Projections - Movie Reviews
With Jim Sabatini


Remember Me

Remember Me
Starring:
Robert Pattinson, Emilie de Ravin, Pierce Brosnan and Chris Cooper


Rated: PG-13 violence, sexual content, language and smoking
Reviewed by: Jim  
Release date: March 12, 2010 Released by: Summit Entertainment

This fey New York-based tale has a few things going for it, notably the screen presence of Robert Pattinson, who for many on the distaff side is like a New Age reincarnation of James Dean.

Remember Me lets viewers see characters act unaccordingly and still has the ability to touch with all of its emotional baggage as it stars Pattinson (Twilight Saga: New Moon), Emilie de Ravin, Pierce Brosnan, and Chris Cooper.

Here's a muted romantic drama centered on two lovers whose newfound relationship is threatened as they try to deal with their personal hardships. Especially from the start through a harrowing incident on an elevated subway platform involving a younger Ally .

Pattinson's Tyler Hawkins isn't a very committed NYU student as his lifestyle indicates, reminiscient of the frustrated, wild Dean character from a classic like Rebel Without a Cause. He's kind of estranged from his well-off family, especially his father Charles, endowed with a cold veneer by Brosnan (sharp in The Ghost Writer). Lena Olin fills his mother with a chic, refined quality as her Diane has remarried with Tyler's bright artistic pre-teen sister Caroline (Ruby Jerins) under her care.

A hard-drinking Tyler meets fellow student and Queens native Ally through a dare who happens to be the only daughter of a Sergeant (Cooper) whom he knows through his wildness outside of a nightclub.

The plotting by Will Fetters also uses the 2001 timeframe to embrace a connection of these confused, coping souls as Tyler is nearing the age when his own older brother took his own life. However, the way the scribe and helmer Allen Coulter (who managed a sharper treatment in this angle in his Hollywoodland with Ben Affleck and Diane Lane) handle a "carpe diem" mutual blossoming isn't fully realized as much time is spent in Tyler's unkempt flat. What is threatening their release of happiness isn't how transient hopeless appears at a crucial point in their lives.

Standing out in a shrill, yet scene-stealing light is Tate Ellington's Aidan, as Tyler's obnoxious, high-pitched roommate. So, being in the mood for love is diffused somewhat by the pretty silly Aidan, one that many on campuses have known.

As for the chemistry between a chain-smoking, disheveled Pattinson and de Ravin, a playfulness is there to be seen, but the vitality of plagued folks like Tyler and Ally is lacking. Perhaps, it's story-related or how Pattinson himself obfuscates what needs to be more internalized, particularly when Tyler reacts to the way his dad treats an impressionable Caroline.

On the other hand, a fairly resourceful de Ravin (who's finishing a nice run on "Lost" and ready for her transition to Hollywood with her small, yet comely stature) is able to lift her handsome co-star as well as the film's overreaching tendencies. Besides the sturdy brusque Brosnan at ease with his corporate bigwig, Cooper is adequately apprehensive as a crestfallen cop on the verge of losing what keeps him going. And, Jerins convincingly holds her own as more than a pretty child actress.

Even for alert onlookers, the politically-charged coda can be gravely jarring as the philosophy of Remember Me is clearly established. If Coulter makes it less irritating and prolonged than something like Dear John to wrenching effect, one can appreciate how the production doesn't overglamorize the Big Apple with its moody music resonating with those with quite an emotional burden.

  Frank Chris Jim Nina Sam Howard Jennifer Kathleen  Avg. 
Remember Me  C+      C+         A      C   B- 

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