2017, R, 100 min. Directed by Denise Di Novi. Starring Rosario Dawson, Katherine Heigl, Geoff Stults, Isabella Kai Rice, Whitney Cummings, Alex Quijano, Cheryl Ladd.
REVIEWED By Kimberley Jones, Fri., April 21, 2017
What this otherwise, yes, forgettable addition to the film canon of obsessive lady psychos brings to the table is a nod to shifting family dynamics. In past films, the villain is always an interloper – conniving stepmother (Blancanieves), scorned mistress (Fatal Attraction, Obsessed), diabolical nanny (The Hand That Rocks the Cradle). Unhinged women, all, trying to worm their way into the family unit. In Unforgettable, it’s wife No. 1 who’s completely cuckoo and, refreshingly, it’s the soon-to-be second wife and new stepmother playing the heroine.Even better, that heroine is played by Rosario Dawson, a terrific, tangy actress who narrows her eyes better than anybody in the biz. After a bracing debut in 1995’s Kids, she’s overdue for another breakout role by about two decades. Unforgettable isn’t going to do the trick – for her or for Katherine Heigl. The latter tosses all those Heigl haters a bone by leaning into the public perception of her as icy and difficult by playing a perfectionist ex-wife with murderous designs to get her husband back. But the film’s structure does the suspense-building no favors. By opening near the climax then jogging back to six months prior, the story dawdles along; you keep wondering when Heigl’s character is going to well and truly open the can of crazy. The film gets there eventually, but one wishes it weren’t so timid about embracing the inherent schlockiness of the genre.