Remember Me – Review
Forget what you think you know about this movie. And forget what you think you know about Robert Pattinson. This film is far more than a love story. Plus, Pattinson’s acting abilities are better than the one particular role he’s known for playing.
Go into this movie with an open mind, and what you’ll find is an engaging film that is simultaneously heartbreaking and heartwarming. The story and actors swirl together like a perfect cup of coffee with just the right amount of cream and sugar. The subtle sweetness cuts the underlying bitterness. And, in fact, that’s exactly the word I would use to describe Remember Me – bittersweet.
Yes, the love story between Pattinson’s Tyler Hawkins and Emilie de Ravin’s Ally Craig is the focus of the movie. But it goes far beyond a simple boy-meets-girl, boy-and-girl-fall-in-love scenario. To me, this is a story about forgiveness and acceptance. Both Tyler and Ally experience family tragedies that shape their realities and change their relationships with their families. The true journey in this film is coming to terms with those losses and finding a way to be happy again.
Pattinson’s performance in this film should be commended. Again, if you watch it with an open mind, I think you will see just how much potential he truly has. He channels the same sort of restless anger of James Dean in Rebel without a Cause, and, at times, Tyler is visibly vibrating with it. The way Pattinson plays this rage, to me, wasn’t over the top. In fact, I can think of only one (very powerful) scene where his voice is even raised.
Instead, he lets the audience feel Tyler’s unsettled frustration, for the most part, in clipped tones and the strong set of his jaw. It is Tyler’s adoration of the women in his life that balances his aggression. The way Tyler takes care of his younger sister, Caroline, in particular, is absolutely endearing.
Emilie de Ravin’s portrayal of Ally is a good balance for Tyler. While he tends to internalize, she’s quite open. Some of the most charming moments of the movie are when Ally throws Tyler off by doing or saying something completely unexpected. Ruby Jerins is delightful as Caroline. She is sweet, serious and witty. Her scenes with Pattinson play out like a true brother-sister relationship. And Tate Ellington, who portrays Tyler’s best friend and roommate, Aidan, is a frequent scene-stealer. There were times when I didn’t know whether to laugh or be completely horrified by Aidan’s schemes. But I was won over by his loyalty to Tyler.
Chris Cooper and Pierce Brosnan, who play Ally and Tyler’s fathers, Neil and Charles, are the rocks of this film. Neil doesn’t always do the right thing, but Cooper does an excellent job of showing the audience that it’s because he doesn’t want to lose anyone else. Similarly, Charles is someone you don’t want to like at first. But you come to realize that, although he’s going about it in a different way, he really does want the same thing as Tyler. Brosnan and Pattinson work well together. There is one particular scene where it’s easy to see a father-son dynamic between the two of them.
What I liked most about this movie was its sense of reality. Just like in the real world, there are tender moments and awkward moments. There is happiness and sadness. There are moments that make you cringe and moments that have you laughing at loud. It is realistic. The journeys these characters take seems real (if a bit sped-up for the sake of a two-hour movie) to me. Even the cluttered grunginess of a walk-up shared by two twenty-something dudes felt realistic.
It is the ending of Remember Me that is particularly striking. It is undeniably sad, but at the same time almost … hopeful. Again, it’s incredibly bittersweet. It takes you back to a time many of us remember well, and, for me, it was that connection to my own personal memories that made this film linger in my mind.
But, I think you should judge for yourself. Put aside your preconceived notions, and go see Remember Me.