By Don Simpson | April 2, 2014
Director: Nate Taylor
Writer: Peter Moore Smith
Starring: Christopher Denham, Lindsay Beamish, Elizabeth Rice, Paul Sparks, Anna Camp, Phyllis Somerville, Joel de la Fuente
It seems as though witnessing the drowning of his sister has forever rendered Kevin (Christopher Denham) a psychological fuck up. In combination with his awkwardness around women, Kevin finds himself obsessed with having to “forget” most of the women he encounters. Since Kevin is a professional photographer who specializes in head shots, he encounters a lot of beautiful women, all of whom he is left having to “forget.”
A film that is first and foremost about sexual politics, the fact that Kevin refers to all of his clients as “girls” is very telling of his opinion of women. Not only are they just beautiful objects to be photographed, they are somehow considered to be inferior to men. Kevin’s immature desire to ask every client out on a date further accentuates his warped mentality; it also explains why he got into photography in the first place. Pure and simple, Kevin just wants to get laid.
Christopher Denham and Lindsay Beamish’s performances are absolutely astounding. Denham has a sort of Paul Dano-esque quality about him, convincingly able to portray a creepy awkward guy, but provide just enough naive charm so Kevin does not seem like a total nut job. Beamish, on the other hand, gives one of the few “insecure goth chick” performances in the history of the cinema that does not rely merely upon caricature.
The success of Nate Taylor’s Forgetting the Girl hinges on precisely how long it will take for the audience to realize that “forgetting” actually means [redacted]. With Kevin functioning as our narrator, we immediately get the impression that he is impatiently awaiting our discovering of the truth. Kevin repeatedly attempts to justify what has happened, blaming history as well as the victim, with self-indulgent video recordings that play like feigned confessionals to the whiny tone of “It was all their fault!” It could possibly be argued that Kevin reveals too many hints a bit too soon in the narrative, but that is totally up to the audience to decide.