A crazy ex-wife starts a head-on attack on her ex-husband’s new fiancée in the lurid yet fun domestic thriller “Unforgettable,” an entertaining exercise in over-the-top camp that’s played with a straight sincerity that makes it deliciously satisfying. This guilty pleasure movie was in no way meant to be as silly and funny as it is, and that’s what makes it so amusing.
Tessa (Katherine Heigl) is flat out nuts and goes off the deep end when she meets her hunky ex-husband’s (Geoff Stults) new fiancée, Julia (Rosario Dawson). Tessa makes Julia’s life a living hell by stalking her on social media, trying to pin her by lying and stealing, and reaching out to her formally abusive boyfriend. You know the drill: it’s a nightmare for everyone involved. This thriller makes a solid use of its R rating with well-placed profanity, bloody violence, and is spiced up with a bit of “Fifty Shades” eroticism thrown into the mix. It’s the perfect goofy, brainless movie choice for a girls’ night out.
The production values are actually quite good, which makes me think the studio intended for this movie to be a serious drama and not the near laugh riot that it actually is. It was the early booming, ominous musical cues telling the audience what to think and feel that was the first thing to make me laugh out loud.
What’s truly so very funny about the movie is Heigl, who gives a campy as all get-out performance that’s completely unintentional. If any other actor had been cast in her role, it would be sad. But here it’s sort of awesome simply because it’s the unlikable, cold, and untalented Heigl. She just makes it so much better with her crazy bug-eyed stares and unwitting overacting while loudly spewing lines like “you gave it all to her RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME!!!!!” Her performance is barely a step above Elizabeth Berkley’s in “Showgirls,” but I think this washed up actress has finally found her niche because she can play unpleasant and crazy like no other. I do find it a little sad, however, that Dawson gives a surprising (and totally wasted) sympathetic performance as a victimized woman.
There isn’t much new in terms of the story, making it forgettable overall. The standard psycho female thriller genre elements all make their required appearance. Movies like this frequently make guys look stupid, and this one is no exception. The man caught in the middle is clueless and mostly irrelevant, leading you to internally ask yourself why these women are fighting over such a dolt. The characters react with such irrational absurdity that it truly makes you wonder if any of these fictional folks have ever watched a movie like this in real life. It’s akin to the horror movie where you simply want to shout out, “don’t go in there!”
While it’s more of the same in the trashy, “Fatal Attraction” vein, the final showdown and ending are pleasant surprises and a bit different than your standard tawdry “crazy bitch” affair. The film embraces what it is, so set the bar low and you’ll be pleasantly surprised. While it’s not really the definition of a good movie, it’s still pretty watchable.