Combustible Celluloid
 
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With: Rosario Dawson, Katherine Heigl, Geoff Stults, Cheryl Ladd, Whitney Cummings, Simon Kassianides, Isabella Kai Rice
Written by: David Leslie Johnson, Christina Hodson
Directed by: Denise Di Novi
MPAA Rating: R for sexual content, violence, some language, and brief partial nudity
Running Time: 100
Date: 04/21/2017
IMDB

Unforgettable (2017)

1/2 Star (out of 4)

Unforgivable

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Hamstrung by clueless writing and directing, this thriller is absolute trash, trying to wring thrills by pitting mean characters against dumb characters.

In Unforgettable, divorced dad David (Geoff Stults) is engaged to his new girlfriend, Julia (Rosario Dawson), and she happily moves from the Bay Area to be with him. She starts to get to know Lily (Isabella Rice), his daughter from his former marriage to the blonde, perfect Tessa (Katherine Heigl, who, for some reason, looks a lot like Ivanka Trump).

Julia is on edge because the restraining order on her abusive ex, Michael (Simon Kassianides), has just come to an end. But Tessa begins making her life difficult as well. In a crazy attempt to repair her relationship with David, she sets up a fake Facebook page for Julia and contacts Michael, and begins to use Lily to subtly play Julia against David. When things turn violent, will Julia have enough evidence to prove that Tessa is behind it all?

Unforgettable — which, by the way, is a title that has nothing to do with anything in this story — begins with painfully awkward dialogue exchanges, proving that the screenwriters were clearly not comfortable, or even familiar, with human conversation. It also has no idea how life in general works. One character keeps her birth certificate, her passport, and other sensitive data on her phone, easily stolen (this after she has already been victimized).

Characters that are supposed to be in loving relationships don't share crucial information with each other, and, in general, they tend not to think. (At the beginning, Julia leaves San Francisco headed for Southern California, but crosses the Golden Gate Bridge, which is north of the City.) The result is that it's difficult to care about them on a basic level. But when the thriller stuff kicks in, it's impossible not to laugh.

The camerawork by director Denise Di Novi (the veteran producer making her directing debut) is clumsy and dull, and her art direction is weird and distracting. (Why are there so many glass jars filled with balls?) She vaguely attempts to steal from many other permutations of this formula, but has no idea why those things ever worked. For some, Unforgettable could be a so-bad-it's-funny experience, but for others, it's just aggravatingly bad.

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