'Unforgettable' review: Oh, this movie is totally forgettable
What can only be described as a rogue Lifetime channel screenplay that was accidentally released in theaters, "Unforgettable" (opening in theaters April 21) is borderline unwatchable.
A much more interesting version of "Unforgettable" could exist without its contrived subplots. The basic core - that of a resentful ex-wife and a new fiancée/stepmom earnestly trying to fit into her new life is inherently grounded in deeply personal dramatic pathos. This film, however, cynically doesn't think that's compelling enough to keep people interested - so it dumbs the core conflict down in favor of domestic abuse, attempted murder, arson and actual murder b-plots. Melodrama is the symptom of any movie that lacks confidence in its story - so the filmmakers overcompensate with offensively broad story and character choices. "Unforgettable" should be listed as an example of 'melodrama' in any and all cinematic dictionaries.
While the film overcomplicates the story with needless plot twists, "Unforgettable" reduces its characters to one-dimensional caricatures. Julia is obviously the good girl and Tessa is transparently unhinged. This simplicity is the equivalent of putting Julia in a white hat while Tessa rocks a black hat as she twirls her mustache.
Okay, other films have had similarly simple characters and needlessly convoluted plots - but "Unforgettable" goes one step further with some horrifically silly dialogue. The shallow script leaves no room for character depth. Every spoken word is the laziest form of exposition - characters just blurt out exactly what they are thinking or some plot point that just lurches the story forward.
About the only part of "Unforgettable" that works is Rosario Dawson, who brings the only real shred of humanity or dimension to an otherwise flat and dull movie. Heigl is done no favor with her limited character - leaving her with little else to do than just "look like a crazy bitch."
"Unforgettable" is an over-the-top cartoon of a supposed dramatic thriller than is neither dramatic nor thrilling. At least a movie as silly as "The Boy Next Door" has value as a bad movie that's fun to take shots at, but this clunker is just a slog that is mercifully short.
Final verdict: "Unforgettable" is ironically named.
"Unforgettable" opens in theaters April 21. This dramatic thriller has a running time of 100 minutes is rated R for sexual content, violence, some language, and brief partial nudity.