At one point in Allen Coulter's bromidic and hazardous Remember Me, our two leads - played by Robert Pattinson and Emilie de Ravin - surrender to a little afternoon delight, their movements harsh and their faces swollen and cut so as to illustrate their tragic, misfortunate upbringings.
And when this post-teen drama isn't wallowing in the murky waters of the adverse and the banal, it offers mild rewards in the chemistry of its two battered, recouping souls. But at the end of the day, these characters aren't so much the gophers of life's bumpy misfortunes, but rather the victims of a desperate screenwriter.
Tyler Hawkins (Robert Pattinson) is a 21-year old slacker; he seethes with rage at the mere sight of his father (Pierce Brosnan), a friction further enhanced after the loss of his older brother Michael to suicide. After a run-in with a carefree, spiteful police officer (Chris Cooper), Tyler, with the help of his standard-order roommate, discovers that the cold-hearted cop has a daughter (Emilie de Ravin).
Conceived initially as a mere bet - or petty revenge - Tyler starts seeing the slinky, playful Ally who likes to eat her dessert before her meal because what better way to become endearing to an audience than to possess some quirky, against-the-grain character trait? Right, but she also does it because she believes that "if you want something, why wait?" Oh boy, looks like someone has a walk of shame in their future.
Needless to say, after a romantic night at the bachelor pad - full of more dessert and a friendly water war - the two begin to hit it off and lick their collective life wounds with Ally revealing her very comic-book origin childhood story (shown in full detail in the opening scene) in which a duo of hoodlums rob and shoot her mother before her eyes.
And it's this cheap, manipulative sense of coincidence and tragedy that ultimately drowns the film - probing and searching for any emotional response, regardless of sincerity. The final act of desperation - astoundingly foolhardy and exploitative - proves to be the proverbial nail-in-the-coffin. [C]