Di Novi debut a dreadful dud
I’m fortunate enough to be very happily married and have not been targeted for any bunny-boiling madness from ex-girlfriends in the past.
But if I starred in a not-so-glossy Hollywood thriller, chances are I would have suffered from a few abusive phone calls, unwelcome visits to my workplace and maybe even a gunshot wound or two from a psychotic former partner by now.
The latest predictable farce to take inspiration from pot-boilers like Fatal Attraction and The Hand That Rocks the Cradle is the inappropriately named Unforgettable.
Katherine Heigl (Tessa Connover) plays the Glenn Close wannabe who terrorises Rosario Dawson (Julia Banks) when she marries her ex-husband David (Geoff Stults).
Unforgettable marks the directorial bow of Denise Di Novi – known for producing hits including Batman Returns, Edward Scissorhands and Crazy, Stupid, Love – and it is as inauspicious a debut as you are ever likely to see.
Heigl and Dawson’s big screen careers have rather fallen off a cliff of late, with the pair doing their finest work on TV – Heigl in the past on Grey’s Anatomy and Dawson currently within Marvel’s Netflix shows.
Sadly nothing they produce here suggests an upturn in their cinematic fortunes. Heigl seems to think playing crazed means stretching your eyes wide and doing a lot of yelling while sporting perfectly straightened hair and an array of expensive-looking outfits.
Dawson, meanwhile, looks dazed and confused as the put-upon victim and the opening scene makes the fatal error of signposting key plot developments that could have delivered a shock or two later on.
It is one of several mistakes found in the sloppy script by David Leslie Johnson (Orphan, The Conjuring 2) and Christina Hodson, the latter of whom also wrote last year’s dreadful Shut In.
The pair turn their characters into walking clichés who make so many idiotic mistakes you half expect an announcement to pop up on screen telling you this is a public service video on how not to live your life.
Not once but twice do people leave their phones completely unattended in a public setting allowing someone – two guesses as to who – to come along and take advantage of the situation. I mean, come on; our phones are practically glued to our hands and pockets these days.
Di Novi’s debut limps along towards a ho-hum finale that, at the very least, does see a few fists fly before an unlikely end to Tessa’s rampage and a final scene that – shudder –would probably have led to a hastily filmed sequel back in the eighties.
Thankfully, that is highly unlikely to happen here – please, god! – as this trashy relic from a bygone era will be wiped from your mind shortly after leaving the cinema.
Facing-offDawson and Heigl’s bitter feud turns physical