I love a domestic thriller and UNFORGETTABLE really delivers on that subgenre with over the top dialogue and performances to match. The Lifetime Channel has found plenty of success in pouring out TV movies about women pushed to the brink and will do what it takes to claim what is theirs. Hollywood has embraced this and found that there’s money to be made. The right casting can make it all the more intriguing and seeing Katherin Heigl outside her comfort zone was pure pleasure for me.
I was in middle school when the WB (now the CW) premiered “Roswell”, a series revolving around three siblings who are actually alien survivors of the theoretical UFO crash from the 1940s. Disguised as a teen drama, the show really worked on a metaphorical level for me coming to terms with my identity and watching these characters hide who they are, afraid of how the world would perceive them. From a genre standpoint, it helped fulfill a void left by “The X-Files” and embraced plenty of the science fiction aspect. Horror fans of course have seen Heigl in Bride of Chucky, then her career blossomed thanks to the huge success of the still running “Grey’s Anatomy” and her leading roles in romantic comedies.
In UNFORGETTABLE, Heigl is Tessa, the uptight ex-wife of a newly engaged David who walks around in skin tight expensive garments looking like a Real Housewife. Her appearance is always flawless and is the kind of customer you know is not going to leave the store without speaking to the manager. With David, she shares a daughter, Lily, and now has to face the fact that Lily is about to have a new stepmom, Julia (the always awesome Rosario Dawson). Julia means well and is willing to play the role of stepmom, but is hiding the fact that she not only has a restraining order on her abusive ex, but that the restraining order is about to expire. Her anxiety gets the best of her as she keeps thinking she’s seeing him at night and her paranoia hits as she finds herself clashing with Tessa. Us as the audience, however, know that Tessa is petty as hell and will do what it takes to keep her family from growing apart.
My favorite character in the movie isn’t any of the leads, but Tessa’s mother, Helen (Cheryl Ladd!). This woman is absolutely insane and never once does she raise voice. She defines a perfectionist and is so incredibly intimidating that even Heigl herself shifts in her seat around her. Helen is a reminder of why I refuse to eat anywhere that requires a dress code. I really don’t need anyone looking down on me when I order extra nachos in substitute of a side salad.
Yes, these are the thoughts running through my head while watching UNFORGETTABLE. It’s a cheesy thriller with an extra layer of cheese and I cherished every moment. Heigl has the glare of the devil and we all must bow down. I wish I got to see this in the theater because this is definitely one of those crowd pleasers and probably had a very vocal audience. Unfortunately, the Blu-ray/DVD release doesn’t come with any Heigl commentary, but we do get a featurette and director commentary. However, no one paying money for this movie is wondering how certain scenes were shot. Fans want the juicy gossip and would have probably propelled the movie to a huge financial return if rumors started that Heigl and Dawson didn’t get along on set. Sadly, that is not the world I live in, but UNFORGETTABLE delivers the goods. It isn’t a masterpiece and might actually be forgotten this time next year, but it was a good time for a chill Friday night.
Own UNFORGETTABLE on Blu-ray and DVD on July 25 or Own it Early on Digital HD on July 18