The Forgotten

By Mark Ramsey | 2004/09/21

Normally the name “Julianne Moore” conjures thoughts of berets and turtlenecks and bongos and spirited discussion of Fellini’s mise en scène. Every thespian, however, deserves to slum, and Julianne has gone straight to the cinematic crack house.

The Forgotten has a premise that stretches logic so far, credulity will be on bed-rest for weeks following a gastric bypass.

Either Julianne keeps forgetting things – or (gulp!) things keep forgetting her! Either way, everyone is forgetting, lots is forgotten, and it all adds up to “forgettable.”

forgotten_freakishbunny.jpgJulianne’s little boy is taken away and everyone around her is forgetting that the boy ever existed. Now we know how Pauly Shore’s mother feels!

Co-star Anthony Edwards, whose very name symbolizes a saline drip and 250 cc’s of epinephrine, is Julianne’s husband. Right up until he forgets who she is. Maybe it’s a fiendish government plot, maybe it’s the fact that the back of his bald head is so pointy you could pitch horseshoes onto it.

What is going on here? Could the supernatural be involved? I hope so, because I’ll take anything “super” I can get from this movie. To find out, Julianne visits the most attractive librarian of all time only to discover that every reference to her son has vanished from the public record.


Either Julianne never really had a son, or everyone’s under some mass hypnotic experiment conducted by aliens hooked on the scientific method, and it couldn’t possibly be the latter because that would be dumb, right? I say if aliens want to conduct experiments let’s give them a magnet and some iron filings.

“I need to get to the bottom of this, says Julianne, “but first let me flash back again and again to the same image of my lost son waving at me.”

Reality – which is usually suspended by a tenuous thread in movies of this type anyway – is stabbed in the heart, incinerated into ash, and sprinkled into a jar on Sony Pictures head Amy Pascal’s credenza, where it resides next to the ashes of Sony founder Akio Morita (in a Walkman-sized jar called an “Ash-man”) and her Magic 8 Ball:

Amy: “Should I make ‘The Judge Hatchett Movie’?”

Magic 8 Ball: “Reply hazy, try again.”

With a script that should have been written in disappearing ink and a box office tally that certainly will be, The Forgotten is one plodding mystery.

forgotten_rubble.jpgJulianne is “Telly,” short for “Telly-kinesis,” although when the action revs up and Julianne starts running, running, running, it’s short for “Telly Savalas” – not since TV’s Kojak has a foot chase been played for this much excitement. They could add some thrills if every runner wore a number and had to cross a finish line.

You know something’s up when the National Security Agency intercedes. How does the NSA expect to capture international terrorists when they can’t even get a fix on Julianne Moore?! She’s in the SAG directory, for chrissake!

The Forgotten features an intriguing variety of abduction: Folks aren’t just taken, they’re inhaled into the sky like a line of coke up a producer’s nose. If ever there was a movie where the cast should be sucked into the stratosphere, whooshed into the wild blue yonder, this would be it.

As the mystery thickens, my patience thins. Shouldn’t this theater come with dinner? Did they shoot this film to put it out of its misery?

This is the world’s longest and dullest X-Files episode. It’s the Lifetime Movie to end all lifetimes. The Forgotten is about the power of a mother’s love to overcome everything but a bad script and a dumb premise. Let’s hope this DVD comes with a free prize inside – like a better DVD.

If only forgetting were so easy.

Movie? What movie?

Photos Copyright ©2004 Sony Pictures


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