On the surface and in the trailers Remember Me plays like a typical romance involving a privileged bad boy and a poor girl with an overprotected father. If you think that you’ll end up missing out on a rich drama about families in turmoil that just happens to have a romance thrown in for effect. Remember Me ends up being far better than expected and movie that will have you thinking “Thank goodness I didn’t listen skip this one!”
After the death of his brother Tyler Hawkins’ (Robert Pattinson) family has fallen apart leaving him lonely with only his little sister (Ruby Jerins) as the one soul who understands him. When an altercation with a police officer (Chris Cooper) sends Tyler to prison his friend decides it would be funny for the boy to date the cop’s daughter Allie (Emilie de Ravin) as revenge. With the two young lovers slowly falling deeper in love they find something in the other that leads them to better understand their shattered families.
Remember Me is an engaging family drama that delves into the lives of two very different families attempting to cope with loss, something not touched on in the trailers. It is this plot that propels Remember Me from typical romantic schlock into a rich, complex film that keeps you riveted on the lives of these people, you care about them by the end. The film opens with the disturbing murder of young Allie’s mother and that’s all one needs to see this film isn’t a saccharine teen romance. Director Allen Coulter delves into the different ways people cope with grief and loss from Tyler’s writing to his deceased brother to his father, played by Pierce Brosnan’s, complete distance from his children to prevent from losing them. The title comes to play throughout the film and combined with the ending makes resonates with the audience after the film is over. It’s great to have a unique idea in Hollywood, as this is based on an original script, and the family dynamics are in-depth and complex. Pushing almost two hours Remember Me never feels boring and the most engaging moments come when all the families are together and attempting to sort out their problems without melodrama. The strongest aspect is that while the premise can be a bit sad but never melodramatic or ridiculous. Audiences may not enjoy the rather disturbing ending but it is highly foreshadowed throughout the film starting with a beginning date and a flash-forward amount listed, so it’s not too surprising, but it again plays with Hollywood conventions and is bold enough to make audiences question the title and how families are so easily torn asunder only to have tragedy hit them.
The majority of people checking out Remember Me will be going to see if Twilight heartthrob Robert Pattinson can play something else beside a vampire, and while I abhor Twilight, I thought Pattinson showed fantastic talent and strength. The character of Tyler may be brooding and dark, mirroring Pattinson’s past role, but it is merely a cover to mask his grief. The strongest scenes Pattinson has is with young Ruby Jerins as his sister Caroline. The two have fantastic chemistry and their scenes are filled with love and hope. Jerins herself overshadows most of the cast at times having her own subplot about bullies that will tug on your heartstrings. Jerins never plays the character like a little adult but merely a girl her own age and does it with aplomb. Lost actress Emilie de Ravin is also fantastic in a role that could have been very typical. She’s an independent young woman trying to move on from loss and de Ravin imbues the character with such charm and zest that you want good things to happen to her.
Remember Me does leave a few loose ends that may make people scratch their head. There is a scene on a bus with Tyler and Allie and a man staring that is possibly meant to be one of the men who killed Allie’s mother. It lasts only a few seconds and is never mentioned but that would have been great to expand on instead of making it a throwaway shot that makes you say “Is that guy important?” The foreshadowing of the event at the end does get a bit excessive, especially towards the actual ending but with the amount of people who are shocked by the end, it’s necessary to prepare you. Brosnan and Cooper are solid as the angry dads in both families but Brosnan’s accent is thirty different shades of I don’t know what and becomes incredibly annoying. Cooper just comes off as violent until the end and the audience is expected to forgive him.
No one was more surprised at how good Remember Me is than me. What could have been a sickeningly sweet film with that guy from Twilight turns into an engaging and bittersweet drama that you will want to see just to immerse yourself in the world that’s created. The acting is fantastic from the three young actors and the story is bold enough to make choices that audiences won’t see coming but will understand in the grand scheme of things.