Unforgettable is a hugely suspenseful drama/thriller about a young woman, Tessa Connover (Katherine Heigl), struggling to cope with the end of her marriage as she discovers her ex-husband has moved on and now happily engaged to someone else. David (Geoff Stults), brings his new flame Julia (Rosario Dawson) into the home they once shared, and more importantly, into the life of their daughter.
Julia begins to settle into her new role as the doting step mother just as Tessa’s jealousy begins to spiral out of control, unleashing suppressed and some seriously dangerous pathological behaviour.
Unforgettable possesses nearly all of the elements you need in order to make a successful thriller. There’s the beautiful blonde lead, Tessa, who is portrayed flawless in every way, and then there’s her over bearing mother. Even though a grown woman and with a child of her own, Tessa is still subject to her mother’s controlling behaviour and the affect it has is clear. Music has been very cleverly used to create suspense in all the right places too.
As Tessa begins to deliberately sabotage Julia’s life in an attempt to remove her from the picture, she leaves a trail of destruction, committing a number of crimes to which Julia faces blame, of course. And so Julia portrays another vital element of a thriller present in Unforgettable, the innocent character accused of a crime they did not commit.
Julia also faces inner demons of her own. Traumatised by a past abusive relationship, she is tormented by the memories of her ex-boyfriend and the constant fear of him tracking her down and finding her current whereabouts. Quite often we see characters’ battle psychological issues in thrillers, and Julia is no exception in Unforgettable.
Katherine Heigl is fantastic as the menacing and psychotic ex-wife intent on taking back what she feels is hers. It’s unusual to see her in such a villainess role, you’re probably more familiar with her playing the typecast, happy go lucky lead in a rom com, whereas Tessa is a far more complex and challenging character to portray. Giving credit where it’s due, she pulls it off to say the least, showcasing great acting ability we never really knew she had.
Perhaps the most important element to a thriller is the big plot twist, and this seems to be the one Unforgettable is missing. The jaw dropping, gasping plot twist moment a film in this genre should have, never came. The finale was a bit of anti-climax and disappointing to say the least. In fact, the cards are laid out on the table from the very beginning leaving no room for surprise or speculation.
Everything that Tessa does is revealed to the audience, we don’t need to guess if it’s her messing with Julia or if Julia is suffering from extreme paranoia, we already have the answer. We already know it’s Tessa. For this reason, the audience is immediately less engaged.
Unforgettable is still arguably entertaining, and if you’re in the mood for a creepy, slightly dark thriller, with mild violence and some seriously crazy women, then this one is for you. It is just a little predictable in places and not a particularly wowing experience. Unforgettable is actually quite forgettable.
Dir: Denise Di Novi
Scr: David Leslie Johnson, Christina Hodson
Starring: Katherine Heigl, Rosario Dawson, Geoff Stults