Title: Remember Me
Cast: Robert Pattinson, Emilie de Ravin, Pierce Brosnan, Chris Cooper, Lena Olin, Ruby Jerins, Martha Plimpton
Director: Allen Coulter
Release Date: April 2nd, 2010
Plot: Remember Me explores what happens when two 20-somethings, struggling to cope with family tragedies, cross paths and fall in love. The film also takes a look at the affects a death can have on the whole family.
Review: I read the script to this film about two years ago when it was leaked onto the internet and was absolutely blown away by the story. I knew that if they could find the cast, director and locations to pull this off, this was going to be something special.
I didn’t mind the idea of Robert Pattinson playing the leading role, Tyler, until I saw New Moon. I thought his acting in that and Twilight was hideously poor and felt a tremendous sense of ‘Oh no’ come over me, knowing that he had been cast in this really good story.
Needless to say, if anyone had ever had the same doubts as me about Pattinson’s acting, they need to watch this. He blows just about every critic out of the water with this performance.
Tyler Hawkins (Pattinson) is struggling to cope with the death of his older brother, Michael. Michael had been his hero; the one he looked up to and always wanted to be around. Since Michael’s death, Tyler’s family has fallen apart. His parents are now divorced and he finds himself locked in a constant battle with his father (Brosnan) who doesn’t want to show any love or dedication to his children anymore.
When Ally Craig (de Ravin) was 11, she watched her mother get murdered. Since then, Ally has made it her goal to try and live life to the fullest and seize every opportunity, while her father (Cooper) has resorted to using any means he can to protect his daughter and keep her safely with him.
It is not until these two individuals cross paths and begin to fall in love that changes begin to occur inside them and with their families.
Sounds pretty predictable, eh? This isn’t your typical ‘overcoming tragedy through love and coming out the end a better person’ film. Believe me.
When I say the characters change, I don’t mean that they ‘learn how to become better people’, etc. in the typical Hollywood way. The love they begin to feel for each other starts to affect the lives they’ve made for each other and how they interact with their families. It’s a lot darker than it may appear and has a slight edge to it that’s not what you might expect.
I have to spotlight Pattinson and Brosnan, in particular. The scenes between these two, as a father and son at war, are particularly poignant. The characters are essentially going through the same grief in very different ways, and that’s where the problems occur. When Pattinson and Brosnan share a scene, it’s hard to look away. They are the emotional backbone to the story and deliver excellent (and, at times, heartbreaking) performances. They bounce off one another with such intensity that it puts the film in a new league.
Emilie de Ravin’s performance is also good but underplayed. I do feel as though her character and the relationship with her overprotective father (Cooper) could have been explored more. She mentions that she witnessed her mother’s murder but, while it’s clear that this is the reason for her ‘impulsive’ attitude to life (which comes off as cute and gimmicky more than anything else), doesn’t go into any real detail. Chris Cooper’s pain at widowerhood is clear as he delivers another stellar performance (Seriously, bad acting is an unknown concept to this man). It’s just unfortunate that the scenes between Cooper and de Ravin seemed a little bit forced.
Ruby Jerins as Tyler’s younger sister, Caroline, is also wonderful. Her onscreen chemistry with Pattinson is spot on for the characters’ relationship and the whirlwind of emotions she feels towards her father’s rejection is very moving and performed with a maturity and understanding some actresses twice her age fail to show.
Tate Ellington plays Tyler’s best friend, Aidan, also brilliantly. I had to give him a mention as, if it wasn’t for him, this film would have been way too heavy. He provides the much needed laughs and breaks all the built up tension from the previous scenes.
Kudos to director Allen Coulter for managing to shoot so much of this in New York City. We all saw how much the Twi-hards flooded the set every day hoping to get a piece of Pattinson. I don’t know how he did it but he pulled it off to a tee. Every shot of New York is beautiful to the extent that the city itself becomes an important character, and you really do believe that this is home to these people (a remarkable feat given that the main actors are English, Australian and Irish).
While Remember Me is very character-driven, it has a strong story to back it up (something I thought the likes of Revolutionary Road lacked). In spite of Tyler or Allie’s flaws, we really care about these characters. We care about their families and we want to see good things come their way.
I’ve avoided mentioning it up until this point but the ending is absolutely incredible. The whole tone of the film takes a much darker turn and . . . I’m stopping right there. I’m going to keep this as spoiler free as possible. Just trust me. Writer Will Fetters clearly wanted to avoid a Hollywood ending … and he succeeded! All I can say is, if you feel as though the film starts kind of slow, stick with it. It’ll be well worth it.