Directed by: Denise Di Novi
Written by: Christina Hodson, David Leslie Johnson
Cast: Rosario Dawson, Katherine Heigl, Geoff Stults, Isabella Kai Rice
Julia Banks (Dawson) has just resigned from her job at an internet company to move from San Francisco to a small town in California where her fiance David Connover (Stults) lives. David has a daughter, Lily (Rice) and an ex-wife, Tessa (Heigl). David and Tessa are trying to peacefully raise Lily together, so when Julia moves into David’s house, Tessa is not pleased.
Tessa is the opposite of Julia, with her white-blond hair she always dresses very well, with full makeup and jewelry, where Julia is more of a free spirit. Julia gets along with Lily ok, but on the very first night that Julia prepares dinner for Lily, she decides that she doesn’t like the food. Good thing Tessa stopped by to drop something off, and she had joined them for what turned into a rather awkward meal. Since Lily wouldn’t eat Julia’s food, Tessa made Lily her own dinner. I felt that Tessa had a “make yourself at home” attitude, even though it was not her home.
As a mom, Tessa is overbearing. I noticed that she spent a lot of time brushing Lily’s hair, and trying to get her to be the perfect child. Once we meet Tessa’s mother, Helen (Cheryl Ladd), it’s apparent why Tessa is this way. It’s exactly how Helen is to Tessa. The cycle continues.
As an ex-wife, Tessa is manipulative. She pretends to be nice to Julia at first, but then she does anything she can to try to drive a wedge between Julia and David. Julia is adjusting to her new life in a small town where everybody knows everything about everyone. Not only that, but she is learning to be a parent to Lily. It’s not easy, especially when Tessa is constantly meddling.
Stuck in the middle of the two women, David is trying to do the right thing. He just wants peace and harmony with his ex-wife, while starting a new life with his fiance. At the grand opening of David’s new brewery that he’s been working very hard to open, Tessa crashes the party (I’m pretty sure she was not invited). She is inappropriately overdressed, wearing the same dress that Julia had recently debated purchasing at a dress shop in town. Tessa noticed Julia’s cell phone unattended on a table, and she saw some text messages come in from Julia’s best friend Ali (Whitney Cummings), one of which mentioned Julia and David’s upcoming wedding.
This is how Tessa found out that David and Julia are engaged. She was so angry that she stole Julia’s phone, then had violent revenge sex with a random waiter, who she screamed at afterwards then threw him out of the car. Did I mention this chick is crazy??
We learned early on in the film that Julia had a previous relationship where she dealt with emotional abuse and domestic assault. Her ex-boyfriend Michael Vargas (Simon Kassianides) was recently released from jail. Julia wants nothing to do with him, but somebody else does. Armed with Julia’s stolen phone, Tessa hacks into the phone to get all of Julia’s pictures. She then she sets up a fake Facebook page for Julia and contacts Michael, pretending to be Julia. In addition, she sends a mystery flower delivery to Julia, and steals her engagement ring and a pair of her panties, which she sends to Michael.
Shortly after that, Julia and Tessa run into each other in town and Tessa offers to buy Julia lunch. So they have a lunch date, with Mexican food and margaritas. Tessa gives Julia a “poor me routine”, telling her that she had an affair and that’s why David divorced her, wah wah wah. Then she started bragging about all the sexual encounters she and David used to have. I believe she called him insatiable at one point.
This makes Julia feel inadequate, which is exactly what Tessa is trying to do! At a party for the investors of the brewery, Julia is ruminating on everything Tessa has been feeding her. In an act of desperation, Julia sexually attacks David in the bathroom for wild sex. Afterwards, it was very awkward as neither of them are really into that.
Julia feels like everything is getting out of her control. After she loses Lily at the farmer’s market, only to have Tessa find her, David is PISSED. Then, Julia has a showdown with Tessa over a new horse. Lily is afraid to ride the horse, Tessa is trying to force her to do it, and Julia calls an end to the showdown, telling Lily to get off the horse and insists on taking her home.
After Julia has a confrontation with Tessa, where Tessa falls down the stairs (allegedly), Julia decides she needs help. David is upset with her (and away on business) and Tessa is a psycho crazy lady, so Julia calls her best friend Ali, who comes to visit. Together they look through public records to see what they can find out about Tessa.
They find out that as a child, Tessa was mental, at one point setting a house fire. Armed with this information, Julia will share with David, she feels more in control. Until her ex Michael arrives. Tessa has been communicating regularly with him, all the while pretending to be Julia, and Michael thinks Julia wants him back. He attacks her, and she stabs him in the leg and runs out of the house.
Unfortunately, Tessa is nearby and things didn’t work according to her plans, so she takes action. This leads to the climax of the movie.
I liked that this movie showed both women’s stories. It wasn’t one sided, and neither character was all good or all bad. It made for an interesting story. I like interesting, but where the movie lost me was at the climax, when it went from “ok, I can believe that” to “wow these people are dumb” and totally unbelievable. If nothing else, Unforgettable was a great lesson on what NOT to do when dealing with a crazy person. Here is a handy list of some lessons learned:
- Never leave your cell phone unattended when there is a crazy person nearby
- Set a passcode for your phone that is something other than your birthday
- Never have an argument with a crazy person on a staircase
- Always tell your partner the truth about your past
- Don’t confront a crazy person when they are holding a fireplace poker
- Call 911 before confronting a crazy person
Will Unforgettable be merely forgettable, or will it go down as one of the all-time greatest crazy ex-wife/Fatal Attraction-esque films? If you were at Tuesday’s screening or if you’ve seen Unforgettable, leave a comment and let us know what you thought of it!