bob dylan eats babies

your extreme hair is in my mouth, Penny My heart�s going boom boom boom�

There are so many travesties in “Vanilla Sky” that it’s almost impossible to list them in the order of their infamy. There’s the shot in which Tom Cruise and Penelope Cruz, two slick Beautiful People who, with their resources pooled, scrounge up enough depth to fill a shot glass halfway, reprise the cover of “The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan.” Then a scene in which a bloodless 3-D specter of John Coltrane, brought to life by the miracle of holography, entertains a group of chattering, blas� partygoers who ignore him as if he’s the hired help or, worse, amuse themselves by passing their hands through him. Or, inexplicably, the fact that Tom Cruise’s character has little interest in his lively, if crazy, sometime gal pal Cameron Diaz, and instead gravitates toward pinheaded munchkin Penelope Cruz, with her rubberized lips and “Don’t hate me because I’m beautiful” hair. She thinks she’s Sophia Loren’s Mini-Me. –(Salon, 12/14/01)

So, Mike and I saw �Vanilla Sky� yesterday afternoon.

The plot is relatively non-simple. Tom Cruise is David Aames, an ass-and-a-half kind of guy, a rich pretty boy who doesn�t think of other people often, if ever. I have a problem identifying though. I don�t KNOW anyone like this in real life. He�s rich and all powerful and handsome and charming and complicated. He doesn�t exist, and I spent the whole movie trying to figure out if the catch at the end would be that he wasn�t even real. I will say that picking Cruise for this role is pretty perfect- you can�t escape that smug little smile of his. His Napolean complex shines through is enormous, ripply, rainbow waves. This character is getting kind of old though- it�s basically a modified, more hip/NYC version of his Jerry Maguire.

This movie made me kind of get the whole Cruis/Cruz real-life relationship now: it�s not real life. They are both pretty and famous and intrigued by each other�s prettiness and fame. If you can�t fart in front of someone, then you are not in a real relationship. I bet these two don�t even see each other more than once a month. I�m sure a relationship like that works out just fine for pretty people. Just take Crusie�s character Aames, make a female version of that (the real life Penelope) and eureka! You have your couple.

Where was I? Oh yes. �Vanilla Sky.�

Penelope Cruz is exotic and annoyingly perky. Yes, I think she�s beautiful and I have extreme hair envy to the max. (Sidenote: Sig thinks she�s atrocious, I think he has a problem with the overbite, but I�m not sure. Maybe he just had bad experiences with Spanish women. Either way, I don�t think he has to worry about it.) However, she bounces and that is obnoxious. Everywhere, she is bouncing and cute. She really is trying to be the poor man�s bouncy hyperactive Sophia Loren, except for one problem- she�s way too cuddly and awwwwwww! Loren had a hardness, an almost meanness; and that is about the most opposite thing you can say about the Moppet Cruz. Her character is na�ve, and she even has a line in the film- �You think I�m na�ve?� that made me want to scream �YES, YES, YOU 12 YEAR OLD GIRL, YES!� I kept thinking one of her scenes would involve her in a Backstreet Boys teeshirt.

The most believable character in the whole film is Cameron Diaz. As much as I like Jason Lee; his character struck me as a little uneven, an afterthought. And he was a wuss and that made me mad.

Diaz, on the other hand, was great. As Aame�s jilted �fuckbuddy�, she is superfantastic believable. She�s one of the most real characters in the whole film, she�s the one I identified with the most because she�s the most like someone you�d know in real life. Actually, besides a bunch of key stuff that I won�t reveal due to spoilers; and besides the hot bod/hip life thing, she reminded me of myself in high school. All obsessive and stalkerly. I beg, BEG, that she never makes another Charlie�s Angel movie, although I know she will. Her annoying Spice Girl stage recently makes me want to vomit, but with �Vanilla Sky�, I applaud- I only hope she sticks with more adult films, and leaves the Girl Superhero shit to Drew. Drew can act like an idiot, it�s what she does, and she�s good at it. I expect more from Miss Cameron.

The cinematography is beautiful and eery, the colors perfect. It is really a �pretty� movie.The soundtrack, I�ve already ordered, because it�s great. Peter Gabriel and Jeff Buckley and Sigur Ros and REM and some others. And the requisite Nanci Wilson song, which was a given. When will Cameron Crowe ever let her put �Barracuda� on a soundtrack? Oh, I wish he would. I miss Heart.

Anyway, Alicia Witt also makes an appearance. Who remembers her as the daughter from �Cybill?� I do! She was Laura Prepon before there was a Laura Prepon. Famous young redheads.

When you get to the resolution, the end of this film, you have high hopes. But no fear, all your hopes will be dashed on the jagged, bloody rocks of Hollywood. The ending sucked HUGE donkey.

I definitely didn�t think �Vanilla Sky� was as bad as Salon thought. Nor did I think it was as bad as the Washington Post opinions (they hate everything, the ol� grinches.) Nor did I think it was as good as �Ain�t It Cool News.� It is a film about beautiful people, in a life none of us will ever experience. It�s like a ghost of a movie, floating through a cocktail party of the rich and blas�. Also, the ending makes me cry.
But, I do want Penelope�s hair.

“Son,” he said “Grab your things, I’ve come to take you home.”

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