When sensitive but rebellious New York rich kid Tyler (Pattinson) picks up Ally (de Ravin) on a dare, little does he know that he will fall deeply in love. An event that will bring both their family traumas welling to the surface.
With a few months free from mooning about in Goth facepaint as perpetually agonised teen-vamp Edward Cullen, Robert Pattinson undoubtedly had half an eye on proving himself in a more serious vein. Using the modicum of clout he now wields, he steps up as executive producer on this twitchy New York indie-drama, effectively getting it in front of the cameras and into a distribution deal.
Which is good news, for whatever your opinion might be of The Twilight Saga saga, there is much to be impressed with here. Not least the cast he and his director, Hollywoodland’s Allen Coulter, have mustered: Pierce Brosnan, all preening and silk ties, well-matched as Pattinson’s lawyer father; plus Chris Cooper, Lena Olin and Emilie de Ravin (recently found again on Lost). There’s no missing it’s Pattinson’s show, still tortured but granted leave to smile and smoke, ruffle his luscious locks, even — gulp — get it on, but it centres on an across-the-tracks romance between his misunderstood posh boy and de Ravin’s sweet-natured but edgy college mate from working-’burb Queens.
They’ve actually got a lot in common. Each has serious daddy issues: he thinks his big-shot father doesn’t give a damn, so does his utmost to rattle his cage — offering cross-generational dreamboats Pattinson and Brosnan some raw confrontations; she’s burdened by an over-protective pop — the always-classy Cooper as a rough-hewn city cop messing with his daughter’s head. Both also have wreckage in their pasts: Tyler the weight of his brother’s suicide; Ally, the murder of her mother. Grief is loose in the movie, and as Will Fetters’ interesting script finally (and shockingly) reveals its hand, it proves to be the main theme. Put it this way: the title takes on tougher resonances on the way out.
The film has its secrets, but rather than make a guessing game of the preceding drama (a marked dilemma with Scorsese’s narcotic Shutter Island), Coulter maintains a decent family melodrama — clichéd, yes, but played with conviction. Will father and son find a way to connect? Will the young couple make it work? Will the ghosts of the past leave them the hell alone? With his New York handsome and sun-dappled, this is Coulter’s loving tour of both the seedier branches and wealthy lanes of the Big Apple: a city, itself, rooted in sadness.
So the boy can act this is the best thing hes done.