Unforgettable (2017 film)

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Unforgettable 2017 poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byDenise Di Novi
Written byChristina Hodson
Produced by
CinematographyCaleb Deschanel
Edited byFrédéric Thoraval
Music byToby Chu
Distributed byWarner Bros. Pictures
Release date
  • April 21, 2017 (2017-04-21) (United States)
Running time
100 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States
Budget$12–21.5 million[1][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 million worldwide against its $12–21.5 million budget.


Julia Banks is questioned by police after the body of her abusive ex-boyfriend Michael Vargas is found in her home. Despite Julia’s restraining order against Michael, Detective Pope reveals intimate messages and photos from her on Michael’s phone, along with her underwear found in his car.

Six months earlier, Julia moves in with her fiancé David Connover and his daughter Lily, and struggles with the constant presence of Tessa, David's ex-wife and Lily’s mother. Controlling and obsessive, Tessa is not coping with the end of her marriage, exacerbated by her equally cold and demanding mother, Helen-(nicknamed "Lovey"). Stealing Julia’s phone, Tessa accesses her private photos and information, including her recently expired restraining order. She sets up a Facebook account posing as Julia, using it to reach out to Michael. She also steals David’s watch, Julia’s engagement ring, and a pair of her panties, sending the watch and panties to Michael.

Determined to remove Julia from her life, Tessa anonymously sends her flowers, making David suspect Julia is having an affair. Lily wanders away from Julia at a farmer’s market into the arms of Tessa, who lies to make Julia seem unfit to watch her daughter. At riding practice, Tessa tries to force a frightened Lily to ride an unruly horse, but Julia takes Lily home, humiliating Tessa in front of Lovey. Tessa cuts Lily’s long hair as punishment, leading to a heated argument with Julia. As David arrives, Tessa throws herself down the stairs, pretending Julia pushed her. David assures Julia that he loves her, but refuses to see the truth about Tessa.

Julia and her friend Ali discover police records of Tessa’s obsessive and violent tendencies as a child, which led her to burn down her father’s home. As “Julia”, Tessa enjoys sexually explicit messages with Michael, inviting him to visit Julia for sex. Finding the real Julia alone at home, he attacks her, but a badly beaten Julia wounds him with a kitchen knife and escapes. Tessa, waiting outside, stabs Michael in the chest, framing Julia for his murder. Julia is released after being questioned by Detective Pope, who shows David the social media conversations with Michael.

At Tessa's home, David notices her burned gloves in the fireplace and the stolen ring on her finger. He realizes the whole truth, but an enraged Tessa knocks him unconscious with a fireplace poker. Julia arrives, taking Lily to her car, and returns to rescue David but is attacked by Tessa. In the ensuing fight, Tessa is halted by the sight of her bleeding face in a mirror, and by a picture of Lily. As Julia holds her at bay with a knife, Tessa commits suicide by pulling herself onto the blade; dying, she asks Julia not to let Lily remember her like this.

Six months later, David and Julia have married and moved into a new house with Lily. Julia is horrified by the arrival of Lovey, asking to see her granddaughter.



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, additional cast members were 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 reported the film had a production budget of $12 million,[11] 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.[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 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."[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] Simran Hans of The Observer gave it 3/5 stars, writing: "This is deliberately silly and knowing satire and I hope it becomes a camp classic."[18] Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian also gave the film 3/5 stars, calling it "a cheerfully outrageous gloss-trash erotic noir in the style that legendary screenwriter Joe Eszterhas used to crank out so lucratively in the 80s and 90s".[19]

Ed Potton of The Times gave it 1/5 stars, writing: "If this were a spoof, it would be a work of genius. Sadly, it's played straight, a glossy melodrama-cum-thriller of staggering cheesiness and unintentional hilarity."[20] Tim Robey of The Daily Telegraph said that the film was "the sort of psychothriller that comes back in ever tattier incarnations, like a wind-tossed scarecrow whose limbs keep falling off", and also gave it 1/5 stars.[21] Neil Genzlinger of The New York Times wrote: "It's woman in jeopardy meets woman on the verge, a reductive brand of thriller from another decade, freshened here only with the addition of a plot element involving Facebook."[22]


  1. ^ a b c d "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. April 19, 2017. 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 2, 2021.
  15. ^ "Unforgettable reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved May 4, 2017.
  16. ^ "Cinemascore". Archived from the original on December 20, 2018.
  17. ^ Mancini, Vince (April 20, 2017). "'Unforgettable' Is An Enjoyable Genre Exercise Starring Katherine Heigl As A Psycho Ex". Uproxx.
  18. ^ Hans, Simran (April 23, 2017). "Unforgettable review – Katherine Heigl finally gets her revenge". The Guardian. Retrieved March 20, 2022.
  19. ^ Bradshaw, Peter (April 21, 2017). "Unforgettable review – Katherine Heigl goes gaslighting in a glossy erotic noir". The Guardian. Retrieved March 20, 2022.
  20. ^ Potton, Ed (April 21, 2017). "Unforgettable". The Times. ISSN 0140-0460. Retrieved March 20, 2022.
  21. ^ Robey, Tim (April 20, 2017). "Unforgettable review: Katherine Heigl's 'psycho Barbie' thriller barely qualifies as camp". The Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved March 20, 2022.
  22. ^ Genzlinger, Neil (April 20, 2017). "Review: 'Unforgettable' Serves Up Yet Another Crazy Ex". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved March 20, 2022.

External links[edit]