UNFORGETTABLE: A Sexist, Generic Thriller

UNFORGETTABLE: A Sexist Generic Thriller
Unforgettable (2017) - source: Warner Bros. Pictures

Oh, where, oh, where has the erotic thriller genre gone. It had usually been divided into three categories. The first being the sophisticated type, with movies like Eyes Wide Shut and Dressed To Kill. These types of movies have an exploration of our sexual needs and obsessions. The second is the “fun variety”, with movies like Cruel Intentions and Basic Instinct. These types of movies have an interesting mystery and great suspense to keep you interested. Then, we have the third category, the “bad variety”, where Unforgettable and When The Bough Breaks fall. These movies tend to use familiar tropes in hopes that you haven’t seen any other erotic thriller.

The thriller follows a troubled Julia (Rosario Dawson), who just got recently engaged with her new husband David (Geoff Stults). What she doesn’t know is that his ex-wife Tessa (Katherine Heigl) is a crazy jealous woman. As her jealousy mounts, she begins to find Julia’s troubled past, and tries all she can to make her life as miserable as possible. Unforgettable is the same mediocre re-hash of other superior erotic thrillers.

Catfight And Copycat

Within the same realm as When The Bough Breaks and The Boy Next Door, Unforgettable is pretty forgettable. The story is something we have seen before, in fact, we saw it last year. The crazy jealous woman attacks the not-so-innocent new wife of the dumb clueless husband. These types of movies keep getting made every year for financial purposes only.

However, Katherine Heigl does a solid job as the crazy ex-wife. She embodies the creepy wanna-be perfect wife. Rosario Dawson also does a great job as the polar opposite victim wife. However, these roles would probably have been even more interesting if they hadn’t been done so many times before.

UNFORGETTABLE: A Sexist Generic Thriller
source: Warner Bros. Pictures

The direction and cinematography don’t help the movie at all. They overuse the POV shot to a point where they depend on it to create suspense. Denise Di Novi‘s direction is unable to create any suspense, as she depends on cheap camera tricks that fail to produce anything.

Nothing Like The 90s

Unforgettable plays it safe. The movie tries to be sexy while never trying to push the boundaries. The sex scenes are terribly acted. The actors keep all their clothes on and the action is cut just before the audience is about to see something. This is especially true for the fight sequences as well. When a character is about to punch another character, they cut the shot just before anything happens, and it’s painfully obvious.

source: Warner Bros. Pictures

Even the makeup and prosthetics are terribly done. Not the beauty makeup, though. Katherine Heigl and Rosario Dawson always look flawless. Their skin looks like glossy porcelain, until the characters need bruises or scratches on their face. If only they would have taken as much time with the story as they did with the female characters’ makeup, maybe Unforgettable would have been a fun thriller.

Terribly Sexist, Painfully Boring

How many times are we going to keep depicting jealous women as crazy psychos? All the leading women in this movie are troubled because of something that the men in their lives have done. The men’s actions give way to their “craziness”, ultimately making them do something bad. Without the men in their lives, they have no way to control their “craziness.” They need to fight it out, and whoever loses has no hope of returning to their normal self.

UNFORGETTABLE: A Sexist Generic Thriller
source: Warner Bros. Pictures

The men are always depicted as dumb and clueless, when in fact they have spent a part of their life with their ex-wife. They must know how she is or how she gets. But instead they have no idea what is happening, and often take the side of their ex-wife in order to keep the movie going. In the end, they become a prize for the winning woman.

Not only is this sexist, but it’s boring. The women get clichéd backstories that we’ve seen a million times before, while the men get little to no development at all. How are the viewers suppose to relate to these characters?

Conclusion

Unforgettable is just this year’s uninspired erotic thriller, trying to be sexy and mysterious but failing at both. The story is familiar, the characters are boring, and the direction is average. It never tries to bring something new, instead relying on viewers who haven’t seen anything similar. It continues the sexist stereotypes that continue to plague these movies, and in return it produces boring thrillers.

What did you think of Unforgettable? Do you think it’s sexist?

Unforgettable was released on April 21st and is now currently in theaters. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iFXIBL617yc

From a young age, I was drawn to films especially the horror and psychological thriller genre. Living in a small town in New Brunswick, Canada, I later fell in love with reviewing and writing about movies. I like to bring my background in Psychology and Religious Studies to my writing and film reviews. Apart from films, I enjoy writing and drawing. However, nothing makes me happier than celebrating Halloween and playing tennis.
Opinions expressed in our articles are those of the authors and not of the Film Inquiry magazine.