At The Theater #12: Remember Me

In 2008, my first year of 52 movies in 52 weeks, I saw a movie set in New York City’s recent past that I found mind-numbingly slow and focused on a main character that I couldn’t stand. That movie was The Wackness, which I thought was so bad I named it the worst movie of both 2008 and 2009. The baton has been passed. I have a new movie set in New York City’s recent past that I found mind-numbingly slow and focused on a main character that I couldn’t stand. That movie is Remember Me.

The worst thing about Remember Me is that it’s my own fault that I saw it. This movie was punishment for having my girlfriend get a popcorn refill during the first five minutes of Alice in Wonderland. If only I had a time machine, I could have warned me of one month ago to get the popcorn refill himself (myself?). “You’re really not missing anything. The first five minutes are really slow. And you’re going to end up seeing Remember Me.” One-month-ago-me might say “I wouldn’t mind seeing Remember Me; isn’t Claire from Lost in it?” Then I’d compare it to The Wackness and he would sprint to the concession stand.

The three main actors in Remember Me are non-Americans playing Americans with terrible accents. Their accents are so unbelievable than John Cleese’s Taunting French Guard in Monty Python and the Holy Grail would would no longer call his own accent ridiculous. Pierce Brosnan attempts the most over the top Bronx accent imaginable with a hint of Brit coming through.

I’m guessing that Emilie De Ravin, Lost’s “WHERE’S MY BABY???” learned her American accent by watching Christian Bale in Batman Begins and The Dark Knight. I don’t remember her voice being like this when she played an American in 2005’s Brick, but then again she was dead for most of that movie. Here, every time she spoke I kept expecting her to let out a deep throated “Joker! Where’s Rachel?!”

Which makes sense, because Robert Pattinson reminded me of The Joker. With his pale complexion, upturned-strangely smile and acting stayle straight out of The Jimmy Fallon Thespian School, he was like a poor man’s Heath Ledger from the Dark Knight.

Emile De Ravin and Robert Pattinson in Remember Me.

But the strangest accent belongs to an American: Chris Cooper, who plays Emilie De Ravin’s NYPD sergeant father. Someone should have reminded him that he’s already American and probably shouldn’t take accent tips from the foreigners on set. I think he and Pierce Brosnan were both trying to out-Tony-Danza each other. It’s too bad Emilie De Ravin’s character wasn’t named Samantha.

At the Tony Danza Accent School, you will learn to tawk like a real New Yawker!

It’s hard to like a movie when you really don’t like the main character. I thought that Robert Pattison’s Tyler Hawkins was a spoiled asshole right from the start. He uses his patented retarded-vampire stare to woo girls at a bar and then gets into a fight with some drunk idiots and then the police when the cops decide to let everyone go and not arrest the drunk idiots he was fighting. He has Amnesty International posters all over his apartment, which I guess are there to say “this guy is sensitive and cares about the world,” but just say to me “I like to bang sensitive girls.” He hates the rich, and his rich father, but doesn’t seem to mind all that much taking Daddy’s money. Someone’s paying for NYU and that Village apartment and I’m guessing it’s not his paycheck from The Strand.

In one scene, Tyler goes ape shit on a class of second graders who bully his sister. He doesn’t physically assault any of them, but he does throw some desks around and even throws a fire extinguisher through a window. Hey asshole, that teacher and those two girls walking down the hall a little ahead of your outburst? You could have killed them with that fire extinguisher if they were a little slower. This scene was done to show how much he cared for sister and is always there for her. I had to check the end credits to make sure this movie wasn’t written by the guy I went to high school with that constantly threw temper tantrums and had a very similar outburst in my 11th grade English class. This looks like it would be written from the point of view of someone who used to do that on a regular basis and needed to justify it. The guy from my English class looked like the love child between Woody Allen and a hobbit, so it would have brilliantly egotistic casting to have Robert Pattinson play him. Alas, my old schoolmate was not the credited screenwriter.

Tyler’s romance with Emile De Ravin’s Ally spins out of a bet/revenge plot against her NYPD sergeant concocted by Tyler’s roommate Aidan that is straight out The Taming of the Shrew. This aspect of their romance is handily forgotten about until it’s needed again at the act two crisis, where for no reason, Tyler tells this to Ally. Um, why? And “sucky movie” is not a good enough reason.

The coolest thing about this movie? Parts of it were filmed in my neighborhood on Cranberry St, which is one of Brooklyn Heights’s most beautiful streets. Instead of seeing this movie, check out Cranberry St, stroll down the Brooklyn Heights Promenade and grab a bite to eat at nearby Noodle Pudding.

In case you couldn’t figure it out already, I’ll throw it out there right now. I really don’t see the appeal of Robert Pattinson. He’s not a good actor. Is he really that good looking? I seriously don’t see it. Is it just that he plays Edward Cullen in those Twilight movies? Does that give him cart blanche with fans of those books? Is it those giant bushy eyebrows? Is it his retarded-vampire facial expression that he brought from this Twilight to this movie? Is it the giant mess of unkempt hair? Those hauntingly penetrating eyes? That…that…OH ROBERT I LOVE YOU!! EEEEE!!!

I heart you, retarded vampire!