Former British pop star Gary Shaller (Martin Freeman) is at a crossroad in his life: his job in New York City is going nowhere, his American wife, Dora (Gwyneth Paltrow), drives him crazy, and he passed his thirtieth birthday four years ago. Add to that his best friend Paul (Simon Pegg) seems to become more successful every time he breathes. Gary is feeling depressed and dejected, until he meets Anna (Penélope Cruz). She's glamorous and smart; she's seductive and witty. Best of all, she's crazy about Gary. Anna is the girl of Gary's dreams, literally. And that's the problem. Gary can only see Anna in his dream life, so he has to find a way to carry on the most satisfying relationship of his life, in his dreams. His quest for lucid dreaming techniques introduces Gary to some crazy characters who ultimately give him a new perspective on life.
A somewhat familiar tale, but it had an interesting take.
This DVD popped up on my shelf randomly today, turning out to be a serendipitous find, and an enjoyable way to pass a rainy holiday afternoon. "The Good Night" tells a somewhat familiar tale; a musician trapped in a floundering relationship who seeks escape in the world of his dreams, and eventually finds solace in the arms of another woman in this dreamscape. Or does he?
Starring none other than beloved hobbit Martin Freeman as Gary, the cast is well-supported by Gwyneth Paltrow, Danny DeVito, and the ever- gorgeous Penélope Cruz. The film starts off rather slow, dull and uninteresting, which in retrospect, fits in well with the overall storyline. One night, he dreams of meeting a strange, beautiful woman on the beach (Cruz, as Anna), but is awakened before he can go further. A turning point is reached when Gary seeks the advice of a lucid continuous dreaming expert (DeVito) and begins to see more and more of Anna, and eventually forms a dream-state relationship with her, gradually losing touch with his less-than-stellar reality.
As mentioned, this is a somewhat familiar tale, and one that's been treated quite a bit in films. Starcrossed lovers who can only meet in dreams, dreams being better than real life, which part of the film is real, and which is not - they've all arguably been done before, but I still enjoyed this director's take on it. Particularly interesting was the slight "documentary" twist on theme, which I wasn't quite sure what to make of. All in all, worth a watch.
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