I knew I had a better chance of winning the lottery than uncovering a hidden gem in Denise Di Novi's melodramatic thriller Unforgettable. Warner Brothers did not even try to make the film look decent in its abysmal trailer, which highlights the all-too-brief girlfight between stars Katherine Heigl and Rosario Dawson. This film is actually profoundly disappointing given the level of talent involved and its R rating. I wanted more catty backstabbing and over-the-top domestic turbulence. Instead, I got a boring, cable-television quality drama that is way too restrained given its pulpy plot.
The film opens with a bruised Dawson in a police interrogation room. Her Julia Banks has been accused of murdering an abusive ex-lover, Michael (Simon Kassianides). The film then backs the fuck up six months in time to when Julia quits her hipster job at a fiction Web site to move in with new fiancée David Connover (Geoff Stults). Also present at his mansion is his daughter, Lilly (Isabella Rice), who quickly warms to Julia. Too bad David's ex-wife, Tessa (Heigl), lives down the street. She shows up unannounced, looking like a chain-smoking, daddy-issues Barbie and begins passive aggressively screwing with Julia. When she tires of that, Tessa commences meddling in Julia's life in more dramatic ways.
Let's face it, Heigl is naturally adept at playing a bitch. I know I shouldn't say that, but it's true. I remember reading an article around the time Grey's Anatomy came out that confirmed she was also not a nice person in real life. That's probably not true though. Maybe she's a lovely woman. Haters. Nevertheless, she's kind of perfect for the Tessa role and is looking damn good. That's why I wanted more! I really wanted Unforgettable to devolve into a string of "no you didn't, bitch" insults and scrapping. Since this movie will likely make all women ashamed, it at least could have embraced its pulpy, B-movie premise and ramped up the crazy. Instead, Dawson gives a too-earnest performance and Heigl does things like screw guys in her car and hack into Julia's iCloud account. Boring.
David is the movie's biggest douche. You have an obviously mentally disturbed ex-wife and a terrible mother-in-law (Cheryl Ladd), and you leave your new fiancée at home and accuse her of abusing your kid. A more compelling movie would have seen Tessa and Julia hooking up and getting revenge on David. Perhaps in the sequel. Unforgettable is all over the place. The domestic-abuse subplot is a non-starter, and Tessa's internal struggles are unconvincing. Things get good for about sixteen seconds when Dawson and Heigl start scrapping, but this is quickly over. No, Unforgettable is not a good movie. What were you expecting?
The 1.78:1/1080p/AVC-encoded image is expectedly clean and crisp. Other than a couple of softer shots, this digitally shot production is attractive and detailed. Fine-object detail is strong in facial features, on costumes, and in the sets. Colors are nicely saturated, shadow detail is good, and motion blur is minimal. Other than some minor digital noise, this is a competent, unflashy transfer.
The 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack suits the material. Dialogue is clear and unobstructed by effects and score. Atmospheric effects surround the viewer, and the soundtrack is nicely layered. The minimal action effects utilize the LFE and surrounds effectively. French, Spanish, English and Portuguese 5.1 Dolby Digital tracks are included, as are English SDH, French, Spanish and Portuguese subtitles.
PACKAGING AND EXTRAS:
This two-disc "combo pack" includes the Blu-ray, a DVD and an UltraViolet HD digital copy. The discs are packed in an eco-case that is wrapped in a slipcover. Extras include a Commentary by Producer/Director Denise Di Novi; Reclaiming What's Yours: Making Unforgettable (10:09/HD), which is superficial; and a Deleted Scene with Optional Commentary (2:06/HD).
This is a bad movie that could have been entertaining had director Denise Di Novi and leads Katherine Heigl and Rosario Dawson swung for the rafters and really pushed the R rating to pulpy, girlfight heights. As it stands, this is cable-television melodrama at its worst. Skip It.