I don’t go to many movies in the theaters around here because they’re so expensive and it’s much cheaper to rent. So if I do pony up the cash, my expectations (and thus my potential for disappointment) are pretty high. I was a little nervous, therefore, to go see The Science of Sleep last Friday. I really enjoyed director Michel Gondry’s last feature, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, and was interested to see what his screenwriting debut might bring. Plus, I have a huge crush on Gael García Bernal. I worried that it might veer too much toward style at the sacrifice of substance, as Gondry is known for packing his frames with whimsical optical illusions and chaotic action. But the story, while kind of thin, was very sweet and funny and surprisingly linear, and the actors were clearly having a blast bounding around sets that resembled something from a low-budget children’s show from the mid-1970s. It was well-edited and well-paced and didn’t overstay its welcome–it seems like my main critique of movies these days is that they’d be so much better if they were 15 to 20 minutes shorter. Gondry also didn’t cop out with a Hollywood ending; instead, the movie ends with the hero once again falling into a sweet, wish-fulfilling dream. Even Will, who has notoriously little patience for what he sees as inconsistencies in movies, was touched by this film (and I think he also has developed a crush on Sr. Bernal).

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