Unforgettable doesn’t live up to its title.
Once in a while, a thriller comes along and strikes a chord with audiences and instantly becomes a cultural phenomenon. Films like Fatal Attraction, Basic Instinct, and Gone Girl took the world by storm with its memorable twists and turns. So, is Unforgettable able to reach the same heights are the aforementioned films?
Not even remotely close. In fact, the film doesn’t even live up to the promise of its title. It’s essentially a Lifetime “thriller,” just with more polish and explicit sex.
Unforgettable follows Julia Banks, a woman who uproots her life to move in with her future husband. Their happy lives are cut short, however, when David’s ex-wife Tessa re-enters his life again. With each passing moment, Tessa makes her presence known with heightened aggression.
So where did it all go wrong? After all, Unforgettable had a solid premise to be a decent psycho-stalker thriller. Christina Hodson and David Johnson’s script quickly loses its way with all of the film’s laughable moments. The story is an imperfect storm of stereotypical characters, silent home invasions, and negligent police work. They also added a convenient Internet program that deletes your digital footprint. You know, just for good measure. To top it all off, the script has got some gaudy dialogue and a formulaic storyline.
This film is the directorial debut of long-time producer Denise Di Novi. So far, she’s not off to a great start. First of all, Di Novi resorts to clichéd jump scares and musical cues to raise the tension. Unfortunately, it never really builds throughout the film. This is partly due to the film’s odd editing which incoherently jumps from one scene to another. That being said, she does have a good eye for visuals. There’s a bit of elegance to Unforgettable’s production design and costumes—especially the decor and Tessa’s extravagant dresses.
Truthfully, Unforgettable‘s two main leads are the most redeeming aspects of the film. First off, Katherine Heigl impresses in her nutjob ex-wife role. Her psychotic and emotionally unstable portrayal is just so fun to watch. She just has this natural ability to go from crazy to normal at a drop of a dime. She also has these menacing “I’ll cut you b—” eyes that’ll make you tremor with fear.
Rosario Dawson also did a solid job as Julia. Like Heigl, Dawson plays these multi-layered characters so well that she fully embodies the role. For this reason, she’s able to easily navigate her character’s adverse journey. Dawson’s emotional outpour will have you rooting for her character close to the end of the movie.
Unfortunately, the rest of the actors didn’t fare so well. It’s not necessarily their fault—more in the way their characters were written. Surprisingly, Cheryl Ladd also did solid work in her brief role as Tessa’s mom. Even as a narrative tool, she did a great job giving off that manipulative vibe. You can tell right away why Tessa is as crazy as she is. Like mother, like daughter. And that’s all in the way Ladd delivers her lines. Geoff Stults attempts to permeate the role with some charm, but like Ladd, he’s just a narrative tool.
Overall, Unforgettable had the ability to be a decent thriller… If it were a Lifetime special. I mean it’s cheesy and trashy enough to be one. But alas, it’s not. For a thriller, there’s not a lot of tension and tension is the staple of all thrillers. It’s surprising considering the number of dull thriller stereotypes found in the film too. If it were not for Heigl and Dawson’s juicy performances then the film would’ve been a lost cause. In the long run, Unforgettable will be a film that everyone will forget.
Rating: 2/5 atoms