There’s trash, and then there’s good trash. “Unforgettable” falls into the latter category. Slick, glossy and radiating juicy villainy, it knows exactly what kind of movie it is and goes for it with giddy abandon.Unforgettable
The story of two beautiful women embroiled in a battle over the same blandly handsome man, it’s not a complete parody of the hair-pulling sexual thriller that was a staple of guilty-pleasure cinema in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s and had a revival with 2009’s “Obsessed.” But veteran producer Denise Di Novi (“Heathers,” “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants” “Crazy, Stupid, Love”), directing for the first time, takes this premise right to the border of knowing camp and delights in letting it simmer there. Unforgettable.
I’m not saying it’s good. But I’ll admit that I had a good time.Unforgettable .
And a good deal of that has to do with the performance from Katherine Heigl as a scorned divorcee out for revenge against her ex-husband’s new love. With her statuesque frame, platinum mane and icy stares, Heigl dominates her every scene in ways that are hilarious, frightening and hilariously frightening. Finally, this is the perfect use of her commanding on-screen presence; playing rom-com heroines in movies like “27 Dresses,” “The Ugly Truth” and “Life As We Know It” always seemed like a poor fit.
But it’s hard to ignore the fact that the depiction of both Heigl’s character, Tessa, and Rosario Dawson’s Julia seems uncomfortably outdated. “Unforgettable” portrays these women as vicious rivals, both seeking the love and approval of a rich hunk to make them feel validated, complete. But the script from Christina Hodson finds room to explore the origins of their insecurities as well as their feminine strength. And the depiction of perfect, judgmental mommies in a predominately white, wealthy, Pasadena-like town in Southern California isn’t too far off.
Mostly, though, “Unforgettable” is just nutty. This much is clear early on, when Julia cuts into her going-away cake as she prepares to leave the San Francisco online publishing company where she works. Di Novi takes the time to linger on the giant blade as it slices into the letter “L” in her name. We already know that a murder has taken place: Julia’s ex-boyfriend, whose abuse drove her to seek a restraining order and a new life, is now dead. But while the actual whodunit isn’t all that intriguing, the performances and the production values elevate this familiar, tawdry material.