Allen Coulter’s new family drama/romance works pretty well for the most part and while it does nothing terribly new for the genre it is a solid and entertaining entry that avoids cheesiness at almost every turn.
The story’s protagonist is, Tyler, a 21 year old in a bit of a rut who doesn’t really care about anything right now in his life besides his younger sister. His older brother committed suicide when he was 22 and Tyler’s approaching birthday is causing quite a bit of distress in his life as he wonders if said fate is awaiting him around the corner. Enter Alyssa, a 21 year old student at the school Tyler’s roommate attends and that Tyler works at who also happens to have a cop for a dad that busted the two of them out on the town one night when they tried to break up a fight. The two awkwardly dance around one another before quickly falling for one another with circumstances forcing them to be closer than they could have imagined.
The film isn’t just about Tyler and Alyssa though, Tyler’s relationship with his family, specifically his father and little sister get as much of the films focus as the romance. In fact, the best parts of the movie are Tyler’s interactions with his sister Caroline who is an artistic prodigy that finds herself a bit of an outsider at school. Tyler comes alive with her unlike anyone else and they are the emotional core that will pull you into the picture. Tyler’s issues with his father is where most of the drama will be found in the picture and while it might be back loaded on to the picture it works as surprisingly well as the sister/brother stuff.
Another strong point for the film is that the romantic side of the picture is handled fairly realistically and avoids almost all cliché, besides the obligatory third act rift. Robert Pattinson has plenty of charm and cute awkwardness to go around and he has a working chemistry with his co-star Emilie de Ravin. Both show off that they can play more than their roles in Twilight and Lost, respectively, and it is nice to see both of these young actors getting a chance to do something different. So don’t shy away from the picture if you think it is going to be a sappy Twilight romance for tweens, it is much more than that romantically and story wise in the picture.
The film is also helped by a pretty solid cast outside the two romantic leads. Pierce Brosnan plays Tyler and Caroline’s tough nosed corporate father who doesn’t spend as much time in their lives, especially Caroline’s, as he should. Pattinson and Brosnan do some great work together, the board room scene being the highlight, with Brosnan playing the part just right so as to not just be an all out villain of a father. Chris Cooper plays de Ravin’s father and while he doesn’t have a whole lot to do, he is scary when he needs to be and delivers just as fine of work as you would expect from a great actor like him. Ruby Jerins is also very good as Caroline and she shows some real promise as to being a child actor to keep an eye on. The weak point of the cast is the character of Aidan played by Tate Ellington. He has a couple of moments that work, but he finely walks the line of funny/annoying and too many times falls on the wrong side of that line. Yeah the character was supposed to be that way, but he can be annoying in the film without annoying the viewer and he transcended that difference on too many occasions.
In the end, Remember Me is a solid family drama/romance that should have very few people complaining. Not a chick flick in the slightest, the film is a nice look at family and the effects tragedy plays on our lives and figuring them out. Full of good performances from just about everyone there isn’t a lot to complain about as Coulter’s film is fast paced and feels rather authentic. I have heard some people cry serious foul about the ending of the film, and I won’t spoil it here, but I will say that people need to lighten up and realize that this story was true for far too many families and I didn’t have one problem with it. With that said Remember Me is worth your time if you are looking for a solid drama that pleases even if it doesn’t blow you away.
Remember Me is a B