Not campy enough to recommend nor adequately creepy to work as a straight-out thriller, Unforgettable is mostly a showcase for the series of absurd catfights that take place between Rosario Dawson and an obviously vamping Katherine Heigl.
The picture is one in a long line of thrillers in which a woman becomes romantically involved with a man only to find out that his ex-wife (or girlfriend) is an insane stalker who can set you up and make your life miserable. At the film’s beginning, Dawson’s Julia is leaving her nebulous office job as an online editor for some type of publication to move to small town California, where she plans on marrying the affably bland David (Geoff Stults), the founder of a brewing company.
David has a young daughter and an ex-wife named Tessa (Heigl), who is seemingly lurking around every corner to spoil the fun for the two lovebirds. Nearly every time we spot her with a glass of wine in hand, we know she’s up to no good. This typically occurs when she’s stalking Julia online, setting up a Facebook account in her name and luring the abusive ex-boyfriend against whom Julia has a restraining order to the home that she shares with David. You know, as such things are done.
This is one of those films in which Julia begins to look like the crazy one because – as chance would have it – literally everything works against her – David’s daughter briefly goes missing at a carnival, Tessa falls down some stairs – to make her look bad.
The film’s best scene follows a meeting between Julia and Tessa, during which the latter tells the former that she and David used to have sex in public places, giving Julia the idea to pull David into a private room during a meeting regarding his brewing company. All the while, Tessa hilariously masturbates while having an online conversation with Julia’s abusive ex. The two scenes edited together make for one of the most ridiculous sequences since Cameron Diaz had sex with a windshield in The Counselor.
Dawson has the more thankless job of portraying the relatively normal Julia, while Heigl gets to have all the funny as Tessa, who is one of the most over-the-top villains of recent memory. She’s an absurd character, but Heigl is clearly enjoying herself.
Regardless, it’s pretty easy to see where the story is going. Julia will have to face her ex-boyfriend again. Tessa will go off the deep end and put everyone in danger. And there’s a hilarious finale that I saw coming from a mile away, but it still managed to be preposterously amusing. Unforgettable has an accurate title – but not for the reasons it likely intends.