Last Friday afternoon I found myself in sight of a movie theater with a couple of hours to pass. The solution was obvious.
Unforgettable (2017) – in theaters
Some movies are intended to be trash. In cinema (and several other arts) that is not the same as garbage. When indie cult film director John Waters says that American culture is trash culture, he takes pains to add that he doesn’t mean it as an insult. Something doesn’t have to be high art still to have its own integrity, just as a good hamburger can be as satisfying in its own way as a fine steak. John didn’t direct Unforgettable. Denise Di Nobi did. Nonetheless, and somewhat surprisingly given her previous work as a producer for films such as Edward Scissorhands and Crazy, Stupid, Love, her feature film directorial debut is trash. I don’t mean that as an insult, for it is satisfying in its own way. The title begs us to comment that the film is entirely forgettable, and so it is, but it nonetheless has the elements for a guilty pleasure.
Julia (Rosario Dawson) is a writer whose former boyfriend was horrifically abusive, but now she has a fabulous fiancé David (Geoff Stults): handsome, kind, and affectionate with his own craft beer business. Well, there is his perfectly groomed ex-wife Tessa (Katherine Heigl) with whom he shares custody of their young daughter Lily, but everyone has baggage, right? Julia decides to move in with David in his upscale small town and to work from home. She soon discovers, however, that Tessa is “psycho Barbie.” Tessa wants Julia gone. Julia has no social media pages due to earlier stalking issues, but Tessa opens a Facebook page in Julia’s name and initiates contact with her old obsessive and abusive boyfriend. Troubles multiply. David, as is typical of husbands/beaus in this type of movie, is well-meaning but clueless: utterly unable to see when he is being manipulated.
Dawson works her part well, but Heigl proves to be perfectly cast. Apparently Heigl has been miscast in her good girl roles all these years – a possibility of which we caught a glimpse in Home Sweet Hell (2015). She makes a perfect ruthless villain.
This movie will win no Oscars, but Thumbs mildly Up as entertainment.