Unforgettable (2017 film)

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Unforgettable 2017 poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byDenise Di Novi
Produced by
  • Denise Di Novi
  • Alison Greenspan
  • Ravi D. Mehta
Written byChristina Hodson
Music byToby Chu
CinematographyCaleb Deschanel
Edited byFrédéric Thoraval
Distributed byWarner Bros. Pictures
Release date
  • April 21, 2017 (2017-04-21) (United States)
Running time
100 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States
Budget$26.9 million[2]
Box office$17.8 million[1]

Unforgettable is a 2017 American drama thriller film directed by Denise Di Novi (in her directorial debut) and written by Christina Hodson. The film stars Rosario Dawson, Katherine Heigl, Geoff Stults, Isabella Rice, and Cheryl Ladd, and follows a divorcée who begins to torment her ex-husband's new fiancée.

Principal photography began on August 17, 2015 in Los Angeles. The film was released on April 21, 2017 by Warner Bros. Pictures. The film, which received mostly negative reviews, grossed $17.8 million worldwide against its $26.9 million budget.


Julia Banks (Rosario Dawson) is questioned for the murder of her psychotic ex-boyfriend, Michael (Simon Kassianides). Julia claims she has been set up, despite social media conversations showing her lusting after Michael.

Six months earlier, Julia receives a send-off from her boss and friend, Ali (Whitney Cummings), from her job as chief online editor for a storytelling website. Julia plans to work remotely from the mansion she will share with her fiancé David Connover (Geoff Stults) and her soon-to-be stepdaughter Lily (Isabella Rice). At David's house, Julia is greeted by his ex-wife Tessa (Katherine Heigl), who is not coping with the end of their marriage two years earlier.

The next evening, Tessa drops something off at the house, and Lily insists she stays for dinner. Tessa criticizes Julia's cooking and leaves. Julia learns that her restraining order against Michael has expired, much to her distress.

Tessa is visited by "Lovey" (Cheryl Ladd), her controlling and belittling mother. Investigating Julia online, Tessa discovers her restraining order against Michael. She sets up a Facebook account impersonating Julia, and messages Michael, telling him how much "Julia" misses him.

Julia receives a surprise flower delivery, sent anonymously by Tessa to make it appear Julia is having an affair. While Julia is at the door, Tessa sneaks in and steals David's watch, his grandmother's wedding ring, and a pair of Julia's panties. That afternoon, while Julia and Lily visit David at a farmer's market, Lily wanders off. Julia finds her in the arms of Tessa, who is complaining to David about Julia's incompetence as a mother. When Tessa shows up at the house, Julia confronts her for trying to reenter David's life. The women have lunch together in an attempt to reconcile, and Tessa claims that David left her was because he suspected she was having an affair. Tessa mails Michael the watch and panties.

Tessa tries to get Lily to ride an unruly horse at her horseback riding practice, but Julia notices Lily’s fear and takes her home, to Tessa's annoyance. That night, Tessa pleasures herself in her car while sending sexually explicit messages, posing as Julia, to Michael.

Tessa cuts Lily's long hair short as punishment for leaving riding practice early, leading to a heated argument with Julia. Tessa throws herself down the stairs and pretends Julia accidentally pushed her when David arrives. After taking Tessa to a hospital, David castigates Julia for treating his ex-wife so badly. Julia calls on Ali for help, and they discover Tessa’s child services records; as a teenager, she attempted to kill her father when he cheated on her mother.

Tessa messages Michael, as Julia, saying she wants him to visit for sex. Michael enters the house when Julia is alone, and when she spurns his advances, he attacks her. A badly beaten Julia stabs him in the leg with a kitchen knife and escapes the house. Tessa, waiting outside, enters and stabs Michael in the chest.

In the present, the police release Julia, stating the investigation into Michael’s death will continue. David is initially supportive after a tearful Julia explains her history with Michael, but when the police show him the "evidence", he becomes disillusioned and goes to Tessa's house to get Lily. There, he sees burned gloves in the fireplace and his grandmother's wedding ring on Tessa's finger, realizing that Tessa framed Julia.

Tessa knocks David out with a fireplace poker. Julia arrives and tries to call 9-1-1, but is attacked by Tessa. Subduing Tessa, Julia rushes to revive David, but Tessa attacks her with a knife. Seeing herself in a mirror, Tessa realizes the monster she has become and stabs herself in the stomach. Dying, Tessa begs Julia to not let Lily remember her like this.

Six months later, David and Julia are married and have moved into a new house with Lily. Julia answers the door to find Lovey wanting to see her granddaughter. Julia looks on in horror as Lovey hugs Lily.



On January 9, 2014, it was announced that Warner Bros. had hired Amma Asante to direct the female-centric thriller Unforgettable. Denise Di Novi was set to produce the film along with Alison Greenspan, while Christina Hodson was writing the script.[3] On December 2, 2014, Kate Hudson and Kerry Washington were cast as the leads in the film, about a man who is threatened by his ex-wife.[4] On June 22, 2015, after director Asante and actresses Hudson and Washington had left the project, it was revealed that producer Di Novi would make her directorial debut with the film.[5][6] It was also revealed that David Leslie Johnson had co-written the script along with Hodson.[5] On August 12, 2015, Katherine Heigl was cast to play Tessa Connover, the sly and mentally unstable divorced mother who threatens her ex-husband, daughter, and her ex-husband's new girlfriend.[7][8] The same day, Rosario Dawson was cast as the girlfriend, Julia Banks, who tries to fight back against Tessa.[7][9] On August 21, 2015, more cast was announced, including Geoff Stults as David, the ex-husband, Isabella Rice as Lily, the daughter, Cheryl Ladd as Heigl's character's mother, and Simon Kassianides, Whitney Cummings, and Robert Wisdom.[7][10]

Ravi D. Mehta and Emanuel Michael were also announced as producers of the film, along with other members of the creative team, including cinematographer Caleb Deschanel, production designer Nelson Coates, editor Frédéric Thoraval, and costume designer Marian Toy.[7]


Principal photography on the film began on August 17, 2015, in and around Los Angeles.[7][9]


Unforgettable was released on April 21, 2017, by Warner Bros. Pictures.

Box office[edit]

Unforgettable grossed $11.4 million in the United States and Canada and $6.4 million in other territories for a worldwide gross of $17.8 million.[1] There were different estimates of the budget, the Los Angeles Times estimated the film had a production budget of $12 million,[11] California government reports state that the film spent $26.9 million on location that was eligible for tax rebates.[2]

In the United States and Canada, Unforgettable opened alongside The Promise, Born in China, Free Fire and Phoenix Forgotten, and was initially projected to gross around $7 million from 2,417 theaters in its opening weekend.[12] However, after grossing just $1.7 million on Friday, weekend projections were lowered to $4–5 million. It ended up opening to $4.8 million, finishing 7th at the box office.[13]

Critical response[edit]

On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 26% based on 117 reviews, with an average rating of 3.96/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Unforgettable's talented cast makes this domestic thriller consistently watchable, even if its failure to fully embrace its premise's campy possibilities prevents it from living up to its title."[14] On Metacritic, the film has a score of 45 out of 100, based on 27 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[15] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "C" on an A+ to F scale.[16]

Vince Mancini of Uproxx called the film "a surprisingly well-executed version of exactly what you assumed it would be. Which is to say, it’s a 'psycho ex' movie that’s fun, but doesn’t exactly reinvent the genre...It’s fun while it lasts, let’s say (the opposite of its title, basically). Sometimes that’s enough, but your mileage may vary."[17]


  1. ^ a b c "Unforgettable (2017)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved August 12, 2017.
  2. ^ a b Film and Television Tax Credit Program Program 2.0 (PDF) (Report). California Film Commission. p. 9. Retrieved October 4, 2018.
  3. ^ McNary, Dave; Kroll, Justin (January 9, 2014). "Warner Bros. Rings 'Belle' Director for New Thriller (EXCLUSIVE)". variety.com. Retrieved August 22, 2015.
  4. ^ Jaafar, Ali (December 2, 2014). "Kate Hudson & Kerry Washington Prove 'Unforgettable' For Amma Asante". deadline.com. Retrieved August 22, 2015.
  5. ^ a b Kit, Borys (June 22, 2015). "Producer Denise Di Novi to Make Directorial Debut With Warner Bros. Thriller (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved August 22, 2015.
  6. ^ Sneider, Jeff (June 22, 2015). "Kerry Washington, Kate Hudson Exit Warner Bros. Thriller 'Unforgettable'". thewrap.com. Retrieved August 22, 2015.
  7. ^ a b c d e Evry, Max (August 21, 2015). "Unforgettable Begins Production with Katherine Heigl and Rosario Dawson". comingsoon.net. Retrieved August 22, 2015.
  8. ^ Kroll, Justin (August 12, 2015). "Katherine Heigl to Star in Warner Bros. Thriller 'Unforgettable' (EXCLUSIVE)". variety.com. Retrieved August 22, 2015.
  9. ^ a b Kit, Borys (August 12, 2015). "Rosario Dawson Joining Katherine Heigl in 'Unforgettable' Thriller (Exclusive)". hollywoodreporter.com. Retrieved August 22, 2015.
  10. ^ Pedersen, Erik (August 21, 2015). "Ella Anderson Joins 'Mother's Day' Cast; Cheryl Ladd Is 'Unforgettable'". deadline.com. Retrieved August 22, 2015.
  11. ^ "'Fate' to top box office as Hollywood awaits 'Guardians of the Galaxy". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved April 19, 2017.
  12. ^ "Box Office: 'Unforgettable' to Get Burned by 'Fate of the Furious'". Variety. April 19, 2017.
  13. ^ "'Fate Of The Furious' Drives Five Wide Releases Off The Road With $38.6M Second Weekend". Deadline Hollywood. April 23, 2017.
  14. ^ "Unforgettable (2017)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved January 8, 2020.
  15. ^ "Unforgettable reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved May 4, 2017.
  16. ^ "Cinemascore". CinemaScore. Archived from the original on 2018-12-20.
  17. ^ Mancini, Vince (April 20, 2017). "'Unforgettable' Is An Enjoyable Genre Exercise Starring Katherine Heigl As A Psycho Ex". Uproxx.

External links[edit]