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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.

Rating: ★★★★☆

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6 Comments

  1. Thank you for this. It’s wonderfully written, and conveys exactly what I and many others felt. This is a movie about love and loss, about learning how to move forward, and how it is important to “Live in the Moments”. For myself and many others it is continuing to affect us days after we’ve seen it…how many movies do that?

  2. Avatar of Melissa Molina

    That’s a pretty strong/great review there, awesome job. I do agree, this was the kinda film that Pattinson needed in order to start breaking out of his Twilight shell. It could be the launching pad for a strong career that could have staying power after the fad goes away as long as he chooses his roles wisely.

  3. Reese: Thanks so much! It has been lingering in my mind as well. I’m glad you enjoyed the review!

    Melissa: Thank you! :) And, yes, I believe this is a step in the right direction for him. Like I said – I think he has potential!

  4. Imagine, acting in a style similar to James Dean’s isn’t always a bad thing…who would have known? Seems that whether you like or dislike RP’s acting, he can’t be ignored. His magnetism firmly in place all the time. Not a bad thing in his profession. I believe if he keeps learning & stays positive despite the pressures of his career, he has a good chance of being a truly great actor. He appears to already be a memorable one.

    So many messages are sent by “Remember Me” that opinions are flying from every direction. The participants in this film must have known the chances they where taking but perhaps thought some things are worth the chances taken.

    Personally, I like different opinions. I usually want all the information I can get before making a decision. I appreciate love story of “Remember Me”, and the live the moment theme, etc. but I reflect most on the need to remember that day. We need to feel the emotions…not just know the facts. We aren’t the only ones who need to remember. Our children, & on & on, must remember so as to insure a real effort is made to stop (as long as possible) history being repeated. The ending of the film seems to be doing all of the above.

    Thank you for a well thought out, useful review. Another review of “Remember Me” worth reading was written by Ramin Setoodeh on http://www.newsweek.com.

  5. 7/7/10

    I really enjoyed this movie. Yes the ending was quite surprising and I couldn’t sleep at all after watching it.

    I think the movie shows people that life cannot be taken for granted. You have to live for the moment and money does not always bring happiness. Robert’s acting was wonderful. He loves his family. This movie really shows people that you need to live each day like it’s your last. Love each other and take care of your family. Don’t go a day without telling the ones closest to you that you love them. I would suggest this movie to all my friends and family.

  6. Great review hundred percent agree with your view of the film.

    Robert Pattinson did a great job. He was very real and played an everyday common person that is easy to relate to. No hollywood style.

    I am not sure about Emilie de Ravin. She was not as strong.

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