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4/15/08

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This movie is going to be tough for me to review. I've been creating a film with a very similar plot in my head for over 5 years. If I ever get a chance to make that film, it will turn out very different from The Good Night, but I don't want anyone thinking that I stole the core idea from this film. Being selfish about my idea, I hope that this film never gets wide exposure, but it's an interesting film that deserves to be seen, so I also have to recommend it.


The Good Night is about Gary, a deeply unhappy man. He's a musician who's sold out his artistic sensibilities to create music for commercials. He lives with his girlfriend Dora; in the opening scene you get a good sense of their relationship, they're simply brushing their teeth together, but instantly you can tell there's tension in their relationship, she's irritated by him standing in front of the sinking, he's irritated by her pushing her way in just as he's about to spit. When they say "I love you" before turning the lights off, you can tell the words have lost all meaning.


Sleep is Gary's only reprieve. He hates his job, he's miserable at home. His mind begins to build an escape for him through his dreams. Night after night he dreams about the same woman, played by the gorgeous Penélope Cruz, she's the perfect woman, everything he wants that he's not getting in the real world. He becomes obsessed with his sleep, making all sorts of changes to his routine to sleep better. Every time he wakes up, he's completely pissed, he doesn't doesn't want to leave this girl of his dreams. When Dora leaves for an extended trip, he gets far worse, covering his walls with soundproofing, and befriending Mel a lucid dream expert. Mel, played with world-weariness by Danny Devito, teaches him how to better control his dreams.


Things get weirder when he discovers that the girl of his dreams exists in the real world. His best friend, played by the always funny Simon Pegg, an ad executive sets up a meeting for Gary with this girl who's a model in real life. Besides looking exactly alike, the women don't have much in common and things don't turn out the way you might expect. The Good Night, isn't a typical romantic comedy, it's much darker, and besides the out-there premise, much more representative of true relationships.

Written and directed by Jake Paltrow, yes Gwyneth's brother, the film is a great experiment in the reality of dreams. Where do they come from? What do they mean? Martin Freeman, from the British version of The Office and the criminally under-seen Hitch-hiker's Guide to the Galaxy, plays Gary perfectly, a total sad-sack, but with enough charm and likability that you care about him as a character. Gwyneth, is wonderful in her fairly short screen time as Dora, she too has lost the luster of her life, living with Gary has ruined her, she looks nothing like the movie star playing her. The film has a great look to it, overly colorful, beautiful scenery while he's dreaming, drab and benign when he's in the real world. The Good Night isn't a gut-busting comedy, but if you appreciate some darkness with your laughter, some realistic character relationships, and a unique story; this film is a hidden gem. - Grade: B+



1 Response to The Good Night:

  1. I hope you don't hate me for this, but the very reason I looked up your review because, just like you, even I had a very similar plot idea for a film.

    Good luck with your film, I don't think, I'd debut with this concept and if I do, I think it will still take around 5 years more. Good luck.

    And, nice review too.

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