Vanilla Sky (2001)

Starring: Tom Cruise, Penelope Cruz, Cameron Diaz, Kurt Russell, Jason Lee, Noah Taylor

Directed by: Cameron Crowe

R. 134 mins

This remake of Spain’s Open Your Eyes is an overly ambitious mishmash of genres that looks great but upon further inspection, appears quite hollow. Tom Cruise as the wealthy womanizer David Ames, a man who finds love when he meets his best friends girlfriend (Penelope Cruz). Just as he hopes to pursue a relationship with her, his jealous ex-lover (Cameron Diaz) drives him off a bridge, killing herself and gravely disfiguring David’s face. There is a hip soundtrack and some interesting visuals that go back and forth in time, but there’s something lacking here. It’s easy to get immersed in this story and even feel sorry for David thanks for Cruise’s commitment, but it’s so difficult to find any real message here amongst Crowe’s pretentious attempt at surrealism. It’s a shame that all the years spent on Vanilla Sky didn’t amount to much more than a psychosexual drama that asks far too many questions and gives hardly any answers – * * 1/2

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