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Julia (Rosario Dawson) moves in with her fiancee, David (Geoff Stults) in preparation for their wedding. David is divorced with a little girl, Lily and has joint custody of her with his ex-wife, Tessa (Katherine Heigl), a controlling mother who can’t seem to give up on her relationship. She sets out to push Julie out of their life any way possible.
Unforgettable quietly popped up in theatres amidst some bigger movies and there hasn’t been much publicity, even as it features the return of Heigl after what seems like a long hiatus of sorts. Even bigger news, it features the female lead of the Netflix Original series, Daredevil, Dawson, among her many movie and TV accomplishments. However, not even these two can save what might have been a memorable experience.
Let’s start with the pros. Unforgettable does have a solid cast. The majority of the cast delivers on their performances with Dawson fantastic as the woman with a secret past just trying to live her life in this new reality with the love of her life while learning to be a mom. She has the most depth and character development, though Heigl manages to channel some crazy. There are some intense scenes that worked well. These are real focal points of the film and they brings the chills. On the hand, David is a decent character but the script didn’t give him much to do. Lily is played by Isabella Kai Rice and as child actors go, she did alright. Surprisingly, although in a supporting role, Whitney Cummings, who plays Julia’s best friend, is the most uplifting character and brings a few laughs and a nice contrast to the cast.
The next pro goes to capturing the suspense with nice camera work. There are a few shots in this film that really do a good job of using a first-person perspective that create solid suspense. These shots were mostly in the first act, but things start falling apart really quickly and it doesn’t have much to do with the camera work or the potential for suspense but rather the execution.
Unforgettable is actually … kind of forgettable. What makes it hard to swallow is that there is such great potential. The second act was supposed to hit a climax and give character development some meaning yet it is too contrived and predictable. There is no subtlety in it. It is like the filmmakers are scared the audience is incapable of linking one thing to the next so there is an over-focus on hints that make scenes incredibly easy to figure out, stripping away all the thrills. Not to mention, the dialogue sometimes just couldn’t hit the right tone, often feeling rather awkward. By the time it reaches the finale, it starts hitting the right notes for a moment before falling even farther apart with some nonsensical conversation between these women that made the entire movie want to hit something deeper in an attempt to give the end a little twist yet somehow it didn’t work that well.
Directed by Denise Di Novi, in her feature-length debut, the effort here is solid though the thrills aren’t consistent. Scenes are predictable. While the performances were great and everyone did what they could with what they had, it just wasn’t enough to pull it all together which is a shame because the potential is there. However, this isn’t the bottom of the barrel, good for a rainy day or a lazy Sunday afternoon.
Movie description: Unforgettable is a 2017 thriller about a woman who becomes obsessed with making life a living hell for her ex-husband's new wife.
Director(s): Denise Di Novi
Actor(s): Katherine Heigl, Rosario Dawson, Geoff Stults, Cheryl Ladd, Isabella Kai Rice, Whitney Cummings, Simon Kassianides