It's 1991 and a sickeningly malicious subway robbery leaves a mother dead and her cop husband left to raise his daughter alone.
Fast forward a decade and the little girl is now an NYU student still living with her over-protective father. Into her life comes Tyler, the tearaway son of a upper middle class family ripped apart by its own past tragedies.
Bookended by a pair of genuine body blows – of which more later – what's most impressive about the film is that it is a genuine two-hander.
It would have been very easy for this to have become The Pattinson Show but debutante writer Will Fetters and Hollywoodland director Allen Coulter have the wit and intelligence to use their star to draw the audience into the story rather than just into the cinema.
Both script and pacing allow the leads the necessary time and space to breathe so that, when their stories do ultimately intersect, its natural to want to follow them both together and apart.
Innocently stepping in to stop a street fight, Pattinson's character ends up first squaring up to, and then getting a lesson in fisticuffs from, the arresting officer.
When its pointed out that he shares a university class with the cop's daughter, a vindictive plan is hatched to love her and leave her. But the path of true revenge never runs smoothly and its not long before the teen-friendly Machiavellian scheme turns into something a little more heartfelt – thanks to the transitory powers of home-cooked spaghetti and showering with a friend.