So I’ve never (yet…) seen a Twilight movie, but now I can sort of understand the hype about Robert Pattinson. Dreamy, dreamy, dreamboat! He stars as Tyler Hawkins, a 21 year old- NYU student still a bit lost after his brother’s suicide years earlier. Ally (Emilie de Ravin) is a working-class girl from Queens who witnessed her mother’s murder as a child. With pre-9/11 New York City as the backdrop for this film, they begin to slowly unfurl an untraditional and pleasantly non-cliche love story. Supporting characters make the film – most notably, Ally’s father, played by Chris Cooper, and Tyler’s father, played by Pierce Brosnan. I also adored the scene-stealing cuteness of Ruby Jerins, who plays Tyler’s gifted little sister. Seriously amazing, authentic casting. And chemistry! Pattinson and de Ravin have plenty.
This is a film that plays off tragedy but doesn’t dwell on it. There’s a gray mood to certain parts, and raw and real moments, but the movie doesn’t have an overly dark feel. It’s playful, and at times sensual. I tend to enjoy movies that can be more than one thing at once. Like, a movie can have sad parts without necessarily being a “sad movie.” (I totally cried at the end. But that’s me, I’m a movie-crier.) Honestly, I had no intention of especially liking this movie. I hadn’t read many reviews prior and like many movies, by the time they arrive in my mailbox from Netflix, I’d forgotten why I’d put it in my queue in the first place (those recommendations)!
What struck me about this film is the complexity of the main characters, particularly of Rob’s character. He’s young and a little reckless and self-assured in that way that so many men that age are. Ally has a certain rough around the edges sweetness that I just adore. I will give a little spoiler, this movie does touch upon the 9/11 tragedy. I was worried they may somehow cheapen the event and exploit it for the sake of the film. I was pleasantly struck at the subtlety that was used in bringing such a controversial, and in a lot of ways, still fresh, event to light on film. There aren’t a lot of special effects, and you don’t see much. You don’t need to see it to know that it happened. I think I can speak for most people who were old enough to remember – exactly where they were, and every detail about what happened that clear beautiful September day.
It isn’t often I’m compelled to write my thoughts on a film, but this movie was great. It’s funny to read the scathing reviews about it (“rug-pulling, emotionally pornographic climax of tragedy-kitsch” from movies.com) but I’m pretty sure most of my favorite movies ever were ravaged by critics. Maybe I’m not highbrow enough? Oh well. And even if your only reason for watching Remember Me is the sexy/brooding Robert Pattinson? You won’t have wasted a minute.