Say what you want, but I love thriller movies about scorned lovers and the psychotic crazy stuff they do to enact their revenge or misdeal with their new reality. Whether it be a woman like in Fatal Attraction or Obsessed or even a man like in The Boy Next Door it all makes for great onscreen entertainment. Now I sincerely apologize if I offended everyone with my blanket statement here. I completely understand and know this happens in the real world and for the people that have or are going through something like this my heart sincerely goes out to you. However, in the film medium stories of this nature in my opinion serve up one delicious, hot plate of entertainment to consume. I just love the crazy lengths to which people will go to when scorned. Call me a glutton for punishment. Call me what you want, but this makes great popcorn entertainment and that’s the reason I’m here to talk about one of the newest obsessed/stalker flicks dropping this April 20th, Unforgettable.
The action thriller we are gathered here to talk about today, Unforgettable, is directed by what I can tell from a newbie in the director’s chair, Denise Di Novi. She has a long history as a producer on some very big titles, but this is the first one to list her as a director that I can see. She directs off a script by an up and coming gal with some big titles dropping soon, one of which is Gotham City Sirens, Miss Christina Hodson, and my fellow Ohio native David Leslie Johnson (Orphan, The Conjuring 2). You ever hear that phrase oh how the mighty have fallen? Well I can say the same for one of the film’s stars, Katherine Heigl. She used to be a household name, but what happened to her the past five years? All she had was small, minuscule roles in things, but I digress. Anyway, the principal cast rounds out with one of my favorites Rosario Dawson, Geoff Stults, Isabella Rice, and Cheryl Ladd.
Tessa is the scorned lover here in Unforgettable. She’s portrayed by Katherine Heigl who plays a great psycho here. Her marriage is officially over with with her ex David (Stults) and she’s still having serious problems coping with it. It probably doesn’t help matters either that she has been replaced by the beautiful Julia (Dawson). David and Julia are engaged. Julia believes David is the man of her dreams and moves to live with him and his young daughter. However, she comes with her own baggage, a very troubled, abusive past she’s trying to put behind her. So while trying to settle into her new role as a wife and also a stepmother, Tessa’s jealousy takes a pathological (both obsessive and mental) turn. You all heard the marketing catch phrases in movies like these so I apologize in advance as I attest to the fact that Tessa will stop at nothing to turn Julia’s dream life into a living, breathing nightmare. I have to admit that she at least succeeds in that regard. I wouldn’t want Tessa meddling in my life. Maybe she should join leagues with Theron as villains in the next Fast & Furious entry.
So as you can already tell from the title of my review up above I did not adore Unforgettable like I thought I was going to. I hate using cliches, but it was rather forgettable and just borderline average. The odd thing though is I was on the edge of my seat the whole time, but only because I thought things were really going to explode and get bat crap crazy. There were moments that were so eerily tension filled like a Tarantino film where you’re just waiting for that proverbial rubber band to break, but they all evaporated like splashed water drying on the counter. It really went nowhere for me. There were a few clever twists and turns for me here and there and I appreciated the way they incorporated technology like social media. However, at the end of the day the craziness factor wasn’t enough for me. Heigl didn’t bring it like Ali Larter brought it in Obsessed. I feel bad comparing these two movies, but in my opinion Obsessed was the better of the two in the crazy department factor of judging.
Now don’t get me wrong. Both Heigl and Dawson performed exceptionally well in their respective roles. I completely bought and felt their characters’ plight and struggles, but in my opinion it was the writing that cramped things here. Let me put it in perspective so that you can understand. A long time ago I wrote an action thriller screenplay called Amy. It now has a different name, but stay with me for a moment while I illustrate my point. It was my second screenplay I ever embarked upon. I was heavily under the influence of Robert Rodriguez and shock schlock films like I Spit on Your Grave, a remake which I just adore even to this day. However, what I am trying to say is that I was horrible in my dialogue and action writing abilities. The action was stiff and childish and the dialogue just sounded laughable when you heard others speak it in the real world. That’s exactly how I felt here. The action sequences are lackluster at best and the dialogue muttered was like are you fricking serious? Who talks like that? I really hope Hodson pulls through for Gotham City Sirens. If you need someone to bounce ideas or thoughts off, please use me. I’m here for you.
I don’t know. I wanted more. I wanted more craziness, more antics and most importantly less cardboard/cheese. The way some lines of dialogue were delivered and action sequences carried out left a lot to be desired. There’s actually a good movie here with two solid leads in charge, but it gets lost in these cheesy moments that in my opinion drowns the production. I absolutely loved Heigl as the crazy well you know and Dawson was believable as the reluctant recipient of all punishment here. I just wanted more leading up to the very predictable Third Act. The two best things for me, other than the leading ladies, were the slight twist at the end and this salt and pepper chessboard set. How the hell you play with it is anyone’s guess, but you can’t miss it in Julia’s new residence. Once you see it, like LA film critic Courtney Howard told me prior to my screening, it will haunt you dreams and make you wonder. Your mileage may vary with this one. I heard a lot of people say a lot of good things about this one coming out of the press screening, but for me Unforgettable was just your average slice of cheese. In other words it was very forgettable.