Something unexpected happened around the half hour mark of the ho-hum romantic drama Remember Me. No, the film didn’t start to improve. Don’t be silly. Rather, I realised that leading man Robert Pattinson – or RPattz as his legions of adoring Twilight fans call him – was in the middle of doing something many critics said he wasn’t capable of. Yes, he was acting. And doing a pretty darn good job of it too.

However, aside from allowing Pattinson a chance to flex his acting chops, Remember Me isn’t good for much else. It sits awkwardly between the heavy drama and teen romance genres, and much like a misunderstood teenager, it isn’t sure where it belongs, ultimately alienating itself from both.

With an uncanny resemblance to James Dean, Pattinson portrays angst-ridden Tyler Hawkins, a 21-year-old Brooklyn boy with daddy issues. Still cut from by the loss of his older brother years before, Tyler channels his anger toward his father Charles (Pierce Brosnan), a successful businessman who places family a distant second. After a clash with a jaded police detective (Chris Cooper) lands him in jail for the night, Tyler’s best friend Aidan (Tate Ellington) suggests he enact his revenge by wooing the officer’s daughter Ally (Emilie de Ravin). However, the two find comfort in each other’s company and eventually fall in love, causing Tyler to bury the truth behind their supposed ‘chance’ encounter.

As implied by the film’s tag-line ‘Live Life in the Moment’, screenwriter Will Fetters has scribed a story about appreciating the little things. That’s fine, but did those little things all have to be this mundane? While the dialogue flows naturally, most of the drama in Remember Me lacks any real weight of consequence, haphazardly strung together by director Allen Coulter (Hollywoodland) without much consideration for dramatic tension. If it wasn’t for Marcelo Zarvos’ poignant score, I wouldn’t have known at any given time what emotion I was supposed to be feeling.

With Remember Me predominantly appealing to starry-eyed teenage girls, it doesn’t help that the romance between Tyler and Ally is criminally underwritten. The two barely get a chance to share sob stories before they’re in each other’s pants. I guess when you’re the adored star of Twilight, girls don’t put up much of a fight. Nevertheless, the credibility of their relationship suffers as a result, which seems more interested in giving Pattinson and De Ravin an excuse to show off some skin than develop in any kind of meaningful way.

De Ravin, let down by the two dimensional nature of her character, leaves little impression as Ally, which is a shame because the 28-year-old Lost star has talent. With a far meatier role, Pattinson crafts a likable character out of Tyler, handling each emotional shift far more convincingly than he ever did as Edward in Twilight. He goes head to head with acting veterans Chris Cooper and Pierce Brosnan and surprisingly comes out on top, proving he’s more than just a pretty face. In fact, the only time he is truly outshone is during his scenes with the tremendously talented 11-year-old actress Ruby Jerins, who plays Tyler’s younger sister Caroline. Their touching relationship is easily the highlight of an otherwise unremarkable film.

And that’s the cruel irony here; Remember Me is totally forgettable. It knows it, too. That’s why it features a shock ending that arrives like a sharp stab in the back, a desperate act to bleed emotion out of the audience in the most shameless of ways. If it is to be remembered, it’ll be for all the wrong reasons

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