Unforgettable is definitely the wrong title for a movie you want to erase from your memory the second it ends. Times are hard for women filmmakers, so it’s troubling news when talented producer Denise Di Novi (Heathers, Edward Scissorhands, Crazy Stupid Love) chooses to make her directing debut with a film that recycles every Psycho Barbie cliché in the Hollywood handbook. On TV’s Feud, Ryan Murphy created an FX series to show how male executives manufactured a war between Bette Davis and Joan Crawford to sell tickets to Whatever Happened to Baby Jane; even the actresses themselves ended up believing they were mortal enemies. Nothing that savvy and subtle lies dormant here, just a sense that there’s still gold in those hills of estrogen exploitation.
Two fine actresses have been enlisted into this sexist swamp. Rosario Dawson stars as Julia Banks, a former careerist who has given up doing something digital/trendy in San Francisco to shack up with David (Geoff Stults). This bland hunk wants to marry her and move her into his pumpkin shell, where she can care for his six-year-old daughter Lily (Isabella Kai Rice) on visitation days while he toils on the manly brewery business for which he deserted Wall Street. Katherine Heigl costars as Tessa Connover, an evil-bitch caricature (seriously, there’s no more to her character than that single-note description) who David dared to divorce. Now he’s brought this bohemian replacement into her world. Julia must die.
You’re thinking the script by Christina Hodson can’t be a simple-minded as that, right? Oh, but it can. Tessa works her voodoo on Julia using social media. See, Wife No. 2 has a dark secret she hasn’t told David – her abusive ex-lover Michael Vargas (Simon Kassianides) is on the loose. What if this villainess hacks into her rival’s Facebook account and texts carnal come-ons? Tessa sips wine and masturbates while doing this (really), but it still can’t distract from the fact that credulity has been stretched way, way beyond the bounds of reason.
We won’t say more, except any movie with plot twists this predictable defy spoiler alerts. You can see everything coming down the pike here, including the violent catfight that you’ve been hoping this director and these actresses wouldn’t reduce themselves to participating in. Hair is pulled, clothes are ripped , blood is spilled, cops are called and all is well … until another psycho emerges. Of course she’s a woman. Sigh. Given the reputations of the female talent involved in this trashfest, five words will keep going through your head: Please don’t be that movie. No such luck.