It isn’t often that a movie’s title insists what you should think about it. Like its abusive Stepford Wife star character, “Unforgettable” blames you for not thinking what it thinks about itself. Or worse, what it thinks you should think about it.
Sure, there are plenty of movies out there about homicidal jilted exes. It’s not like this is a revelatory idea or anything. Being unoriginal isn’t even its most glaring issue, though. The worst aspect of “Unforgettable” is that it isn’t crazy enough. The way to sell this material is up the bonkers quotient. In its current state this is a passable Lifetime Movie of the Week. It could’ve been so much more.
Unfortunately, if you’ve seen any sort of advertising for this you know what you’re getting into. Just know going in that there are no surprises. Everything you thought would happen, does. The way you thought it would play out, is how it transpires. It never deviates from its course. It never spices up its narrative. It never attempts to take any chances. Slow and steady might win some races, but here it’ll just put the audience to sleep.
Julia (Rosario Dawson) has found a wonderful guy to settle down with. David (Geoff Stults) is a dreamboat who lives in a wonderful home in California and owns his own craft brewery. Only there’s one catch. Julia must deal with Tessa (Katherine Heigl), David’s ex-wife.
Tessa is all kinds of crazy. We know this because Tessa spends most of her time staring at herself in the mirror slowly brushing her perfect hair, while she, we assume, plans murders.
Heigl has the whole stand-there-with-glassy-eyes-and-clenched-jaw look down pat. It’s her signature move here, and Tessa is a basketful of icy stares and murderous rage. Why? Well, that’s complicated. OK, not really. Tessa’s mom was mean, now she’s mean to her daughter, and the cycle repeats itself. The movie would like us to think that it’s deeper than that, but nope.
Her mother, who is played by Cheryl Ladd, is just as frigid as her daughter. And in a better movie their relationship, would’ve been explored or exploited. Here it’s all stares, and glares and what-could’ve-beens.
So, Tessa becomes obsessed with Julia and begins digging up Julia’s past to, I don’t know, win back David in some twisted way. I’m very unsure on what Tessa was setting out to accomplish with her insane shenanigans. Perhaps that’s why the movie is so dull.
Let’s take a deep dive into Tessa, this nutso character. Let’s find out what makes her tick. Let’s get intimate with her insanity. But, nah! This movie is only concerned with getting from point A to point B as quickly as possible.
When faced with the unoriginality of a crazy ex-wife movie, at some point you’ve got to try and distance yourself from the pack. “Unforgettable,” doesn’t attempt to do that at all. It’s content with playing it safe and allowing all the pieces to fall into their predetermined spaces.
Speaking of playing games there’s a chessboard featured in this movie that was made up of different sized salt and pepper shakers. It only appears for a moment, and yet is the one thing about this movie I can’t forget. Now I want one.