Thursday, 13 May 2010
It wasn't all that long ago that there was a steady trickle of this kind of indie film out of America . Not any more: these days it takes a name the size of Twilight's Robert Pattinson to get people interested in the small-scale tale of a young man haunted by the dead of his brother ,who happens to fall for a young woman named Ally (Emilie de Ravin), who just happens to be haunted by the shooting death of her mother. This isn't entirely a indy film, mind you, as eagle-eyed viewers will notice that after a bit of bar action and street violence (to let us know that our hero Tyler is both too deeply hurt to commit to the ladies and someone likely to spring into violent action a little too quickly to be well-adjusted), his relationship with Ally starts off in a very traditional rom-com fashion: as the result of a bet. That's right: there's a dark secret at the heart of their relationship that you just know will eventually be the trigger for a nasty break-up, followed by a tearful resolution.
What happens before all that tho works surprisingly well, as Pattinson gets to do a Brando imitation, de Ravin is an actually likeable quirky free spirit, and both of them get to work out their daddy issues (Chris Cooper plays Ally's tightly wound cop dad; Pierce Brosnan is Tyler's hi-flying but bottled up lawyer father). Most importantly, the two leads have real chemistry together, creating a true movie special effect: a cute couple. As the final ten minutes constitute something of a twist - a twist that's fairly easy to figure out if you're paying attention, but still - lets just say that the ending throws a new light on the film without taking away from what's come before.
Anthony Morris (this review appeared in Forte #475)