A lot was riding on Remember Me, Robert Pattinson’s first big starring role where he wasn’t trying to embody the perfection of a young wizard, the flamboyance of Salvador Dali, or the sparkling bloodlust of Edward Cullen. Once production made it through the throngs of paparazzi and Twi-hards, the question loomed: Could RPatt transcend Twilight and command the box office? But Remember Me wasn’t the sort of fare to bring in hundreds of millions of dollars. Ultimately, the film made a healthy amount of money for an indie venture, and contrary to what you may have heard, it’s certainly worth your time. More after the jump:
Remember Me focuses on the life of Tyler Hawkins (Pattinson), a young twenty-something New Yorker struggling to find, or maybe avoid, purpose in his life. Work, education, and even conquests mean little to him, his only real passion is reserved for his smarter-than-her-years little sister Caroline (Ruby Jerins), and the notebook he records his thoughts in. Much of his life is fueled by frustration and anger, mainly the result of his successful but emotionally distant father Charles (Pierce Brosnan).
When he steps in to help some musicians in a fight, he argues with a hard-ass sergeant (Chris Cooper) and winds up in jail. It doesn’t do anything to change his life – his father bails him out, they fight, and things continue as normal – until his roommate Aidan (Tate Ellington) makes a big discovery. The cop that busted him has a daughter at NYU. Tyler apprehensively goes along with his roommate’s plan for payback on the unsuspecting daughter, but rather than enacting revenge, he falls in love with her (Emilie de Ravin).
In theory it’s an old story. We’ve seen the young people in love, overcome with passion and youthful stupidity. A father who keeps his family at arm’s length is nothing new, nor is a sister so wise she could rival Yoda, nor a wise-cracking friend. Yet each player in this drama – from the actors on the screen to Will Fetters’ script and Allen Coulter’s eye behind the camera – craft the film in a way that feels fresh and authentic. The players do not come off as the clichés they could have easily been, but rather real, flawed people because they’re not reduced to spectacle and gratuitous emotion tugging.
That being said, many take issue with how these people end up – the twists the film takes as it travels through its final minutes. I won’t go into spoilers here because the charm of this film is to NOT know what going to happen. To view this film by its ending is to reduce its characters to an event, and not a life where the next moment is always uncertain.
A modest release, the DVD for Remember Me has three main features – two commentaries and the obligatory behind-the-scenes featurette. It’s almost as much as can be expected for a romantic indie drama. There’s a cast commentary with Pattinson, de Ravin, and Jerins, with producer Nick Osborne attempting to keep them on-target and fill the periods of silence. For the most part, it’s just recollections of the paparazzi and jokes, but there are moments for the Twi-hards, and it’s quite sweet when each of them asks Jerins questions to get her involved. The behind-the-scenes featurette, meanwhile, is just as you’d expect – some glimpses of the crew at work, and the usual back-patting.
But the true gem is Allen Coulter’s commentary – not for its worthiness as a commentary, but as a drinking game. Detailing the thoughts behind every shot, it’s clear that the filmmaker is just in love with this story and every moment of how it came together. It’s phenomenal. Wonderful. Extraordinary. Exquisite. Brilliant. Delightful. Lovely. But, most of all, it’s “masterful.” Drink every time he says that word, and whether you love or loathe the ending, you’ll be too tanked to care by the time it comes.