Nicole Kidman plays a woman who wakes up peacefully in bed with her husband (Colin Firth), only she has no memory of him, or how she got there, or, come to think of it, of the past several years. Turns out, she’s had an accident that stops her from making any new memories, so every time she sleeps, she wipes out the day before and wakes up a stranger in her own body.
The most embarrassing thing about this movie is that I’d forgotten I’d already seen it. It’s bad news to watch a movie about an amnesiac and not realize you’re actually rewatching it.
Anyway, it sounds, on paper, a lot like 50 First Dates, except things aren’t as rosy for Nicole as they were for Drew. There are holes in her story that even someone with a brain injury can see through, so there’s a little Momento mixed in, just for fun. A mysterious doctor and a friend from her past show up to help her solve the question mark, but she can’t be sure who to trust, and neither can you. The brain trauma thing is kind of overused for such a rare disease, but it does put the viewer on equal footing with our poor, disoriented heroine. Her confusion makes for an unreliable narrator if ever there was one and so the who-dunnit unravels in darkness for her like it does for us.
The genre is tired and this one’s not adding much to the mix. It feels like it’s taken a page from Gone Girl, but lacks Fincher’s balls with the follow-through. The story demands more of our attention while actually deserving less. It does silly, unforgivable things like using the old “I have something important to tell you, but not over the phone!” and even worse, the old, “I’m being attacked and fear for my life but won’t yell for help.” Plus, director Rowan Joffe has these little tells, like constantly showing us a close-up of Kidman’s blood-shot eyes, that get annoying real quick. It’s a thriller that’s so banal and (ironically) forgettable, I accidentally watched it twice.