Thursday, August 23, 2007

Movie Review: The Science of Sleep

[the scene: on the couch, watching The Science of Sleep with G. The end credits start to roll]

G: That was dumb.

Paul: What, c’mon it was weird but it certainly wasn’t dumb. I thought it was visually stunning. Very inventive with flourishes of—

G: --it was utter bullsheet.

P: What, you missed the first half of the movie, how can you judge?

G: Do you need me to kick you in the balls for 90 minutes to know you don’t like it? After 45 minutes, you already know for sure.

P: That’s a horrible analogy. Even if you don’t exactly enjoy the movie it’s not physically painful.

G: It was for me. Like the part with the 1-second time machine, was that for real or was that a dream?

P: You know, it was supposed to be real, but at that point in the film his dreams were bleeding into his waking life. Obviously no one will ever invent a time machine so I think it demonstrated his rich inner life and his desire to achieve much more than his dead-end job.

G: No. It just demonstrated pretentious bullsheet.

P: You have no taste. You hate on films that try something new, yet you love America’s Funniest Home Videos. It’s pathological.

G: Then why are you with me?

P: Definitely not for your taste in movies or books or art; I’d have to say I with you for…[staring obviously at her large breasts] your winning personality.

G: For your sake, I'm going to pretend to accept the answer that came out of your mouth and not your eyes.

[the end]

The Science of Sleep is a simple love story. And all love stories need an obstacle. And the obstacle is that the main character is weird, and the girl he likes, she likes him but doesn't want to be his girlfriend. Everyone has been there. They’re eccentric, yet sweet characters -- you want to fall in love with them both.

And who amongst us hasn’t had nervous conversations like this when trying to woo a girl?

Guy: [searching for an analogy] It's like touching your penis with your left hand.
Girl: I don't have a penis.
Guy: But you have a left hand.


Girl: [after receiving the 1-second time travel machine from the Guy] For what special occasion that I deserve such a nice gift?
Guy: For the occasion of... you're pretty.

TSoS is directed by Michel Gondry, who did Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Which I also liked, but here he takes it up a notch. “It” being the fantastical quirky. Also it’s in French, English and Spanish but as a viewer you never get tripped up by the language changes. The main character does and gets mocked for his bad French. Its kind of a plot point.

But the movie is mostly about dreams. With the simple story as the skeleton, Grondy can add all the surreal dream melting with reality stuff. I laughed at some of the visuals: like who hasn’t dreamt about taking over their office kung-fu style and bending a shapely co-worker over the copier while being lavishly praised as an artistic genius?

Not one among us.

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