Yet another I-dreamed-I-was-awake movie, Vanilla Sky may put you to sleep, so complex is its plot, which has a lot of explaining to do in the movie's final scene. Looking better than ever, Tom Cruise plays David Aames, a Manhattan publishing executive who has the world on a string. When he looks in the mirror after climbing out of bed in the morning, David can't help but crack a little smile: He's still got it! But not for long. A jealous girlfriend (the maniacally gorgeous Cameron Diaz) puts an end to his charmed life after he meets someone new (the innocently beautiful Penelope Cruz). Or does she? Either way, our hero winds up in prison, charged with murder and with half his face horribly disfigured. (And he's still better looking than I am!)
Philip K. Dick himself might have trouble sorting through Vanilla Sky, which is directed by Jerry Maguire's Cameron Crowe and based on the 1997 Spanish film Open Your Eyes. Crowe has Americanized the story, given it an injection of pop culture and upped the star quotient considerably. But why should we care whether Tom Cruise loses his looks? And why does dating someone who looks like Penelope Cruz constitute a turning away from David's shallow, callow life? Give me Memento, where Guy Pearce is handsome as hell but forgets who he is every 10 minutes or so. Cruise, who's in every scene, doesn't forget for a second.