March 18, 2010

2001: A Lovers’ New York Odyssey

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Remember Me is the story of two NYU college students who unexpectedly fall in love in the fateful year of 2001.

Robert Pattinson (Twilight) plays Tyler, an emotional rich kid struggling with  and the consequences of his older brother’s suicide. Pierce Brosnan plays Tyler’s cold-as-ice lawyer father, Charles, who cannot be bothered to properly mourn the death of son Michael, nor pay adequate attention to Tyler or his 11-year-old sister, Caroline (Ruby Jerins).

Emilie de Ravin (Lost) plays Ally, a Queens resident living with her grieving father. The movie opens up with Ally at a young age, playing on the subway with her mother, only to watch her be robbed and murdered in cold blood. She and her father still struggle with her death everyday; Ally feels guilt and pain from watching the brutal act and her father feels guilt for, as a police officer, not being able to prevent the murder.

Tyler and Ally’s dad, Neil Craig, played by Chris Cooper, meet one night when Tyler and his comic-relief providing friend Aidan (Tate Ellington) get into a fight outside of a bar. Tyler, in a moment of righteousness, stands up to the bitter cop who violently beats his head against a windshield.

Aidan comes up with a genius plan to screw over Officer Craig by messing with his daughter in a very predictable teen movie move of forcing one character to fall in love with another for some sort of personal gain/revenge (think a little She’s All That or even 10 Things I Hate About You). As one who would anticipate, Tyler and Ally fall in love and the consequences of a calculated love match ensue.

Their romance is met with varying levels of approval from their parents. For Ally’s father, Tyler, who remains anonymous to Neil for some time, represents Ally’s rebellion and her father’s loss of his daughter, yet another loss he cannot deal with. Tyler’s parents, however, see how Ally softens Tyler, who they believe was too closed off from real life following his brother’s suicide. Ally seems to take Tyler (who in the beginning of the movie prefers to spend all his time with books at infamous bookstore, the Strand) out of his fantasy world of literature and back into real life.

There are parts of their love story that are far more relatable than most romances on screen between young people. Scenes with Tyler, Aidan and Ally at times feel as if they could be of anyone at Cornell — dealing with a heavy heart and a lot on his or her plate. Unfortunately despite their more (comparatively) lighthearted scenes, Tyler and Ally’s love story is particularly melancholy. Both characters are dealing with such depressing lives — Ally with her father’s widower-rage and Tyler with his absent father who neglects his beloved sister — that at times it can be difficult to watch. The two entangle themselves and become overly dependent on each other.

Pattinson’s acting ability is surprising, and although it sometimes seemed that he was resting on a vampire’s broody, twisted image, this role is a good fit for his transition from teen heartthrob to a serious dramatic actor.

However, Pattinson does fall short in his ability to convey expressions of love — which are also a pitfall of his character Tyler. For example, the story line with Tyler and his adorable sister Caroline is sweet — but sometimes Pattinson struggles to completely convey his affection to his art-prodigy sibling. That being said it can also be difficult to reconcile the three images of Tyler — the adoring brother, the loving boyfriend and the lost son. However, Pattinson’s chemistry with de Ravin tends to work and at no point seems forced.

The tagline of the movie is “live in the moments” which could be representative of Brosnan’s character shying away from real life — relationships (he is single while his ex-wife is presumably married), his family, really anything but work — because of his son’s suicide. He forgets the other members of his family and you can only hope that everything Tyler does to get his attention and to help Caroline obtain a more loving, caring, attentive father happens before it’s too late.

However, the tagline is far more appropriate for a cruel twist at the end. Without spoiling too much there are times that the ending seems inappropriate and it is almost unfair for the trailer not to properly hint at this unexpected ending. Nevertheless, while the ending matches the melancholy tone of much of the movie, it leaves you with something to reflect on.

3.5 Towers

Original Author: Cara Sprunk