Years after college student Tyler Roth's (Robert Pattinson) brother killed himself, Tyler still doesn't know where to put his pain. He's a good guy, but during a night out on the town, he confesses to a misdemeanour he didn't commit and gets in trouble with a heavy-handed cop (Chris Cooper). In a light hearted game of payback, Tyler flirts with the cop's attractive daughter, Ally (Emilie de Ravin), not realising they share unexpected common ground.

1.5
Memorable for all the wrong reasons.

As a pop culture phenomenon and dreamboat de-jour, Robert Pattinson needs to 'seize the day’ and extend his range beyond the limited demands of the smitten 'Team Edward', if he wants to forge a lengthy career in showbusiness. Fame is a cruel mistress and a few bad choices can all-too quickly result in the back-handed compliment of a 'Where are they Now?’ segment.

A big-screen wake up call to 'live in the moment’, Remember Me is unlikely to stand up as career highlight on Pattinson’s resume, but at least as the film’s executive producer, he’ll get a cut of the back-end profits, given the long DVD shelf-life it should enjoy as a staple for teen sleepovers.

As Tyler Hawkins, Pattinson retains the moody, broody facial expressions for which he is best known, but this time around, he gets to quote Gandhi. He’s a rebel with just cause: approaching the age at which his brother committed suicide, Tyler expends most of his energy irritating his bristly, corporate cliché of a father (Pierce Brosnan), to re-engage with the tortured remnants of his children.

Through a ridiculous revenge fantasy conceived by a mouthy frat-boy roommate (Tate Ellington), Tyler meets Ally (Emilie De Ravin), the street-smart daughter of a cop from Queens.

In a meet-cute discussion about their majors, Tyler says he’s 'undecided". 'About what?" Ally enquires. His response? "Everything". It’s far cry from Brando’s immortal 'What’ve you got?", but then, I suppose Pattinson has done his time as an immortal, and this film is all about the living.

In the film’s opening scene, a young Ally witnesses her mother’s 1991 murder. 10 years on, she’s the kind of girl who orders her entree from the dessert menu. The metaphor can speak for itself but Will Fetter’s script goes one better, and has Ally explain that she doesn’t want to risk unexpected catastrophe getting between her and a mango ice cream ('What if I die eating my vindaloo? I’d die without having eaten the one thing I wanted most."). Just in case you mistook her sweet tooth for adult onset diabetes...

The film’s best moments lie in the smaller ones between Pattinson and his stoic little sister (Ruby Jenkins), whose early observations of death and divorce, and the ongoing belief that her father doesn’t like her very much, make her an easy target for pre-teen primadonnas. But these moments are lost amid director Allen Coulter’s heavy handed symbolism and insistence that we keep our eyes on the prize: Live in the moment. Carpe Diem. Get Busy Livin. We get it, already.

And then it ends, and as an entirely different film. No spoilers here, but the big reveal is a doozy when it comes, and it smacks of being at once tacked on, and tacky. If nothing else, Remember Me might reaffirm your opinion that 'life’s too short’, though perhaps not for the reasons its filmmakers would like.

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Details

M
1 hour 52 min
In Cinemas 11 March 2010,
Wed, 07/14/2010 - 11

Genres