Genre: Drama, Thriller.
Starring: Roasrio Dawson, Katherin Heigl, Geoff Stults, Isabella Rice, Cheryl Ladd, Simon Kassiandies, Whitney Cummings, Robert Wisdom.
Year Of Release: 2017
Certificate: 15 (UK)
Runtime: 100 Minutes
Director: Denise Di Novi
Writer(s): Christina Dodson & David Leslie Johnson.
Synopsis: “A woman sets out to make life hell for her ex-husband’s new wife.” IMDB
The Hand That Rocks the Cradle (1992) and Fatal Attraction (1987): These classics are my absolute go-to for psycho babysitters and unhinged mistresses (to be fair, the men deserve the shit in these instances). They are the bench-mark to which I measure every single movie – in these particular thriller categories – since then. Generally, in my opinion, any rival movie that has had the misfortune of following in their wake and trying to emulate them have, for the large part, been nothing more than a pale imitation. There are, and have been, no greater performances than that of the fantastic Rebecca De Mornay as Payton Flanders in THTRtC, who I’m fairly convinced could literally pierce holes in the snow with her stare of death, and Glenn Close as Alex Forrest in FA, who’s throwaway psychotic turn was a truly sharp level of insanity. They are the queens of ‘don’t fuck with me’. Now there have been many more throughout the years, and some of them have even quite entertaining, though never reaching the heights of the aforementioned two. So here, once again, we are presented with the latest attempt…Unforgettable.
Oh dear! To be honest, I went in not expecting much at all, with the assumption that I would be watching a pointless boring movie. Ten points for me then. Unforgettable is written by Christina Hodson (Shut In – 2016) and David Leslie Johnson (Orphan – 2009, Wrath of the Titans – 2012, The Conjuring 2 – 2016) and directed by Denise Di Novi (mainly a producer, previously directed absolutely nothing). It centres around a woman who sets out to make life hell for her ex-husband’s new wife (yes, you have heard that story a thousand times before), and that is about as exciting and in-depth as the plot gets. Just looking at the writing and directing credentials alone, it safe to say that setting your expectations real low would be a safe bet. If you want to set them lower, feel free to watch the trailer too. Now, obviously factoring all these in, you’d think the bar couldn’t get any lower. Well, start digging.
Let’s look at the casting. In the role of ‘ex-husband’s new wife’, AKA Julia Banks, we have the fantastic gem-of- an-actress that is Rosario Dawson (Kids – 1995, 25 th Hour – 2002, Sin City – 2005, Death Proof – 2007 and every recent Marvel series on Netflix, amongst many others). Utterly wasted in such a travesty of a movie, she is the single reason I didn’t die of boredom or walk out the cinema due to my own body disallowing my brain to make me sit there any longer. Though she had nothing but a painstakingly bad script to work with, Dawson still managed to own every single scene that she was in. She’s that good. That being said, at the same time it kind of angered me that she could have ever read this script and think it good. Still, money talks, I guess.
Now, for every ex-husband there is the ex-wife. An unstable psychopath there to exact pain and havoc on the new girl on the block. Enter Tessa Connover. Tessa is played by Katherine Heigl; one of the world’s worst actresses and pretty much universally hated by humans, animals and mythical creatures alike. Star of such classic cinema masterpieces as Valentine (2001), The Ringer (2005), 27 Dresses (2008) and Killers (2010). The list of terrible movies goes on. Tessa is, first and foremost, a bitch (which, depending on if you believe the countless reports throughout her career, probably wasn’t much of a stretch). The problem is, that she’s not the slightest bit terrifying or even a tiny percentage intimidating. Although supposed to be massively irked and seething with danger at the disgust of her ex moving on, she carries a facial expression that, rather than saying ‘I will fucking destroy you’, looks more like she’s pissed off because the bins weren’t put out on garbage day. You just want to slap her round the face and tell her to grow the hell up, perhaps pop her a Prozac too. Heigl is characteristically wooden in her delivery and thoroughly unpleasant and uninteresting to watch. I’m really not sure what possessed the casting department. That being said, taking in account the quality of the script, there probably wasn’t many takers in the first place. I imagine there were longer queues at the Post Office on pension day.
So, to the husband David, played by Geoff Stults (Wedding Crashers – 2005, She’s Out of my League – 2010, J. Edgar – 2011). To be fair, Stults is fine in the role, but it’s the role that is the problem. There is nothing new about this character whatsoever. You can pretty much guarantee that the men in these movies are going to be complete fucking idiots that don’t see what is blatantly right in front of their eyes and spend the whole movie patronising their new spouse, convinced that there is some sort of emotional or mental issue with their latest loved one, whilst missing all the obvious signs that his ex is a complete nut-job. IT’S BORING! They are, fall all intents and purposes, completely useless. The character of David, in his entirety, was predictable as hell and completely in keeping with the type, void of any originality and depth. Finally, we have Isabella Kai Rice as the unfortunate daughter stuck in the middle of this cliched mess, Lily. Well, she’s a delightful little ten-year- old actress and I’ll say no more.
Unforgettable moves incredibly slow. Nothing of any worth happens in the first hour, unless you find setting up a fake Facebook account exhilarating and dastardly revenging. Oh, and don’t forget the dirty/sulky looks Tessa consistently gives Julia. They are truly, well…meh. Who cares? Still, once that first hour is over with, get ready for a following forty minutes of…oh, still nothing. Nope! Unforgettable is a non-start, by-the- numbers thrillless ride of absolute inadequacy that fails to deliver anything of worth or even a single iota of freshness to a tired genre. I say by-the- numbers, but perhaps it’s more paint by-the- numbers, if it were painted by a two-year- old who didn’t give a shit what the end result was as long as they were satisfied that they just got it out there for others to view. This movie follows the blueprint of piss-poor ‘obsession movie’ copies to the letter, without deviating or presenting itself with something brand spanking new for audiences to enjoy. It’s slow, bland, predictable, cliched, uninspired, lazy, poorly scripted, directorially standard and builds to an anti-climax you just won’t give a toss about. There were only two good things about Unforgettable: Rosario Dawson and the fact that it eventually ended.
Unforgettable? Well, you know where I’m going with this.