The makers of "Remember Me" had a pretty nifty romantic drama going for a while there. Robert Pattinson and Emilie de Ravin cast off the ghosts of "Twilight" and "Lost" as New York City college students falling in love. They give it all they've got, and they are pretty darned charming.

Their family conflicts are intelligently sketched in. He's mad at his financier father for being too distant, she worries that her cop dad is too smotheringly protective. Each is overcoming a family tragedy. The milieu is nicely detailed, with convincing, atmospheric locations in Queens, Wall Street, dumpy student digs and swank Hamptons vacation homes. The hip banter is well above average, and the supporting cast (Pierce Brosnan, Chris Cooper, Lena Olin) is first-rate.

The script has a playful way of tweaking clichéd love-movie scenes. When a flirty kitchen episode becomes too movie-ish, somebody gets jokingly drenched with a pot of cold spaghetti water, and it really livens up the scene.

But the project takes a fatal wrong turn by demanding that we wallow in a dramatic twist of fate. A seemingly inconsequential action at the climax becomes a profound life-changer, giving each character's journey an unpredictable -- and I would argue, contrived -- conclusion. Director Allen Coulter is apparently aiming to create the feeling that we're watching individuals in real life rather than characters in a movie. The device that screenwriter Will Fetters uses to impose that unearned gravitas on the finale left me feeling like he'd doused the audience with a pot of cold spaghetti water. And not in a nice way.

Colin Covert • 612-673-7186


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