The Montreal Gazette Gives Remember Me 4 out of 5 Stars ***SPOILERS***   Leave a comment

Remember Me

Rating 4 out of 5

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

Robert Pattinson and Emilie de Ravin become entwined in what you might call a romantic tragedy in Remember Me. It’s a New York City love story, and it evokes a feeling of familiarity: a young man who is emotionally cut off from the world and troubled by the hypocrisy of adults, madly devoted to his preternaturally talented younger sister, mourning a dead brother, rebelling against the privilege of his parents. It leads to an obvious question: Okay, Mr. Catcher in the Rye, but does Pattinson take off his shirt?

Spoilers after the jump!

Well, yes he does, although discreetly and mostly from behind. More to the point is that he emerges from the pupa of eternal life bestowed by his roles in Twilight and enters a different kind of deathlessness as an interesting young actor, able to show brooding introversion in a film in which one of his friends says, “I’ve had enough of this brooding introvert (expletive).” Not easy to get past, but Pattinson has exactly the kind of self-possessed uncertainty to negotiate it.

Remember Me is, in a way, a trick movie, built on stories of death that we know about from the beginning, but only come into play later. But that shouldn’t detract from the movie.

De Ravin (Claire on Lost) is Ally, whom we meet in a prelude as a little girl who witnesses her mother being murdered in a Brooklyn subway station. Ten years later, she is living in blue-collar discomfort with her father, a policeman who is also lost, come to think of it, and played by Chris Cooper as one of his confused and alienated parents, stuck in that place between care and control.

Pattinson is Tyler, a downtown boho with that just-woke-up haircut, a constant cigarette, and a notebook in which he writes letters to the older brother who killed himself many years ago.

Tyler also has parent issues: his father Charles (Pierce Brosnan, showing some grit) is a big-shot lawyer who, apparently wounded by the suicide of his eldest son, is ignoring his daughter, 11-year-old Caroline (the heartbreaking Ruby Jerins), an artistic prodigy, loving sister to a wayward brother, class outsider and beautifully modulated young genius. J.D. Salinger would have eaten her up.

Ally and Tyler meet and fall in love and have an affair that lives in an unusual movie reality: in the no-fuss direction of Allen Coulter (Hollywoodland), you can feel the vibe of the city and when Tyler, who works in a bookstore, says, “The schematic of this particular bookshelf is authors who have slept together and wound up dead or in prison,” you can feel the vibe of his corner of it: rootless, but over-educated. Likewise, when Ally gets into a cab after their first date and says to the driver, “Going to Queens. Don’t want to hear about it,” we’re hearing the particular urbanity of a New York City woman.

Remember Me is mostly refreshingly straightforward: Will Fetters’ screenplay dodges all the rom-com inanities, partly by leaving out the ‘com.’ These feel like real people, with their real quirks, at least until the necessities of plot intervene, such as the big fight, the artificial-seeming turmoil over Caroline’s childhood crises. All this changes in the final act, which moves so far outside film formula that, at first, it feels contrived – was the movie made for the ending? – and then feels right, maybe because the ending is inevitable. It’s a love story, but it’s also a love letter. If you really want to hear about it.

Source: Montreal Gazette

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