moral standpoint, I've seen far worse in the twilight films than anything that appears here. Before going in I was embarrassed to tell my girlfriend on the phone what i was going in to see. At the end of the film I phone her again and told her to watch it. The charm of the R-Patz eh?