Unforgettable (2017 film)
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Denise Di Novi|
|Written by||Christina Hodson|
|Music by||Toby Chu|
|Edited by||Frédéric Thoraval|
Di Novi Pictures
|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 Katherine Heigl, Rosario Dawson, 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 $11.8 million in the US and $17.8 million worldwide against its $12 million budget.
The film begins when Julia Banks is being questioned by a detective in the murder of her psychotic ex-boyfriend, Michael. Julia claims that she has been set up and that she has nothing to do with the murder, despite social media conversations clearly showing Julia lusting after him.
The scene then cuts to six months earlier, with Julia getting a send-off from her boss and friend, Ali, from her job as chief online editor for a storytelling website. Julia is now going to work remotely from the mansion she will be sharing with her new loving fiancé, David Connover, and her soon-to-be stepdaughter, Lily. Arriving at David's, she is greeted by David's ex-wife, Tessa, who is still not coping with the end of her marriage two years earlier.
The next evening, Tessa shows up at the house to drop off something, but Lily insists she stays for dinner. While they are eating, Tessa openly criticizes Julia's cooking and leaves. Julia then gets a notification that her restraining order against Michael has expired, much to her distress.
Tessa is visited by her controlling mother, "Lovey", who is constantly belittles Tessa. Tessa puts Julia's name into an identity search engine and discovers her restraining order against Michael. She sets up a Facebook account as Julia and begins messaging Michael, telling him how much "Julia" misses him.
Julia receives a surprise flower delivery, sent anonymously by Tessa to make it look like 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 go to a farmer's market to see David's brewery booth, Lily wanders off. After a few minutes of frantic searching, she finds Lily in Tessa's arms, who is complaining to David about Julia's incompetence as a mother. When Tessa shows up at the house, Julia yells at her about trying to get back into David's life. That afternoon, the two have lunch together to try and reconcile, and Tessa reveals the reason that David left her was because he supposedly suspected that she was having an affair. Tessa then mails Michael the watch and panties.
A few days later, Tessa attempts to get Lily to ride an unruly horse at her horseback riding practice. Julia notices how scared and terrified Lily is and takes her home, much to Tessa's annoyance. That night, Tessa is seen pleasuring herself in her car while sending sexually explicit messages -(while posing as Julia), to Michael.
Tessa cuts Lily's long hair short for leaving riding practice early as punishment, leading to a heated argument with Julia when Tessa drops Lily off at the house. Tessa throws herself down the stairs and pretends that Julia pushed her when David arrives a few minutes later. After taking Tessa to a hospital, David castigates Julia for treating his ex-wife so badly. When Julia calls on Ali for help, the two discover that Tessa has a child services record as a teenager for attempting to kill her father when he cheated on her mother for his secretary.
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, Michael's violent tendencies emerge. A badly beaten Julia stabs him in the leg with a kitchen knife and escapes the house. Tessa, who was waiting outside, enters the house and stabs Michael in his chest.
The police release Julia (returning to the opening of the movie), stating the investigation will continue. After a tearful Julia explains her history with Michael, a disillusioned David goes to Tessa's house to get Lily. He sees burned gloves in the fireplace and his grandmother's wedding ring on Tessa's finger, finally realizing that Tessa set up Julia. She knocks him out with a fireplace poker. Julia arrives and tries to call 9-1-1. Tessa finds her and the two fight, ending with Julia knocking her out. Julia rushes to revive David, but is attacked again by Tessa, now using a knife. When she sees herself in a mirror, Tessa realizes the monster she has become and impales herself on the knife Julia is now holding – begging Julia to not let Lily remember her like this.
Six months later, David and Julia are newly married and, with Lily, have moved into a new house. Julia answers the door to find Lovey, wanting to see her granddaughter. Julia looks on in horror as she hugs Lily.
- 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
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.
Principal photography on the film began on August 17, 2015, in and around Los Angeles. Dawson was spotted filming in Beverly Hills, California, and Heigl was spotted with her stunt double, a professional horse rider, Jennifer Sims.
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, against a production budget of $12 million.
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 review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 26% based on 105 reviews, with an average rating of 4/10. 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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