Review: Unforgettable

Really? This plot again?

By Max Weiss | April 20, 2017, 5:38 pm

-Warner Bros.

Review: Unforgettable

Really? This plot again?

By Max Weiss | April 20, 2017, 5:38 pm

-Warner Bros.

“There’s got to be a twist, right?” I said to my friend.

We had just settled into a screening of Denise Di Novi’s Unforgettable. I knew the film’s basic premise—Katherine Heigl’s Tessa becomes murderously unhinged as she watches her ex husband move in with his new fiancée—but it all seemed so regressive, so misogynist, so been-there-boiled-that-bunny, I could only assume there was more to the story than met the eye.

Well, they don’t make handy mnemonics of the word “assume” for nothin’—because there is no twist, except maybe for the fact that our lovable heroine is an Hispanic woman and our murderous diva is a white lady. Hey, I’ll take progress anywhere I can find it.

Rosario Dawson plays the nice lady in question, Julia, who moves from San Francisco to L.A. to be with her fiancée, David (Geoff Stults), who’s so blandly frat-house handsome I could’ve sworn he was once The Bachelor.

The film is so inept, it starts with a teaser of sorts—it involves Julia in a police station—that basically spoils the whole film. Honestly, it’s like the scene was designed to snuff out even the barest amount of suspense the film might have. Suffice it to say that Julia has a past and it has come back to haunt her. But who could the architect of her misfortune be? (Hint: It rhymes with Shmessa.)

The film’s greatest pleasure, as it were, comes from Heigl’s over-the-top performance. Much more so than Dawson and Stults, who mostly play it straight, she knows that she’s in a bad film, and seems to be performing for some unseen midnight crowd (either that, or auditioning for Ryan Murphy’s next televised camp fest). Tessa is a perfectionist, who wears a lot of white, doesn’t have a hair out of place or a speck of dust in her home, and expects her young daughter, Lily (Isabella Kai Rice) to be an impeccable reflection of herself. (Cheryl Ladd, also having fun, plays Tessa’s Ice Queen mother.) Naturally, Lily will eventually come to prefer the earthy, homey comforts that Julia provides, sending Tessa into an even more murderous rage.

The film works best early on, before Julia realizes how crazy Tessa is. One scene, where Tessa pretends to extend an olive branch to Julia over lunch, then regales her with stories of David’s insatiable sexual appetite, is genuinely amusing, and gives both actresses a chance to shine. But such scenes are few and far between.

Nonetheless, the audience that I saw Unforgettable with seemed to enjoy it well enough—shouting at the screen and laughing both at the film and with it. Maybe they hadn’t seen Fatal Attraction (still the gold standard of this dubious genre, by the way). Or Beyonce’s Obsessed. Or Swimfan. Or The Crush. Or The Hand That Rocks the Cradle…or…or…well I think you get the point.


Meet The Author
Max Weiss is the managing editor of Baltimore and a film and pop culture critic.

You May Also Like

In Good Taste

Everyman Theatre Brings Back Pre-Show Food and Drink Pairings

Program to highlight Ekiben, Dylan’s Oyster Cellar, Lobo, local breweries, and more.


Review: Logan Lucky

Heist film set during a NASCAR race is a total gas.

Arts District

The Big Baltimore Playlist: August 2017

The top five local songs you should download right now.

Arts District

Everyman Theatre and Maryland Film Festival Partner On Screening Series

Films at the Parkway explore connections between stage and screen

Connect With Us

Most Read

Nailed It
These nail polish shades help us transition from summer days at the pool to wooded hikes of fall.

Up and Running
Charm City Run opens its eighth location in Fells Point.

Beauty Mark
Cardamom and Clove empowers women through henna.

My Top Ten with Jonathan Hicks
The chef de cuisine at Cosima shares his favorite things.

Cameo: Bob Shirley
We talk to the longtime Maryland State Fair employee, who's been there for more than 70 years.

Doctor Finder