Cultural critic David Kepesh finds his life -- which he indicates is a state of "emancipated manhood" -- thrown into tragic disarray by Consuela Castillo, a well-mannered student who awakens a sense of sexual possessiveness in her teacher.
Former British pop star Gary Shaller is at a crossroads in his life: his job in New York City is going nowhere, his American wife, Dora, drives him crazy, and he passed his thirtieth birthday four years ago. Add to that his best friend Paul seems to become more successful every time he breathes. Gary is feeling depressed and dejected... until he meets Anna. 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's got 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. Written by
I see that this movie isn't well-received. . .? . . . ---I loved it!
I like dark humor, and subtlety, and a script that trusts the viewer enough to simply suggest what's happening, and this movie satisfies all of that. Written and directed by Jake Paltrow, starring a mostly British cast of Martin Freeman, sister Gwyneth, Penelope Cruz, Simon Pegg, and Danny DeVito in a strange ensemble none of whom seem to really know one another. There's a sense that this movie isn't really happening, that the characters aren't sure who or what they are to one another, that the action may or may not be delusional: dream? not-dream? the boundary edges of reality have been softened or erased to the point of ambiguity. I believe this is what the director was striving for, and he got it perfectly.
I am still reeling by the few comments I saw that disliked this movie--- --were we watching the same flick?
Jake has captured the ennui and uncertainty of intimate relationships, especially when artistic personalities are involved. Wishes are faded, hopes for success, mega- or otherwise, are withering or stunted, and the concept of "dreaming" becomes itself part of the uncertainty of the storyline---an uncertainty purposefully part of the script. We live our dreams, we get caught up in our dreams, yet our dreams exist often aside from how we live. And who's to say what's real? Is night consciousness less or more than daytime consciousness? Nothing is 100% real.
I don't want to give anything away. I hate spoilers if I haven't seen a movie, and don't want to even accidentally mention something that would detract from another's enjoyment of discovery. Freeman's character is going through a minor meltdown, his life increasingly one on the outside looking in. He's "married," but the love and desire has diminished for both of them. He seeks help from a most unlikely (and most unprofessional) pseudotherapist, DeVito, and the reality of his life begins to unravel as he struggles the more to make sense of it all. It is a brilliant study of a mentally ill and conflicted world with pervasive fears and worries. The cast is excellent. Couldn't be better.
I love this movie. I love its dark humor, and its subtlety. Well done, Jake!
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