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With Robert Pattinson quickly gaining stardom with the Twilight Saga and having a massive teenage girl following, he and Summit Entertainment have decided to show he can be more than just a heartthrob. In Remember Me, which arrived on DVD and Blu-ray Tuesday, Pattinson tries to extend his acting range in this romantic drama on which he was also an executive producer.
Pattinson plays Tyler Hawkins, a young man suffering from grief after his brother’s suicide. He has become aimless and he is distant to his father Charles (Pierce Brosnan), a successful stockbroker, but very close to his younger sister Caroline (Ruby Jernis). Tyler has become aimless in life, simply working at a bookstore despite his obvious intelligence. His character is very much like Holden Caulfield from Catcher in the Rye.
Ally Craig (Emilie de Ravin) also suffers from a personal tragedy having seen her mother killed when she was 11. She is a student at New York University and lives with her overprotective father Neil (Chris Cooper), a senior police detective in the NYPD. After Tyler was arrested by Neil, his friend Aidan (the very annoying Tate Ellington) suggests Tyler date Ally, make her fall in love with him so he can break her heart for revenge. Tyler agrees to this but guess what, the two develop feelings for each other and their summer romance begins. But it is only a matter of time when the secret is found out and their family lives interfere.
Remember Me basically copies some elements from other films like Love Story where the main two characters hate eachother and then fall in love and that the man is from a wealthy family while the woman is a smart person from a working class community. The premise of the is also very similar to frat boy comedy, but it’s tone obviously does not match that.
Remember Me is a very predictable film which offers nothing new to audiences, seems to aim for mediocrity and is completely unremarkable. The pacing is slow, making the film seem longer than its two-hour running time. There are some sub-plots that lead nowhere and we are stuck with pretentious and dull characters. It was trying to force interest in the characters with the themes of grief. There are also stock characters who add nothing to the film and are just annoying to watch, like Aidan who was only in the film to add poor comic relief.
The most interested storyline involves Caroline who is made out to be a cross between Lisa Simpson and Abigail Breslin and was bullied because of her intelligence and artistic nature. That would have been a more interesting film, even if she does say some things that are unrealistic even for a very intelligent 11-year-old.
Allan Coulter was a successful television director and had won some praise with Hollywoodland, but he had weak material to work with in Will Fetters’ boring script. Coulter did not bring any flair into the film and his direction is no different than a TV movie or a high-end soap.
The actors do a decent job, De Ravin being the best of the cast. She was the most convincing in her role. Pattinson tries to show that he has some range as an actor and he does his best, but there are sadly times when his abilities slip.
Brosnan was miscast as a Brooklyn-born stockbroker who came from working-class roots: the filmmakers cast the one British (yes I know he was born in Ireland) actor who cannot do an American accent. Cooper was pretty much a poor man’s Christopher Walken, with a performance similar to what that great actor can do. He too is trying his best, but he was working with a clichéd character.
A final point is that the film was set in New York in 2001: there is only one reason to set a film in that year and that city, which was tasteless. The film could easily have been set in 2009, 2010 or 2011.
Directed by Allan Coulter
Written by Will Fetters
Starring: Robert Pattinson, Emilie de Ravin, Pierce Brosnan, Ruby Jernis