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Mean memories

Movies | Remember Me forces viewers to remember too much

Issue: "Cities of God and Man," March 27, 2010

It's not quite possible to write a responsible review of Remember Me without spoiling the ending, so I'm warning everyone: This review will ruin the movie for you. If you are a Robert Pattinson fan, rest assured that he's pretty good in it-all of the acting is good, in fact- and that he's just as pale and serious here as he was in the Twilight films.

Remember Me (rated PG-13 for violence, sexual content, language, and smoking) is a drama about a college student named Tyler (heartthrob Pattinson) who gets punched by an overzealous cop (Chris Cooper) after trying to break up a fight in an alley. Cooper's character is gratifyingly complex-his wife is murdered during the movie's prologue and his only joy is his rebellious daughter Ally (Emilie de Ravin). Tyler, naturally, begins dating Ally. One of the movie's best qualities is the skill with which Cooper and Pierce Brosnan (who plays Tyler's dad) show us that their characters aren't monsters-merely men who deeply love their children without being demonstrative.

All right, remember that I warned you: The movie's big twist, and the thing that draws all of its plot threads together, is that it ends with the attacks on the World Trade Center in 2001. I'm giving this away because I think it's a tremendously irresponsible event to "borrow" for your twist ending, particularly if you haven't made it clear in your marketing campaign that you'll be asking many moviegoers-probably thousands in New York, where I live-to revisit some of the worst moments of their lives. By denying viewers the chance to make an informed decision about that for the sake of a plot device, these filmmakers reveal a truly skewed set of priorities.

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