Hot Take: Bad as you want it to be. Unintentionally funny at times. Katherine Heigl is a campy, convincing whack-a-doodle. This year’s When the Bough Breaks which was last year’s The Perfect Guy.
Lifetime Channel’s movies became so big, they launched a separate Lifetime Movie Network. Occasionally, though, when we’re really good, Hollywood treats us to a big screen version of the movies that are usually reserved for endless repeat on LMN. Unforgettable (an ironic title since you won’t be able to differentiate this movie from others of its ilk come next year) is one of those movies that somehow avoided landing on the Lifetime Channel and instead got the green light from a major studio (Warner Bros.) and is now unintentionally making audiences laugh as Katherine Heigl and Rosario Dawson square off in a prolonged cinematic catfight.
Dawson plays Julia, a woman with a secret past of being abused, who finally decides to give a shot with a man again and moves in with David (Geoff Stults), a divorced microbrewery owner. Enter Heigl as Tessa, David’s ex-wife and mother to his daughter Lily (Isabella Kai Rice), who is a controlling, possessive nut job and still not over losing David. It’s doesn’t appear that she loves David but seemingly appears she feels she owns David and Julia becomes her target because she’s trying to take him (and Lily) away from her. The two female leads unravel as Tessa’s tightly wound, vindictive nature takes its toll on Julia’s recently rebuilt but obviously fragile psyche. Of course, Tessa is skilled enough at lying and manipulating that David begins to let doubt seep in about Julia and even Julia herself seems to have some doubts as to what the truth might be. Or maybe that’s just Dawson’s look of surprise that she actually agreed to be in this movie.
As for the title, Unforgettable feels like some kind of inside joke than an actual meaningful title for this ’80s/’90s throwback to the Sleeping With the Enemy/Fatal Attraction genre. Outside of maybe Heigl’s over-the-top performance as the together-on-the-outside, coming-unglued-on-the-inside, apparently batshit crazy Tessa, I’m not sure there’s anything memorable about this trashy thriller. Can you call a movie an erotic thriller if the two performers have a look of absolute shame and shock after the flick’s most titillating scene? Well, they call Fifty Shades of Grey and Fifty Shades Darker so scratch that. At least the ending is something to watch and part of me thinks the filmmakers knew what they were doing as I audibly laughed out loud at a few of the most climactic moments in the third act. Based on the way the movie is sold, I have to assume they didn’t and all of the chuckles were completely unintentional. Unforgettable is not good but, hey, at least it’s watchable!
“Spoiler Free” Pros
- For Someone Who Takes Herself So Seriously, Heigl Really Likes to Slum It
Maybe all of the rumors of how serious Katherine Heigl takes herself and how difficult she is to work with are just conjecture. For one, I don’t think an actress with Bride of Chucky, Valentine, The Ugly Truth and this movie can really take themselves too seriously. Secondly, maybe the “difficult to work with” vibe is because she takes her character so seriously because she sure was believably insane in this tacky thriller.
“Spoiler Free” Cons
- Even Though It’s Watchable, It’s Still Really Bad
The script is bad. The story is bad. The characters are one dimensional. There’s nothing good about it other than it’s so bad, it becomes necessary to see how far off the rails director Denise Di Novi is willing to take it.
- Free Sia
Look, I’m really starting to worry about Sia. Is she being held hostage somewhere on a Hollywood lot, forced to make one generic soundtrack-filler track after another? Maybe there’s a hidden message in “Bird Set Free”, her obligatory addition to the Unforgettable soundtrack, to where she’s being held captive. I’m worried.