Does a romance film have to be about a man and a woman falling in love? Or can the film be about a number of relationships that one character has at the same time? A college student falls in love with one of his classmates while taking care of his younger sister who feels neglected by their father. The relationship between father and son, brother and sister, brother and (deceased) brother, etc. "Remember Me" is a romance drama that isn't just about two college lovers in New York City, it's about all the relationships that make up our lives and that can change us as we become more aware of our surroundings.
"Remember Me" tells the story of a rebellious college student, Tyler (Robert Pattinson) whose relationship with his father (Pierce Brosnan) is anything but desirable. Tyler, in an act of heroism, is beaten up and thrown in jail by a cop (Chris Cooper) whose daughter Ally (Emilie de Ravin) soon becomes a romantic fixture in Tyler's life. Awkward? Oh yeah.
From the first scene up until the final credits roll, "Remember Me" exemplifies that it is like no other of today's films slapped with the label "date movie." It grabs you with its opening moments and never lets you go until you are so emotionally exhausted that it will seem as if you were personally part of this story. The film's closing is extremely powerful and moving.
This is all due to Pattinson's performance. The film's entire ability to work hinges on Pattinson, the movie's heart and soul. This is no Edward Cullen, though the characters have a similar demeanor, that we watch fall in love with a girl who is not Kristen Stewart, over the course of these two hours, and it is a nice change to see that Pattinson does actually have talent. Had another young actor with half the talent taken this role, this film would have been a mess.
This love story covers so many different angles that it continues to set itself apart from other romantic dramas.
Pierce Brosnan is only in a handful of scenes, but he's a tour-de-force in all of them. It is nice to see that Pattinson is able to hold his own in the climactic scene when these two butting heads finally let loose.
Ruby Jerins is perfect as the quirky little sister who is nothing like her classmates, often feeling weird and alone not just in school, but in respect to her seemingly negligent father. It is her relationship with Pattinson that drives a good portion of the movie and makes you fall in love with Tyler and root for him.
Lena Olin is that seasoned actress perfect for making an often-throwaway role something more. Olin is not just sitting in the background as the action unfolds, her presence is always felt. In just a simple look, she is able to express everything you need and much more.
Finally, Emilie de Ravin brings that sense of light and hope that this dark film needs. For material that ends up being very sad, she is that force driving Tyler -- and this film -- to a happier place.
The subject matter of "Remember Me" is not appropriate for middle schoolers. I have no idea how this movie did not receive an R-rating, but the film is handled with utmost care by director Allan Couter, writer Will Fetters and their cast. They show how beautiful and tragic life can be in such a short time.
Joe Polino is a senior at Canisius High School.
3 stars out of 4