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Thursday, March 18, 2010 01:01 am

Remember asks too much of its audience

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Allen Coulter’s Remember Me is more an exercise in frustration than an entertaining time at the movies. It features a solid cast that’s able to make its soap opera conventions far more believable than they have any right to be. They bring life to characters who, in other hands, would have been overwrought stereotypes. Yet the film labors under a sense of predestination that it simply can’t shake. We know early on that a cataclysmic tragedy will befall these characters, making us hesitant to become engaged in their lives.

Robert Pattinson continues his brooding Twilight ways as Tyler Hawkins, a poor little rich boy with a perpetual pout who’s caught in a self-destructive spiral. Out with his roommate Aiden (Tate Ellington) one evening, he ends up getting arrested after getting into an altercation with a police officer (Chris Cooper) whose daughter, Ally (Emilie de Raven) happens to go to the same school as they do. Aiden dares Tyler to ask her out and then break up with her to get back at her father. Anyone who’s seen at least one romance will be able to tell this plan is doomed from the start.

To be sure, there’s a fair amount of predictability inherent in every film and the fact that Tyler would begin to see life in a different light after falling in love is part and parcel to this genre. It helps that Pattinson and de Raven are competent performers who bring a degree of believability to their characters, as do Cooper and Pierce Brosnan and Lena Olin as Tyler’s divorced parents. But despite all of this, they cannot overcome the fact that it’s a little hard to become involved with a pair of doomed lovers without feeling cheated.

Contact Chuck Koplinski at ckoplinski@usd116.org.