‘Remember Me’ movie review: bold Robert Pattinson drama

Remember Me lives and dies by its ending, a bold and provocative move by director Allen Coulter and screenwriter Will Fetters. It’s not really right for the movie, nor is it pulled off successfully – most viewers, I assume, will reject it on principle – but it’s such a left-field WTF that I have to tip my cap to the filmmakers. 

Mild spoiler note: I need to talk about the ending down below – it so engulfs the proceedings that the rest of the film becomes irrelevant – but will carefully dance around it to avoid spoilers. Beware other reviews, which reveal far too much far too casually: Kirk Honeycutt spoiled the ending for me in his opening graph for the Hollywood Reporter, an ending I wouldn’t have otherwise seen coming. 

The rest of Remember Me: it’s routine stuff, filled with romance clichés and plot devices. No points for Fetters’ script – outside the last few pages – but director Coulter (a veteran TV pro who previously made the underrated Hollywoodland) has put it together surprisingly well. 

Outside of a saggy midsection, devoid of much plot movement, where things really start to drag. He’s aided by a strong cast, particularly the supporting players, who, we think, are better than this type of material calls for. They include Chris Cooper as a police detective whose wife was murdered 10 years ago in front of his daughter’s eyes. 

And Pierce Brosnan as a high-powered businessman who devotes his life to his company over his family; his eldest son killed himself a few years ago. Both actors are excellent, but Remember Me focuses on their offspring, played by hot young flavors of the month: Emilie de Ravin (Lost) is Ally Craig, the good-girl daughter of overprotective Sgt. Neil Craig (Cooper), and Robert Pattinson (Twilight‘s Edward Cullen) is Tyler Hawkins, brooding son of the Brosnan character. 

Tell me if you’ve heard this one before: they meet through a series of coincidences, he keeps something from her, they fall in love, she finds out, they separate, only to get back together by the end. It’s what, the same plot we’ve seen in every Hollywood Romance for the past 30 years, and frankly, I’m sick of it; in Remember Me, it’s particularly distracting, because we can see the plot just sitting there spinning its wheels: none of it makes sense, nothing that happens progresses logically. It’s all shoehorned into the formula. 

Too bad, because there’s a lot of good here, including Pattinson and de Ravin, who are much better than I give them credit for (particularly de Ravin). Their romance is effective and believable when not intruded upon by the plot. And then there’s that ending; I still don’t know what to make of it. 

I do know this: it doesn’t work in terms of the rest of the movie, but if the rest of the movie is conventional and (sometimes) boring do we really want it to work in those terms? 

The ending injects an external force upon the characters so powerful that it overshadows everything that has previously taken place; I’m not sure how I feel about it, or how the filmmakers want me to feel about it, but I’m glad there’s a gut-punch of originality here. If only other genre films would take note.


Jason Pirodsky

Jason Pirodsky

Jason Pirodsky has been writing about the Prague film scene and reviewing films in print and online media since 2005. A member of the Online Film Critics Society, you can also catch his musings on life in Prague at expats.cz and tips on mindfulness sourced from ancient principles at MaArtial.com.

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