Unforgettable (2017 film)
|Directed by||Denise Di Novi|
|Written by||Christina Hodson|
|Edited by||Frédéric Thoraval|
|Music by||Toby Chu|
|Distributed by||Warner Bros. Pictures|
|Box office||$17.8 million|
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 million worldwide against its $12-21.5 million budget.
Julia is currently doing remote work in a mansion with her fiancé David Connover and her soon-to-be stepdaughter Lily. At David's house, Julia is greeted by his ex-wife Tessa, who is not coping with the end of their marriage two years earlier. The marriage ended after he suspected she was having an affair. Tessa makes several attempts to win back David and be Lily's mother. She anonymously sends Julia a surprise flower delivery to make it appear to David she is having an affair. Another afternoon, Julia and Lily visit David at a farmer's market. Lily wanders off in the arms of Tessa, who is complaining to David about Julia's incompetence as a mother. 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. 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 confronts Julia about treating his ex-wife so badly.
Tessa, on the side, does internet investigations in Julia, discovering her recently-ended restraining order against her psychotic ex-boyfriend Michael. She sets up a Facebook account impersonating Julia, and send messages to Michael over the course of days. Tessa, through the account, tells him how much she misses him, sending him sexually explicit messages. She also steals David's watch, his grandmother's wedding ring, and a pair of Julia's panties, sending the watch and panties to Michael. It culminates in one evening where "Julia" says she wants him to visit for sex. Michael enters the house when the actual 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.
Julia is brought in immediately and questioned for the murder of Michael, evidence being the social media conversations with Michael. The police release her, 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, and a fight between Julia and Tessa ensues, where Julia gets stabbed with a knife. Seeing herself in a mirror, Tessa realizes the woman she has become and stabs herself in the stomach. Six months later, David and Julia are married and have moved into a new house with Lily. Julia answers the door and is horrified to find "Lovey", Tessa's mother, wanting to see her granddaughter.
- Rosario Dawson as Julia Banks, David's fiancée
- Katherine Heigl as Tessa Connover, David's ex-wife
- Geoff Stults as David Connover, Tessa's ex-husband and Lily's father
- Cheryl Ladd as Helen/"Lovey", Tessa's mother
- Sarah Burns as Sarah, David's friend since childhood
- Whitney Cummings as Ali, Julia’s best friend
- Simon Kassianides as Michael Vargas, Julia's abusive and violent ex-boyfriend
- Isabella Kai Rice as Lily Connover, Tessa and David's daughter
- Robert Ray Wisdom as Detective Pope
- Jayson Blair as Jason
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. 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. 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. It was also revealed that David Leslie Johnson had co-written the script along with Hodson. 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. The same day, Rosario Dawson was cast as the girlfriend, Julia Banks, who tries to fight back against Tessa. 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.
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.
Unforgettable was released on April 21, 2017, by Warner Bros. Pictures.
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. There were different estimates of the budget; the Los Angeles Times reported the film had a production budget of $12 million, while the California Film Commission listed the film as spending $26.9 million on location, for a net budget of $21.5 million after tax rebates.
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. 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.
On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 28% based on 119 reviews, with an average rating of 4.00/10. 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." On Metacritic, the film has a score of 45 out of 100, based on 27 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "C" on an A+ to F scale.
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."
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