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Pattinson romance memorable for wrong reason

Article Published: Mar. 18, 2010 | Modified: Sep. 7, 2011
Pattinson romance memorable for wrong reason

"Mmm. You smell like Twilight." Emilie de Ravin and Robert Pattinson in Remember Me.

Then, in its final moments, the film takes a turn as offensive as it is surprising that warps the entire film's meaning. It's as though the film suddenly wanted to be Donnie Darko, convinced that some deep and meaningful twist would bring it all together, but it's really just a complete and total cheat.

It plays off the dark, painful memories of the audience relating to a particular event that is uses as a tool in an attempt to reach a melancholy significance, but really it's just cheap.

It's so cheap of a cheat, in fact, that I'm calling shenanigans on this entire movie.

Shenanigans! There, I said it.

It's a pity, too, because midway through the film I was finally warming up to the characters.
Directed by Allen Coulter (Hollywoodland) from first-time screenwriter Will Fetters, the film revolves around Tyler Hawkins (Robert Pattinson, Twilight), a college student from a wealthy background dealing with the aftermath of a family tragedy. Despite his father's wealth, he lives in a filthy apartment with his best friend, Aidan (Tate Ellington), who is by far the film's most interesting character.

After what can best be called a negative experience with a policeman (Chris Cooper, Adaptation), Aidan realizes that the cop's daughter Ally (Emilie de Ravin, TV's Lost) attends the same college and convinces Tyler to ask her out. This leads to a rather conventional PG-13 romance and the ensuing PG-13 friendly love scenes.

Pattinson is much better here than in the Twilight films, though he still has a tendency to overact and seems to always have the same facial expression (which is oddly similar to Derek Zoolander's "Magnum"). Cooper is unexpectedly melodramatic and over-the-top, a rare poor performance from the talented actor, but I wonder how much of that lies in Fetters' script. One scene in particular is dark and out of place, but I guess Cooper can't be blamed for following the lines on the page.

Ellington, on the other hand, is very funny as Aidan - he's the kind of reliable, friendly guy you want in a roommate. Ravin is also effective as the female lead, as a woman dealing with tragedy of her own but is still able to enjoy the little things.

All around, Remember Me was well-made and interesting - until the big cheat. At this point, I began to feel both anger and disgust with the filmmakers, wondering why they would ruin a good film with such a cheap plot device.

It seemed to work on many audience members, however, as people both in front of and behind me were sobbing. But the plot device in question brings back memories that have haunted, and will continue to haunt, most people for decades to come.

Remember Me is an insult to those memories and trivializes a very somber event. It's the second time in a month the event has been trivialized, in fact, although the filmmakers behind Remember Me do show more tact than those behind the painfully bad Dear John.

Remember Me is rated PG-13 for violence, sexual content, language and smoking. It is currently playing at the Regal Cinema 7 in Boone.

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