With the film title the most problematic dilemma at hand, in terms of questionable recollection at all of this movie once exiting the theater, Remember Me is a suds driven dramatic vehicle with a dollop of early 21st century Romeo And Juliet tossed in, not necessarily for good measure. And while Robert Pattinson aka Twilight’s sexy vampire may not be everyone’s cup of bloody brew, his cultivated angry young man persona which this story seems to have been custom built for, and not the other way around, pretty much upstages the lean plot line.
Set in the summer of 2001, Remember Me is helmed by small screen director Allen Coulter (The Sopranos, Sex And The City) and penned by first time screenwriter Will Fetters, and the unfamiliarity with the imperatives of this medium shows. Robert Pattinson is Tyler, a poor little rich kid matriculated at NYU, who doesn’t seem to be involved in much schooling, but has plenty of time to smoke, drink, brawl and party hard, while boasting a smug nihilistic attitude about nearly everything in life.
After being rather unprofessionally butt kicked and arrested one night in a back alley by Officer Craig (Chris Cooper) following an impromptu pub smackdown, Tyler pursues ravishing coincidental coed Ally (Emilie de Ravin) on a dare from the mouth of twisted matriculated geek sidekick Aiden (Tait Ellington), initially as a get-even mating scheme aimed at Craig. But love blossoms anyway, as the dating pair discover what they share in common, including great wall sex and family members who experienced horrible deaths.
But the primary conflict presenting itself, is whether or not their extracurricular romance will elude detection despite determined secrecy, by either a clueless Ally or her dad with serious anger management issues. In addition to strange foibles that take some getting used to by both, including Ally’s eating habits in reverse as she wolfs down desert at the diner as appetizer instead, because life has proven to be so tentative and she fears not living long enough for the main course. Along with Tyler’s justified but out of control rage against a neglectful, brash tycoon parent (Pierce Brosnan). And while also defending his withdrawn kid sister Caroline (Ruby Jerins) from grade school bullying, terrorizing in turn her classroom full of mean girls by tossing their desks around. Which comes off as even scarier than Pattinson’s obsession linked to sucking necks.
And as if to salvage a wilting, less than tightly woven narrative with a dominant episodic sensibility, Coulter takes an emotional detour as he shifts directions, while doing a hasty cut and paste into what seems like an entirely different film. Though in no way is Pattinson to blame, he just feels far too big for this movie.
Summit Home Entertainment
2 [out of 4] stars
DVD Features: Audio Commentary With Cast, Including Robert Pattinson; The Making Of Remember Me; Audio Commentary With Director Allen Coulter.