Combustible Celluloid
 
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With: Robert Pattinson, Emilie de Ravin, Chris Cooper, Lena Olin, Tate Ellington, Ruby Jerins, Pierce Brosnan, Kate Burton, Gregory Jbara
Written by: Will Fetters
Directed by: Allen Coulter
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for violence, sexual content, language and smoking
Running Time: 113
Date: 03/01/2010
IMDB

Remember Me (2010)

2 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

September Stories

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Allen Coulter, who made the very good Hollywoodland (2006), directs this romantic drama about two damaged souls who come together in 2001 New York.

As a little girl, Ally (Emilie de Ravin) watched as her mother was murdered on a subway platform. And Tyler (Robert Pattinson) mopes about his beloved older brother who committed suicide, the indirect result of a tense relationship with their wealthy father Charles Hawkins (Pierce Brosnan).

Unfortunately, screenwriter Will Fetters cooks up a ridiculous way to get them together. Out with his roommate Aidan (Tate Ellington) Tyler gets into a fight and antagonizes a cop, Sgt. Neil Craig (Chris Cooper), who then proceeds to thrash Tyler's face. Aidan discovers that the cop has a pretty daughter, Ally, and decides that they should get revenge by having Tyler ask her out. Of course, she discovers this truth just before the third act, and Tyler must win her back by the end.

It's a device that only a third-rate romantic comedy would use, but Coulter's direction keeps Remember Me afloat for long moments, including rich characterizations and performances and a strong city atmosphere.

Then: the ending. I'm not sure how much audiences know about this going into opening weekend, but it's used as a sudden trick and a twist, and it's not incorporated into the fabric of the film in any way. I think it's cheap, and wrong. But perhaps others will be moved. For me, it was enough to tip the already teetering scales into a "thumbs down."

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