March 11, 2010

Remember Me

If you're a good actor, then I'm James Bond

Grade: D +

Director: Allen Coulter

Starring: Robert Pattinson, Emile de Ravin, Pierce Brosnan, and Chris Cooper

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Running Time: 1 hour, 53 minutes

Remember Me ought to be titled Remember James Dean. In this dour effort to prove Robert Pattinson can act, nomadic TV director Allen Coulter concocts a post-modern rip-off of Rebel Without a Cause, starring Pattinson doing his best/worst Dean impersonation to play Tyler Hawkins, an emotionally troubled rich-kid with daddy issues who subsists on a diet of beer and cigarettes and sporadically attends NYU when not part-timing at the local bookstore.

The film opens in 1991 when young Ally Craig (Lost’s Emilie de Ravin) watches her mother get gunned down on a New York City subway platform by a street hoodlum. Ten years later (note the time…note the place), Ally lives at home, attends college, and enjoys an uneasy relationship with her cop father, Neil (Chris Cooper, struggling with his New Yawk accent).

After Neil arrests and roughs-up Tyler, he decides to date his daughter as some half-witted measure of revenge. Naturally, before long Tyler is cooking Ally dinner, Ally is wearing Tyler’s sweats, and the two are splashing each other with water and exchanging inane bon mots: “I have a coaster if you’d like a coaster.” “Sorry, I don’t do coasters until the third date.”

We have no idea why Tyler’s business mogul father (Pierce Brosnan) is so estranged from his children or his ex-wife. Or why Tyler’s kid sister (Ruby Jerins) is bullied by the girls in school. Or why his sister getting her hair shorn by those mean girls proves the miraculous balm that heals every deep-seated dysfunction afflicting these annoying, self-absorbed cretins. Or why Pattinson and de Ravin are unable to exude even a modicum of acting acumen or romantic chemistry.

But, nothing explains the risible plot twist – one of the most tasteless since The Boy in The Striped Pajamas – that manages to run roughshod over a storyline that means so little to begin with. Remember Me? I’d rather not.

Neil Morris

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