Directed by Allen Coulter, Remember Me is a romantic drama starring Robert Pattinson, Emilie de Raven, Pierce Brosnan, and Chris Cooper. The film is set in New York towards the start of the new millennium, and tells the story of a young man named Tyler Hawkins (Robert Pattinson). What follows is a story of loss, loneliness, love, and suffering that takes Tyler and those around him on a up-and-down roller coaster to a grand finale that hits you like a brick wall. Most critics have decided to ruin the ending in their reviews, in which case most of them just didn’t understand the concept and meaning of the film, and so they included in the reviews the part of the film that upset them the most. I went into the film reading only one review, a positive one that didn’t spoil anything, and this ended up being surprisingly one of the better theatrical experiences I have had from this genre as of late. And no, I’m not a Twi-hard.
After an opening sequence that sets up a back-story for Tyler’s love interest, the story quickly turns to Tyler. Right off the bat, we learn that he and his family have suffered the tragic lost of Tyler’s older brother. We are not told right away what happened, but it is eventually divulged about halfway through the film which sets up touching scene between Tyler and his new girl. Tyler is an early 20′s New Yorker who works at a library and is infatuated with books, poetry, and art. But most importantly, Tyler is lost. He doesn’t really know what he is doing, he doesn’t know what he wants to do, and holds a certain disdain towards his father (Pierce Brosnan), who seemingly cares about nothing other than work and himself. His little sister Caroline (Ruby Jerins) is a very bright young artist who, much like his brother, is misunderstood, and feels like she isn’t loved by her father, which makes Tyler detest his father even more.
After trying to break up a late night brawl, Tyler and his best friend end up being arrested by a an uptight police officer, played to perfection by Chris Cooper. After the two are bailed out of jail by Tyler’s father, the two return to their school life. Tyler’s roommate Aiden (Tate Ellington) then notices that same police officer dropping off his daughter Ally (Emile de Raven) at the same school. What starts off as a simple bet to get back at the police officer soon results in Tyler falling in love with Ally. After a confrontation with a father, Ally begins living with Tyler, taking their relationship to another level. Everything seems to be going great, until Tyler is forced to tell Ally why he approached her in the first place. The moment is pretty cliche, as is a good chunk of the film, but it doesn’t last long, and you quickly forgive the movie. Tyler’s sister is then involved in a controversy at the school, which brings most of the main characters together. This all leads up the very ending that I talked about earlier. If you are understanding of what the movie is trying to say, it is a very effective ending that can be pretty poignant for some.
The casting of this movie, much like the film itself is very surprising. I almost avoided this movie just for the simple fact that Robert Pattinson was the lead. This film is layered enough that it may not have mattered who was in the lead role, but Pattinson’s ability to play someone lost and misunderstood fits well into what the movie is trying to say. Emilie de Raven is one of those actresses that seems as if she can have great chemistry with anybody matched up with her, and this movie helps prove that theory. Chris Cooper and Pierce Brosnan are the two veterans here, and they bring a lot to the table, but maybe a bit too much. Brosnan at times seemed to be a bit too much melodramatic, but the script calls for that so I’m sure that was more of a directing flaw rather than Brosnan’s acting. Cooper playing a strict, no nonsense father is a pretty typical role for him, and it tends to work quite well. There are times that he goes overboard like Brosnan, but not nearly enough. These overdone parts and the rather cliche plot points sometime hold this film back, but not enough to take away from the story being told. This is not just a mere love story. It’s about grief, suffering, and reacting to things that you simply cannot control. Few people fail to realize this, and for this reason the movie is trashed by critic after critic.
What appeared to be another Nicholas Sparks love story rip-off turned out into so much more. Overcooked at times, and flaws it might have, it is still a touching story that touches base on the effect that those around you have on your life, and will lead to a fitting ending that works well with the rest of the story if looked at right.
Notes: Rated PG-13 for violence, sexual content, language and smoking.