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Remember Me unforgettable for all the wrong reasons
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Remember Me unforgettable for all the wrong reasons

by Sara Michelle Fetters - SGN Contributing Writer

Remember Me
Opening March 12


There is a moment in the new melodrama Remember Me starring Twilight heartthrob Robert Pattinson where the oxygen drains completely out of the theater in a way I can say I have never seen before. It is the penultimate scene of the film; the scene where everything comes to a head and one that is I guess designed to reduce its audience into a frantic flurry of cascading tears.

Except this doesn't happen. Instead, everyone looks to their left and to their right, muttering to their friends and asking one another if what they think is about to happen really is going to take place. When it does, you can then hear them all gasp - not in emotional overload, but in un-amused befuddlement. All the heart and soul the audience invested in these characters because of the strength of the writing and the performances is - and excuse me for saying this - reduced to rubble. The only thing left behind is the sound of a strong movie falling to pieces right before your very eyes.

I'm finding this all exceedingly difficult to talk about, mainly because I don't want to deliver a spoiler and reveal the climax of the film - though every fiber of my being really, truly wants to. The screenplay - the first produced by writer Will Fetters (no relation, for those few wondering) - introduces a twist that adds nothing to the proceedings and, worse, infuriated me to such an extent I'm almost beside myself with rage. Not because I don't think the subject matter should be broached in a feature film - a 2006 Paul Greengrass flick was in my top 10 of the past decade - but more because it's so out of left field it feels like a device meant to pander to people's collective memories (and miseries) in hopes of producing emotional devastation.

I don't know what else there is to say. I should probably talk about the plot, but because of the way the script pulls the rug out from underneath its narrative, I kind of wonder what the point of that would be. I should also probably speak to the acting, mainly because Pattinson shows some serious thespian chops that his signature role of Twilight's Edward Cullen doesn't allow for, but again I'm feeling so freakishly let down that I don't particularly care that Emilie de Ravin is fantastic or that Tate Ellington steals every scene he's in.

None of it matters; not a stunning opening scene of breathtaking tragedy that director Allen Coulter (Hollywoodland) stages brilliantly, not a performance from Chris Cooper that's worthy of a second Oscar, and not some beautifully nuanced work from Pierce Brosnan that caught me by surprise. The simple truth is that this is a movie that took everything away from me and left me grasping for straws as to what it all meant - and why I should even care in the first place. It wrecks itself, as if the filmmakers were doing it on purpose, ruining what could have been a wonderful early-millennia star-crossed romance and transforming it instead into a total waste of time and talent the likes of which I've never experienced.

I will say one thing for Remember Me: they certainly got the title right. No matter how hard I try, no matter how long I work to do it, no matter what else I see this year, this is one movie I can honestly say I will never, ever forget.

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