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Forgetting the Girl

Christopher Denham , Lindsay Beamish    DVD
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
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Product Description

Product Description

Kevin, a charming photographer, meets a multitude of beautiful women through his studio, but can't seem to find one that will help him forget his traumatic past. Failure after failure, his quest soon spirals into madness.

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Most helpful customer reviews
By Richard S. Warner TOP 50 REVIEWER
This is a very interesting film. While at first glance it might seem to be a bit "light" in it's treatment of some pretty heavy psychological damage and the coping methods used to endure that, it nevertheless creeps its way into your mind and has you squirming uncomfortably more and more as it progresses. Part of that success is Director Nate Taylor's skilled direction but the lion's share of this powerful, little film's effectiveness is in Christopher Denham's brilliant portrayal of Kevin Wolfe, photographer.

"Forgetting the Girl" is his. A weaker, less appropriate actor would've made this quirky little film sink like a stone. The story is good, very good, the film is peopled with the right characters and it's very well shot and directed but Denham makes all the difference. Kevin, at fist glance, is a geeky, smarty-mouthed New York head-shot photographer, with squeaky clean "gosh-golly" looks, who focuses on women, to the exclusion of all else. They're the subject of his work and they are very much his personal obsession. And, as with all obsessions, we slowly discover that such focus usually signals something, well ... not quite right. Kevin is a perfect example.

The film opens, very stage play-like, with a Kevin monologue. In it he makes it clear that he's obsessed with women and works very hard to "forget" all the many, many women who've turned him down for dates and romance. He seems likeable enough, but there's that "something about Kevin" feeling that keeps ringing alarms in the back of your head while you listen to him talk about how he witnessed the drowning of his baby sister. It's detached, removed, devoid of emotion, like he's talking about a science experiment.
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Kevin is a photographer who `does women mostly', he works in his own studio with one assistant - Jamie. He seems to be unlucky in love and so has a thing whereby he asks every one of them out - normally to the movies. Most of them - understandably - say no. He is also haunted by the tragic death of his sister when he was a young boy and can not somehow reconcile that he is not somehow culpable in her death.

He spends time telling us of the ways he has used to `forget' the many women he has been on dates with and at first this was sort of endearing, but as the film develops you will see the veil of innocence slowly slipping to reveal a much more questionable form of amnesia. Oh and Jamie is madly in love with him too.

This has been described a `genre defying' by a few commentators, but it is probably best seen as a film of two or even three parts. The innocence , the questioning and the truth and that is where it becomes much more chilling and gets to the foundation or the whole raison d'être of the movie. It is well acted and Christopher Denham as Kevin is particularly convincing. I think where it falls down is the slow reveal; so as that in the beginning you are not sure what is going on and aside from feeling sorry for Kevin you are left pretty much unengaged and whilst this may have been a necessary build up for the film makers it probably could have been handled better.

Still I found this to be a very good watch, it did take its time though and I think I was non plussed for at least half and then hooked for the last half hour or so - so whilst some detractors may have been harsh they do still have a point - I, however remain pleased to have seen it.

Please note I received a copy fro review purposes.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Just okay for this viewer April 11 2014
By Luanne Ollivier #1 HALL OF FAME TOP 10 REVIEWER
I'm a fan of Film Movement and their award winning films. Film Movement has launched a new brand, Ram Releasing, that will be showcasing films of a different genre - thrillers, suspense, even horror films. And that's right up my alley - I love scary films. One of their first releases is Forgetting the Girl from director Nate Taylor.

The film opens with Kevin Wolfe filming a 'if you see this...' talk. Kevin is a photographer specializing in head shots. He asks out every woman whose portrait he takes. And most say no. The few that do say yes rarely say yes a second time. And it those women that Kevin wants to forget. To forget he engages in activities such as a shopping spree or joining the gym. The one person he can't remember and doesn't want to forget is his sister, who drowned when they were both children.

Spoilers below.

I thought Christopher Denham did a good job in the role of Kevin. He presents as an affable young man with a ready smile for those whose attention he wants. But there's something off about him. His sense of desperation and obsessiveness isn't far beneath the surface. And something else is behind that glib exterior as well. Lindsay Beamish is Jamie, his suicidal make-up artist, who is infatuated with Kevin. She too turned in a good performance. There are a few other characters as well. Kevin's grandmother Ruby is there to act a historical record of Kevin's past. Jamie's sponsor seemed awkward and seemed to only be there to underscore Jamie's fragile state. (The camping trip was ridiculous) And the creepy, porn watching landlord? A very obvious red herring. Although I must say, his brief role was frightening - especially in the elevator with one of Kevin's clients.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  39 reviews
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dark, meandering, no real closure at the end, yet it holds your attention during and after March 28 2014
By Charles Ashbacher - Published on Amazon.com
This video is disturbing, while there is a conclusion, it is not closure and there is one significant unanswered question regarding a missing girl and the main characters male friend. Kevin Wolfe lives in and works as a photographer in New York City. He does only tasteful head shots of aspiring actresses/models and he has a difficult time interacting on a personal level with the opposite sex. Early in the movie we learn that there was a traumatic event in his life when he was a boy involving his younger sister.
Wolfe comes across as completely normal and friendly towards women when he is behind the camera, but once that shield is lowered, he becomes flustered and uncertain. He has a female assistant in his studio that dresses rather extravagantly, but that is to cover her very low self-esteem and the loathing she has for herself.
The movie moves back and forth from Kevin speaking to the camera and describing how he is trying to forget the women that modeled for him to him speaking to his grandmother about his deceased mother and sister to his interactions with the women that he has managed to get to agree to go out with him.
Spooky is an understated word to describe how Kevin is when he is on a date with a woman, there is no confidence or resolve in his actions. Even though the women are beautiful and pleasant, his actions cannot help but creep them out, the only one that seems able to stand him for any length of time is his assistant.
When one of the models goes missing, there are hints that Kevin and his male landlord are involved, there is a scene where they are looking at some photos on the landlord's computer but the viewer does not see them. There is a major creepy factor in this scene as the viewer will invariably assume the worst and probably for good reason.
There is a violent scene near the end and then one that is even more disturbing that involves Kevin's assistant. When the movie ends, you feel sorry for the assistant, despise Kevin, yet know that his dark path may be long and reach out to touch and damage many other innocent females.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Awkward characters acting in improbable ways... March 24 2014
By 35-year Technology Consumer - Published on Amazon.com
...lead to an unsatisfying conclusion.

"Forgetting the Girl" is a genre-confused, muddled mess of a movie that quickly will make you lose interest in the fate of any of its main characters as it tries to decide what it wants to be. In the end, it can't make up its own mind about whether it's a psycho-sexual thriller, a whodunit, or a piece of noir about urban alienation (and lets not even talk about the dalliances into romcom as Kevin kvetches in front of his dates about the latest stupid thing he's just said). In the end, it executes none of these in an elegant way, and led me to total indifference about what happens to any of its main characters.

The movie centers on the life of Kevin Wolfe, a 30-something New York City studio photographer. He specializes in head shots for aspiring models and actresses ("$300 for the digital package; prints extra..."). His M.O. is to ask each of his subjects out sometime during their photo sessions. Then, when he is either rejected immediately --or after an awkward date or two-- he engages in some sublimating activity to help him forget about them (a trip to the MOMA; a gym membership, a shopping spree...you get the picture). Orbiting Kevin's creepy little world are his assistant Jamie, all goth and black (and in recovery, full of self-loathing and secretly crazy about Kevin...really crazy...as in stalking him on dates crazy) and his landlord, Tanner. Tanner seems to do nothing other than collect rent from Kevin and share his latest discoveries in porn. Lingering in the background are Kevin's grandmother (Ruby) and Jamie's gay 12-step sponsor, Derek.

Kevin's dates are awkward because of his lingering mommy issues (she died during the birth of his sister), enduring sister issues (his younger sister drowned when he was seven or eight), and a total lack of filters when navigating the early hours and days of relationships.

When Jamie confesses her long-time crush on Kevin, the plot thickens. But by this point, I had stopped caring what happens to either of them. Suffice it to say there are connections between Jamie's self-loathing, Kevin's awkwardness, and some of the reasons he works so hard to "forget" his girls.

In the end, the movie takes mercy on us by being only 85 minutes long, although it seems like much longer as it overindulges in both Kevin's fidgetiness with his dates (think of Billy Crystal or Woody Allen) and Jamie's obsession with Kevin. It creeps (literally and figuratively) towards a most unsatisfying conclusion. So here's the takeaway: if you are an aspiring actress or model, and your head shot studio photographer hits on you: both "yes" and "no" have equal potential to be the wrong answer. Kevin had his ways for forgetting the girls. You've been warned: watch this movie at your peril, because if you do, I don't have a suggestion for how to make you forget you've made such a choice.

This is a release from RAM Releasing, which provided this copy for review.
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "If you're watching this, you've discovered something you shouldn't have..." March 24 2014
By Lawrance M. Bernabo - Published on Amazon.com
Kevin Wolfe (Christopher Denham) is a professional photographer, whose specialty is taking headshots, which means would be actresses and models look deeply into his lenses wearing big smiles, never thinking that the guy behind the camera taking those photos is not the one with whom they are trying to make a connection. He thinks he makes a connection with Adrienne (Anna Camp), but she soon makes it clear to him that he was wrong. A couple of dates with Beth (Elizabeth Rice) give Kevin reason to hope, but by that point in the film we are hardly optimistic that he can find anything remotely like a happy ending, although we could be wrong about that.

Traumatized by the death of his sister as a child, Kevin has trouble remembering much about Nicole beyond the color of her eyes. This is rather ironic, since he struggles to forget the women with who he has failed relationships. Kevin is one of those people who berates himself out loud every time he has once again convinced himself that there is something there with a woman, even if the woman is still in the room. Not surprisingly, Kevin is so busy being drawn to the women he sees through his camera that he is totally unaware that his assistant, Jamie (Lindsay Beamish) is totally into him. She has her own issues, as a recovering addict, but love is a powerful thing. Kevin's blind spot extends to Tanner (Paul Sparks), the creepy guy who hovers around the photographer's life and the women whose pictures he takes.

Director Nate Taylor's first feature film has a story and script by Peter Moore Smith, and was made for only $600K, which leads you to believe they waste a lot of money making movies at major studios. "Forgetting the Girl" lives up to its self-declared "gritty vision" of Kevin and his world. Denham's performance strikes the right balance between sympathy and strangeness, so that we feel for Kevin but are also uncomfortably with rooting for him to solve the problem of his love life. This makes Denham perfect for the main role in this tale, because it is vitally important that we are drawn into the narrative but at the same time have the pesky feeling that there is something wrong that we just cannot put our finger on.

I got the DVD for this movie, put it in the pile of ones I had not watched yet, and played it without knowing any other than the title of the movie, which made for a rather unique cinematic experience these days of knowing nothing about a movie. The opening certainly establishes a sense of foreboding, but no matter how refined your skill at predicting how this one is going to play out, I think you will definitely be surprised by at least one if not more of its plot twists, making this one of the more memorable little horror flicks I have seen in sometime. It was certainly the first one in a long time that I immediately went back and watched again. The special features on this DVD include director's commentary, deleted scenes, and five web videos containing footage not in the film.
4.0 out of 5 stars Just Because You Look Innocent... July 28 2014
By K. Groh - Published on Amazon.com
He looks like your neighbor, your friend, your friend's kid. He looks sweet and shy. And he just wants to take your picture. He's got an eye for a beautiful girl and how to make them shine in front of the camera. It's innocent enough. He's ust looking to make a living. And what could really go wrong. He has an assistant in the studio at all times. And she secretly loves him. This is sometimes awkward, sometimes hard to watch.

Graphic, tense, and unforgettable. This is a thriller with enough surprises to keep you watching til the end.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Character Drama Mistaken Advertised As A Slasher-Style Thriller March 19 2014
By E. Lee Zimmerman - Published on Amazon.com
We’ve been spoiled. No, I’m not talking about plot details; rather, I’m talking about whodunits. Those of us who truly enjoy whodunits have been inundated for decades with some quality yarns that’ve kept us guessing for years. Granted, it’s hard to go back and watch them again as half of the fun is gone precisely because we know how it’ll end, so knowing that ‘the butler did it’ releases us from the requirement to watch closely. Instead, repeat viewings give us the chance to uncover something else, something that eluded us the first time, something that escaped notice or mention. That’s the only joy in watching a great mystery again, and I suspect there might be more than a few who are willing to spend 85 minutes exploring what flew by from their first experience with FORGETTING THE GIRL.

To be fair, they may not discover all that much, but what they will enjoy is a second helping to a great pairing of the film’s central players: Denham and Beamish.

(NOTE: The following review will contain minor spoilers necessary solely for the discussion of plot and/or characters. If you’re the kind of reader who prefers a review entirely spoiler-free, then I’d encourage you to skip down to the last three paragraphs for my final assessment. If, however, you’re accepting of a few modest hints at ‘things to come,’ then read on …)

Kevin Wolfe (played by Christopher Denham) is a big city photographer with no real dreams of making it big so much as he only wants to find something resembling true love. In his quest, he’s committed himself to a single plan: he asks every single girl who sits with him for headshots if she’ll go out on a date with him. Most decline, and few accept, but all of them end up forcing him to find some way to forget rejection, so Wolfe occupies his free time with activities requiring him to ‘forget the girl.’ After one of them who did accept ends up missing – Adrienne (Anna Camp, in an all-too-brief role) – Kevin suddenly finds himself questioning his past, present, and future only to realize that the danger may’ve been much closer than he ever realized.

Make no bones about it: first and foremost, FORGETTING THE GIRL is a character drama. The film is grounded in two terrific performances, those of Denham and his studio gal-pal, Jamie (Lindsay Beamish as a Gothic li’l mouse). Tortured for years over her unspoken attraction to her boss, she’s consoled herself over her various failures with drugs and alcohol (we see in the story that she has a caring sponsor helping her through recovery), and she’s taken to berating the image of herself in the mirror’s reflection. Still, she’s trapped in a Hell of her own making, applying make-up to generally make the women Kevin pursues more and more attractive.

Whereas Jamie’s mental struggles are largely front-and-center much of the time, Kevin’s are always lurking beneath the surface. True, he spends a good amount of time ‘confessing’ to the audience – he narrates the film with the handy assistance of a slide projector – but, when he’s not directing or misdirecting us, Peter Moore Smith’s smart script explores Kevin’s attempts to piece together what happened with his kid sister when they were young. Because he’s spent so much of his life forgetting girls, he can’t recall what it was that led to her drowning in the family pool, though he believes it couldn’t have been as simple as an accident.

These two performances – one grounded in denial and one founded on TMI (Too Much Information) – anchor this wonderful duet. It’s clear that circumstances will bring these two together in ways neither of them predicted, but it’s a fear of what might happen as a consequence that keeps an audience hoping and praying that it won’t happen. It’s all cat-and-mouse, though it’s only psychological in nature. It never steps right up and pounds a hammer over your head … but it just might somebody else in the picture.

Lastly, there are a few other smaller performances in here – one by Elizabeth Rice as the fresh-faced potential suitor to Kevin’s affections, and another by BOARDWALK EMPIRE’s Paul Sparks as the sleazy neighbor/landlord who might be trafficking in evil – that spark and pop with just the right balance of emotive chemistry to this delightful concoction. These subtle nuances add to an already great layer of work that’ll make FORGETTING hard to forget.

FORGETTING THE GIRL (2012) is produced by Forgetting The Girl and Full Stealth Films. DVD distribution is being handled by RAM Releasing. As for the technical specifications, this is one smartly made independent features, and, as such, it serves up some high quality sights and sounds. As for the special features, fans are in for a treat: the disc boasts a commentary track from director Taylor, deleted scenes, web videos that expand modestly on the story, and the theatrical trailer – a nice collection put together entirely for folks who fancies are tickled by this sort of fare.

RECOMMENDED. It’s rare for one to discover a finely-crafted character drama that flirts so successfully with serial killing, but – if that’s your yen – then you’d be well-served to discover FORGETTING THE GIRL. No, there aren’t a lot of twists and turns, but there are just enough to keep you guessing throughout the picture’s polite hints at whodunit. What’s more important – so far as this reviewer is concerned – is Denham’s smart turn as a lead here, so steeped in personal denial that it’s matched with equal manic intensity by Beamish’s obviously off-kilter kinda/sorta stalker. It’s the one-two punch here that elevates GIRL to memorable cinema.

In the interests of fairness, I’m pleased to disclose that the fine folks at RAM Releasing provided me with an advance DVD copy of FORGETTING THE GIRL by request for the expressed purposes from completing this review.
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