Tuesday 24 May 2011

Life’s a Bitch (and then you meet the Girl of your Dreams)

12 – 108mins – 2010
Written by: Will Fetters
Directed by: Allen Coulter
Starring: Robert Pattinson, Emilie de Ravin, Chris Cooper, Lena Olin, Pierce Brosnan, Ruby Jerins, Tate Ellington


We are always told never to judge a book by its cover, and yet movie one sheets and DVD covers always try their utmost to be as bold, attractive and alluring as possible to get us to do just that – to persuade us to see the “GREATEST FILM EVER, EVER MADE… EVER!!! *****” based upon a single photoshopped image and some hyperbolic arse-kissing pull-quotes.

Curiously, the marketing and design bods promoting Remember Me systematically failed to do that (check out the wholly bland and unimaginative cover art below). Perhaps they were hoping that the in-vogue appeal of Robert “Edward Cullen” Pattinson and Emilie “Clare from Lost” de Ravin cuddled up looking off into the middle distance would be enough to sell the film?

To a certain extent I suppose they were (sadly) right, as Twi-hards flocked to check out their object of lust in something human and dramatic, but I was under the unfortunate misunderstanding that this film was just a by-the-numbers romantic comedy; a lightweight time-passer between Twilight instalments for Mr. Pattinson.

Boy was I wrong. I'm talking "thinking I’d detest Fast Five but really it was freaking awesome" magnitude wrong (check out my confessio- I mean, review HERE). But then it wasn’t as if this film’s "we've got hot actors" advertising did a great deal to paint a more comprehensive picture...

Remember Me is a film about living in the moment, making the most of life and living up to the memory of those who have gone before us. It is very much a character piece with some very engrossing story arcs delivering some rather astute lessons in life to a group of people who have all had their fair share of tragedy to contend with. On the downside, this does mean that some scenes are quite emotionally charged and some characters are really detestable graduates of the school of life.

The man the web refers to as R-Patz is at his most downbeat and least handsome (sorry, girls) as Tyler Hawkins, a volatile lad in his early twenties whose emotionally brusque father (Brosnan) is too involved with work to notice that his young art prodigy daughter (Jerins) is being bullied at school and their nuclear family is a mess following the suicide of Tyler’s older brother some seven years earlier.

At heart, Tyler is a good guy, but he takes his grief and aggression out on others and he has seen the inside of a holding cell more often than is healthy. Persuaded by his insensible dick of a roommate (Ellington) that the daughter of the cop (Cooper) who last bust open his face would be a great person to fool around with to get revenge, Pattinson starts dating Ally Craig (de Ravin) – a girl who knows a thing or two about tragedy, having witnessed the murder of her mother a decade previous – only for this bet to turn into an actual love affair which deeply affects both parties.

The drama is a little depressing at times, the colour palette a little too washed out and the characters’ choices a little frustrating, but Allan Coulter’s film does enough to keep well clear of twee, generic or predictable. The leftfield “twist” in the final act could be accused of using real life disaster for the purposes of entertainment, but there’s no denying it is a strong emotional blow which enforces the film’s redemptive message and guarantee’s you won’t quickly forget Remember Me.

In a CR@B Shell: Not at all the film I was expecting, but for all the right reasons. Remember Me isn’t a barrel of laughs, but it is an affecting and heartfelt drama which fulfils its purpose by teaching us about the peaks and troughs of the human condition.


  1. The shock ending makes the film, should be four ticks though!

  2. Three ticks isn't a diabolical score though, unless you were hoping for a 5* film and you thought the results were pretty average (like I felt about TRON: Legacy)

    With "Remember Me" I was surprised by how much I liked it - it's certainly no "The Room" or "Voodoo Island"!! lol.

    ~ CR@BHoward

    ~ CR@BHoward