My Weekend on the Couch (1)

On Saturday night, knowing that I wanted to stay up to watch the World Cup Final (I was rooting for Germany, simply because they were the underdogs), Leah and I rented a couple of movies.
First up on rotation? Vanilla Sky, Cameron Crowe’s remake of Alejandro Amenabar’s Abre Los Ojos (Open Your Eyes). This was another movie I’ve been hedging on seeing – I like Cameron Crowe, I liked the concept, but I generally don’t like Tom Cruise – he’s so wooden and shallow as actor (Not coincidentally, my favourite of his roles is from Magnolia, where he plays a wooden and shallow man). Overall, I liked Vanilly sky. I think I found it more frustrating than challenging – I don’t feel it came together perfectly in the end, although at the same time, I wish it was a little less perfectly explained at the end – in comparison to the other recent dream/reality conundrum that I’ve seen recently, Waking Life, it explains it all a little too well.
But there are some elements I truly loved – such as the various pop-culture references that scenes are staged in. The Diaz/Cruz split was also well done, although when the splits would happen were somewhat predictable once we first experienced them.
As per usual from Cameron Crowe, the soundtrack to the film was fantastic, with everyone from Radiohead to Paul McCartney making an appearance. It’s a film I could definitely watch numerous times, although not for it’s meditations on reality, but more simply for the beauty of the film and the enjoyable ride it presents. I’ve heard it said that it requires multiple viewings to understand. I don’t agree with that at all – the film explains itself. Where one might want multiple viewings is for understanding ‘the rules’ that make up the film’s world, much like in The Sixth Sense, as these rules are intricate and interesting.