This review will be spoiled rotten!
Where to begin? First off, I do not have an economics degree and only know what I have read and heard from sources outside of my school studies, but how can someone afford to “semi-retire” as a blogger in San Francisco? At the age of thirty-four on top of all of that. Granted, she is moving in with new boo David to his valley home, and even then he runs a small brewery and cannot afford to pay his lawyer. Unless I missed something regarding that last bit about the lawyer, there is no way a situation like that could work, where is this extra cash coming from? As superfluous as this may be to knit-pick, it was something I caught immediately and had to bring up to my homie.
The story, a by the books erotic thriller which harkens back to ‘Obsessed’ or ‘Fatal Attraction’, had enough going on to play with manipulating the conventional formula, which could have given levity to the scenes that happened between the spicy scenes. The back and forth between Julia and David having sex, and Tessa sex-chatting with Matt was I would say the first intriguing scene in the movie. The manipulation and the naiveté intertwined that reminded me of a tactic straight out of Game of Thrones. Not all battles are fought with words or physical weapons, sex can be a driving force when it comes to manipulating others to benefit the individual. She releases her frustration and fear of being obsolete by fucking a younger guy and throwing him out of the car like it was nothing. It is the first time we see Tessa put out emotions, and drive, that are not relegated to arch intentions, she loses herself within the sabotage.
Either someone is a saint, or someone is an asshole, the lack of nuance and intrigue makes for some arch and predictable antagonists. Of course, Katherine Heigl (Tessa) would be the Machiavellian, vindictive ex-wife whose point of control is usurped by Rosario Dawson (Julia); as Dawson is clearly more flexible and understanding in a period of her life where she has every right to be as cold and manipulative as Heigl. Dawson’s demeanor and sanity is put through the ringer, having been through a traumatic experience only to land in a scenario where the ex-wife is as crazy as the ex-boyfriend. It does not help that Heigl’s mom in the movie referred to as ‘Lovey’ by the daughter, is anything but; hey I see what they did there. The arch on the grandma makes Heigl look infinitely tamer; it comes off as easy brownie points for added drama and backstory inferring that Heigl’s mom has been doing this to her since cognation. The relationship of Lucille Bluth and Lindsay Funke from ‘Arrested Development’ comes to mind as an example of inverting the cringe into a roast battle. The perspective of the situation never reaches David until it is too late; it is like watching ‘The X-Files’ during a scene where Mulder has everything he needs to convince Scully that aliens are in fact real only to discover that everything is exactly the way it was and Scully gives him that look like “really”?
Which kind of describes my reaction and face when this movie ended. I do not have a problem with characters having a distinct arch in their demeanor, speech, and intentions; but when it takes itself unbelievably seriously the flaws show doubly and create chasms in which movie riffing is at its peak ripening. And I understand that there are movies that are made for specific audiences and that there are movies that I genuinely love that some would consider horseshit and rip on what makes the movies I might like terrible. At the end of the day, having the terrible movies illuminate the pristine movies as well as make for some heavy riff time. As for ‘Unforgettable’, I hope that it hasn’t been by the time I post this piece.