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Unforgettable




Unforgettable (R)
Film Reviews by Amy Diaz

04/27/17
By Amy Diaz adiaz@hippopress.com



Katherine Heigl turns her “tightly wound blonde lady” all the way up to full volume in Unforgettable, a silly but watchable thriller.

Julia Banks (Rosario Dawson) is your down-to-earth everygal. Having moved past a violent relationship, she is now happily engaged to swell guy David (Geoff Stults), who runs his own small brewery in a peaceful southern California town. Some kind of editor, Julia can take her job on the road and moves south from San Francisco to live with David and, part time, David’s daughter, Lily (Isabella Kai Rice). 
Welcome to the neighborhood, says Tessa (Heigl), David’s ex-wife and Lily’s mom, with her words. But her eyes say “get ready for the craziest crazy that ever crazied.” Even before Tessa steals Julia’s phone to create mischief, we know Tessa has decided to go all in with belittling and gaslighting Julia.
Why, you ask? In part it’s because Tessa has an obsession with perfection and not failing (her brief affair was the catalyst for David’s ending their already unhappy marriage), as evidenced by her conversations with her equally controlling mother (Cheryl Ladd). In part, it’s because she is straight up nuts like only the villain of one of these movies can be. When she’s not skulking around David’s house to steal Julia’s engagement ring and generally sow discord, she creating fake Facebook accounts to get “Julia” back in touch with her abusive ex-boyfriend. 
The problem with Tessa’s ever-intensifying campaign of messing with Julia is that pretty early on most people would probably say “thanks for the proposal but I’m out” to David. If not before, the point where Tessa stages an accident to make it look like Julia pushed her down the stairs is the point where I would have bags packed and a lawyer on retainer. Julia also doesn’t tell David about her violent ex for much longer than makes sense for her character and her current situation. 
But complaining that a catfight thriller doesn’t make real-world sense is a bit like complaining that the cars in The Fast and the Furious movies are unusually accident-prone. 
Rosario Dawson is good at playing the audience surrogate, constantly trying to decide if she’s being overly sensitive or if the crazy lady is really as crazy as she suspects. She brings a grounded-in-reality quality and sense of humor to her character.
Even better is Heigl, who seems to have found a good way to reuse that one rom-com character that she seemed to play in multiple movies during the aughts. Tessa is a ridiculous character but she fits with the tone of the movie and she makes all the silly parts of the story work.
Unforgettable is not a good movie, not smart the way that Get Out, which had some similar elements, is, but it is a fun entry into the lady-villain thriller territory. C+
Rated R for sexual content, violence, some language and partial nudity. Directed by Denise Di Novi with a screenplay by David Johnson and Christina Hodson, Unforgettable is an hour and 40 minutes long and distributed by Warner Bros. 
 





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