Who's In It: Robert Pattinson, Emilie de Ravin, Chris Cooper, Lena Olin, Tate Ellington, Ruby Jerins, Pierce Brosnan
The Basics: A young woman who witnessed her mother's murder as a child falls in love with a young man whose brother committed suicide a few years ago. She's stable and life-loving, if overprotected by her police detective father. He's a slumming rich kid, rebelling against what he perceives as a family who crushed the life out of his beloved sibling. He spends most of his time doting on his art prodigy baby sister, who seems to be headed for the same sort of soul-mangling from their ice-cold father. And after a movie-length argument about how to be the right kind of parent/child/partner/friend, just when everyone seems to be learning together and treating each other with a little more kindness and care, out of nowhere comes a big event that will change everything.
What's The Deal: I hate this movie. I hate it a lot. And I want to spoil the ending right here but I won't. I want you to go feel the same feeling of being sucker-punched that I anti-enjoyed in the final minutes when THE BIG SURPRISE ENDING takes place. Because it's cheap. And shallow. And manipulative in a way that's not heartwarming or cute or moving. It's just gross and infuriating. It's also pretty easy to predict: a rug-pulling, emotionally pornographic climax of tragedy-kitsch that will come to you early if you're willing to pay attention to small details here and there, things the movie just puts in the background or touches on briefly, creating a timeline and an inevitable outcome that it finally shoves in your face with a big, "TA-DAAAH! TIME TO CRY EVERYONE! DO IT! NOW!" Or you can just let Robert Pattinson's scruffiness hypnotize you into not paying attention to that stuff, which is what they're probably hoping for.
What's Not Awful: Early on, the interactions between some of the characters have a looser feel to them than most tightly scripted dramas where every detail is supposed to lock in place for maximum efficiency. And Pattinson and de Ravin have a kind of relaxed chemistry together when the camera's not busy selling him as some kind of millennial James Dean, his head pressed dejectedly against about a dozen too many streaked windows. It's going to be a while before we know if he's even a good actor because the films he winds up in are about marketing above all else. Because of that ongoing annoyance, you wind up most fascinated by the storyline involving the little sister's troubles at school.
The Movie I'd Rather See Instead, And It Exists Out There, Waiting For Someone To Pick Up A Camera and Get Going: It would be a documentary and it would be about a real-life love story that has a similar ending to this movie. There have to be a few dozen, if not more, of those stories floating around in the real world and at least a couple of them are probably compelling enough to turn into actual projects that revolve around the aftermath of tragedy and the way grief shapes people. So I'll just wait.