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Idiotic thriller 'Unforgettable' is best forgotten

Published April 20, 2017 5:54 pm
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2017, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

There isn't a single thing about the would-be suspense thriller "Unforgettable" that isn't idiotic, fake and laughable — and that includes the title, which paints a fat bull's-eye at which critics can take aim.

It starts in a police station, where a disheveled and scarred Julia Banks (Rosario Dawson) is at a loss to explain to a detective (Robert Ray Wisdom) why her ex, Michael Vargas (Simon Kassianedes), is dead in her kitchen — and why, in spite of a history of domestic abuse and a recently expired restraining order against him, she seems to have been having lewd Facebook chats with him.

While Julia is puzzling that over, the movie skips back six months to when Julia left her job at an impossibly cool San Francisco website to live in a Southern California town with her new fiancé, David Connover (Geoff Stults), who left Wall Street to pursue his dream to open a craft brewery. David has a daughter, Lily (Isabella Kai Rice), and an ex-wife, Tessa (Katherine Heigl).



Tessa, we see from the beginning, is a tightly wound perfectionist, the kind who brushes her own and Lily's long straight hair until every split end is untangled. Thanks to a brief turn by Cheryl Ladd as Tessa's nitpicking mother, we see that the trait is hereditary.

From the moment Heigl's Tessa appears on screen, even hermits who have never seen a movie before will say, "Yup, she's the psycho." And so, in the script by Christina Hodson (who also wrote last year's widely ignored thriller "Shut In"), the only suspense comes from waiting for clueless David to figure out how crazy Tessa really is — something Julia and the audience have known since the opening credits.

"Unforgettable" — a title that is randomly generic and has no real connection to the story — marks the feature directing debut of Denise Di Novi, the veteran Hollywood producer whose long résumé includes "Heathers," "Batman Returns," "Nights in Rodanthe" and "Crazy. Stupid. Love." That's important because "Unforgettable" feels like something that came out of a producer's pitch meeting: a new-generation "Fatal Attraction" with some "50 Shades"-level sex and a horror-movie finale.

"Unforgettable" also is a prime example of a story that would never fill a movie if: A) Julia and David ever had an actual conversation; or B) everyone in the movie didn't act like an idiot. If you're unfortunate enough to be dragged to see "Unforgettable," you will hope with all your might that the title is wrong.

movies@sltrib.com

Twitter: @moviecricket —

H

'Unforgettable'

A divorced man's new girlfriend finds his ex willing to go to extremes in this dimwitted thriller.

Where • Theaters everywhere.

When • Opens Friday, April 21.

Rating • R for sexual content, violence, some language and brief partial nudity.

Running time • 100 minutes.

 

 

 

 

 

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