HOLLYWOOD—Ok, Hollywood, here’s an important lesson for the day: the stalker genre is not dead, but if you’re going to reinvent what has been seen countless times on the big screen try to bring something fresh to the table. I swear it seems so many movies are trying to capture the glitz and the terror of that 1987 classic “Fatal Attraction” starring Glenn Close and Michael Douglass; however, they always fall short. I mean we had “Obsessed,” “The Perfect Guy,” “No Good Deed” and now we have “Unforgettable.”
This new thriller stars Katherine Heigl as a woman, who just is not ready to let her former lover go, and is willing to go to extreme lengths to torture his soon to be wife played by Rosario Dawson. I will admit Heigl’s portrayal of Tessa is deeply disturbing, but I feel like the writers should have really pushed this character to even darker realms. We have the element of stalking which seems like a skill that Tessa has done most of her life. Perhaps that is a direct result of her overprotective and demanding mother portrayed by Cheryl Ladd.
At the root of this psychological thriller is Tessa’s inability to grapple with the fact that her ex, David (Geoff Stults) has moved from their divorce with the beautiful, Julia (Dawson). I do like the film’s ability to tackle the tough issue of a newbie entering the role of portraying parent to someone else’s child. That is NEVER an easy feat in the world, so those who have step parents or who have stepchildren can easily identify with that issue. It’s worth noting that Julia’s past is not super sweet, considering she just got out of an abusive relationship.
One of the problems with “Unforgettable” is that it suffers from issues of plausibility. I mean you can’t just throw certain elements into a movie and expect the audience to completely buy what they are being sold without a few eye rolls or huffs along the way. Julia is crazy; don’t confuse that assessment, but considering we’ve seen this type of genre become more popular in recent years, as a viewer you want to see things elevate to the next level. I mean this woman utilizes her own daughter in a plot to make Julia look incapable of caring for a child.
The biggest issue that “Unforgettable” suffers from is fatigue. The audience doesn’t see anything new that makes it a classic. If they really wanted to amplify the madness why not throw in Ladd as a co-conspirator to her daughter’s devious ways. If you’re going to do a movie that utilizes so many elements of the classic film “Fatal Attraction,” you may want to ensure the audience is getting something not displayed on the big screen before.