been keeping secrets from us. Pattinson, best known for playing Edward Cullen in the Twilight
film series, can in fact act and can carry a film that has nothing to do with vampires or werewolves or high school romances. In the Twilight
series pretty much all we've seen Pattinson do is look all dark, intense, and broody. There hasn't been much actual acting required of him thus far as Edward. But his performance in Remember Me
makes you wonder where this guy's been hiding and why hasn't he shown off his talent - and not just his stylishly tousled bedroom hair - before this.
isn't your typical Hollywood romantic drama. In fact, the film's final act is diametrically opposed to the ending most studio productions would tack on this sort of film. Whether or not you embrace the twist at the end, and I'm still going back and forth with myself over whether it was a smart choice or a stupid move, the first two-thirds of Remember Me
are well acted and smartly written. And even if you disapprove of just where the film goes, the story building up to the final climatic twist is moving and real. Remember Me
is not a disposable romance that's getting attention just because Pattinson's in it. This is a solid film with minor flaws - and a highly controversial ending.
A flashback shows us a woman and her young daughter attacked by muggers while waiting for a New York subway train. The mother moves in front of her child, using her body as a shield to block the child from danger, but she's powerless to shield her daughter from what happens next. She's shot in the head and left for dead on the subway platform with her young daughter the sole witness to the tragedy. Fortunately, the girl's father is a cop and one of the first on the scene, and so she's immediately held and comforted.
Robert Pattinson, Emilie de Ravin, and Pierce Brosnan in 'Remember Me.'© Summit Entertainment
Flash-forward 10 years to 2001 and we meet the rebellious Tyler (Pattinson). He's observing the anniversary of the death of his older brother with his divorced parents and younger sister, and the tension between he and his estranged father (Pierce Brosnan) is palpable. It's apparent the two haven't gotten along in years, and that Tyler is extremely protective of his sister, Caroline (Ruby Jerins
), a sweet young girl with an old soul and a talent for painting. Their father, Charles Hawkins (Pierce Brosnan), pays little or no attention to his daughter, and Tyler doesn't let the fact he doesn't listen to Caroline pass by without calling him out on it. That's the relationship this father has with his surviving children.
Shortly thereafter, Tyler's out blowing off steam one night with his roommate/comic sidekick, Aidan (Tate Ellington), and the two get into a tangle with the police, in particular one officer who gets under Tyler's skin and in his face. Bruised and banged up, Tyler and Aidan are hauled off to jail, only to be reluctantly rescued by Charles and his high-powered lawyers. A few days later Aidan sees the officer (Chris Cooper) dropping his daughter (Emilie de Ravin) off at college, and decides the best way to get even for their hours in jail is for Tyler to hit on her. It's a bad plan and Tyler doesn't want to do it, but Ally's pretty and Tyler knows Aidan won't drop the subject until he gets his way.
Tyler's a one-night stand kind of guy, but he and Ally have a real connection. She's intelligent, quirky, speaks her mind, and yet clearly hasn't fully recovered from her own personal tragedy. That sense of shared loss, although not spoken of much openly, bonds the two. Tyler and Ally fall in love, and Tyler begins to heal a little, though he's still a pretty melancholy character. But the issue of why the pair met in the first place and Tyler's secret part in the 'getting back at the officer who arrested them' plan is an elephant in the room that has to be addressed. And saying anything more about where the story goes from that point on would be doing a major disservice to the film and its potential audience.
Pattinson is much, much better in this touching romantic tale than he was in Twilight
or New Moon
. Of course, it helps that he's given more time to develop his character in Remember Me
than he has been in the Twilight
films. It also helps that he's playing opposite Emilie de Ravin in Remember Me
, and the two have great chemistry. It's a solid performance and one that bodes well for Pattinson's career after Twilight
's over. And de Ravin, best known for playing Claire on Lost
, delivers a refreshingly honest performance as a young woman dealing with love and loss.
Robert Pattinson and Emilie de Ravin in 'Remember Me.'© Summit Entertainment
In supporting roles, Lena Olin as Tyler's mother, Ruby Jerins as his young sister, Tate Ellington as Tyler's roommate and supportive best friend, and Chris Cooper as Ally's over-protective police officer father all are terrific. But the standout of the supporting cast is Pierce Brosnan. In a pivotal scene, Brosnan and Pattinson square off over a conference table lined with Brosnan's associates. It's an intense and unexpectedly powerful scene that shows what both actors are capable of when given meaty material.
The Bottom Line
I'd love to discuss and debate the film's final act, but that would be completely ruining Remember Me
. The final 15 minutes or so will seriously divide audiences, and I have to at least give screenwriter Will Fetters and director Allen Coulter credit for not taking the easy road out. They set up the ending from the very opening scenes, and they follow through to the bitter end, obviously aware of how the ending will split audiences.
Love it or hate where the film ultimately takes you, Remember Me will leave an impression. Even non-Pattinson fans will be moved by this bittersweet movie that packs quite a punch and is all about living life to the fullest.
Remember Me was directed by Allen Coulter and is rated PG-13 for violence, sexual content, language and smoking.
Theatrical Release: March 12, 2010
Disclosure: This review is based on a screening provided by the studio. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy