Monday, February 26, 2007

Review: The Science Of Sleep

I've been waiting to see this since I posted the trailer in September last year, so I was very excited to finally get the chance this evening at our wonderful local independent cinema. While one of my trusted friends had said it was "just OK" and I wasn't the hugest fan of Eternal Sunshine (this has the same director, Michel Gondry), after seeing the trailer I refused to believe that this wouldn't be a brilliant film, and my intuition was correct. It was superbly sweet and often hilarious, in the best way - kind of silly yet never too surreal or stupid.

I was expecting to love Gael Garcia Bernal's character, Stéphane, but it's Charlotte Gainsbourg (daughter of Serge) who is the new subject of my admiration - she's so quirky and ace! Why are people like Angelina Jolie and Cameron Diaz mega-stars when there are women like Charlotte available to be in movies? Of course she would never do Charlie's Angels or Tomb Raider, so perhaps her integrity is the better for it.

Visually this film is an absolute treat, and the dialogue is also fantastic. It moves between French and English, although Stéphane can speak neither well (leading to some very amusing moments), and is full of hilarious jokes which would seem like nonsense if you tried to retell them - "you just had to be there!", you'll say. Not everyone would love this film, as it is really super-sweet and twee at times, but it's never over-sentimental and I would definitely say it's one of the best romantic comedies I've ever seen, not that it's at all typical of that genre.

I recommend The Science of Sleep very highly, and I plan to get hold of the DVD as soon as I can (apparently it's been out ages in France, but if I buy from there all the English bits will be subtitled and not the French) in order to make it my new Test DVD i.e. the one I play to all potential new pals to find out if they are worthy of being my friend. If they like it, they are worthy, but if they don't I'll have to put them on probation until they change their minds!