Firstly let me say that I have not been a fan of Robert Pattinson in the slightest, but then again I am not a cougar or a 16 year old girl. However I want to start off this review by saying oh my gosh, Robert Pattinson can actually act. I had kind of written him off as mr cardboard cutout. Now back to Remember Me. The general premise of this film is that stock standard flow of boy faces hard times and loss, meets a girl through a bet with a friend, falls for the girl, girl falls for the boy, both boy and girl face family issues that could break them apart or draw them together.
Now that description could be any of a million movies and it might sound that I am kind of dissing this film because of it. However I can actually say that it really works here. It is not the basic plot that makes this film work. It’s the dialogue, characters and subtle additions that drive the story along, helping to build the drama and romance along the way. The relationships between the characters at time reach violent breaking points as each member struggle hard to deal with the deal of a loved one. For Tyler’s family it is the suicide of his older brother at the age of just 22. For Ally’s family it is the murder of her mother. Each family member deals with the loss in different ways and not always in a healthy or successful manner. Then again it would be a rather boring movie if everyone dealt with things the same way with understanding.
Director Allen Coulter has come from a background of television, having directed and produced many episodes on shows such as The Soprano’s, Nurse Jackie, Law and Order and Rome. To the best of my research this is however his first foray into feature film directing. In my humble opinion I think it has been a solid and successful first attempt. His use of contrasting locations helps build the gritty nature of life in New York. From Tyler’s moody and dirty student apartment through to his father’s high class inner city offices, the elements conspire to demonstrate all of the things that stand in the way of these characters truly connecting.
The performances from the key cast are outstanding. From that of the workaholic father (Brosnan) through to the younger and misunderstood sister played by up and coming child actress Ruby Jerins, who you may have previously seen on HBO show Nurse Jackie and also plays a key and pivotal role in Martin Scorsese’s Shutter Island. Then you have some well-established and recognized supporting cast such as Academy Award® winner Chris Cooper (Adaptation), and Academy Award® nominee Lena Olin (Chocolat).
The scripting is very moving in many ways and begins with narration from the main character of Tyler with him saying, “Gandhi said that whatever you do in life will be insignificant. But it’s very important that you do it. I tend to agree with the first part.”
Which ironically is rather similar to the line used to end psychological thriller Se7en, ‘Ernest Hemingway once wrote, the world is a fine place and worth fighting for. I agree with the second part.’ Of course Se7en was an awesome thriller so there’s nothing wrong with a little literary comparison there.
So overall Remember Me surprised me immensely and I must say without giving it away it has one of the most moving and clever endings that for the most part will completely sneak up on you. Don’t look for hints as there really aren’t any given.
Reviewed by: Jon E Clist