As a package pandering to members of the Rob Pattinson Fan Club, Remember Me showcases the Twilight hottie in all his zoned-out, sideburned, hair-tousled and chin-flexing glory.
Pattinson is placed in a romantic setting and gets to smoke and play tough, gallant and troubled. And if there are no fangs, Team Edward can still imagine them there.
But Pattinson's fussy, affected acting, his grab bag of screen mannerisms and a script that has him lurching between moony romantic and wild-eyed psychotic do nothing to suggest that the dude has a prayer of a fangless career.
A more "adult" romantic melodrama that pushes the boundaries of how sexual you can get without earning an R-rating, Remember Me smashes mushy against mental illness. Pattinson plays Tyler, a morose, aimless and seemingly bipolar hunk who dotes on his much younger sister, mourns a dead brother, gets into fights just to feel something and dates a cop's daughter just to get back at the NYPD detective (Chris Cooper) who roughed him up.
But this girl (Emilie de Ravin) isn't to be trifled with. She's interested, even though he asks her out with his face all beaten up. She stays interested after seeing his violent temper and his moods and meeting his jerk workaholic dad (Pierce Brosnan) and needy little sister (Ruby Jerins).
But someday, he's going to cross paths with her dad, who will remember him. Someday he's going to find out why she never rides the subway — 10 years before, in 1991, her mom was murdered right in front of her. And eventually, as a viewer, you'll do the math, adding 10 years to 1991, and figure out where this contraption is headed.
A huge problem is the script by Will Fetters, who apparently used this as a means of landing the assignment of rewriting A Star Is Born. When Tyler's obnoxious and not-even-remotely-funny doofus roommate (Tate Ellington, poorly playing a badly written cliché of a role) talks him into dating the cop's daughter out of revenge, this is what passes for cute and witty.
"What do you want me to do? Kidnap her?"
"What? No. We don't have the closet space!"
A saving grace here is Brosnan, finding his post-Bond niche not in musicals but in playing perfectly coiffed power-suited jerks. His scenes with Tyler are over-the-top shouting matches in the middle of high-powered business meetings, but Brosnan keeps his icy, uncaring cool.
Director Allen Coulter made his mark with Hollywoodland, but unlike Brosnan, he hitched onto the Pattinson popularity express and brought nothing to the ride.