Navel-Gazing Tedium

Maui Time | September 11, 2006
The Science of Sleep

Navel-gazing director Michel Gondry (“Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”) wears his developmentally arrested heart on his sleeve in the most self-indulgent movie of 2006. Gael Garcia Bernal plays Stephane Miroux, an insecure graphic artist who alternately woos, stalks and terrorizes his neighbor Zoe (Emma de Caunes) who has the misfortune of living in the same Paris apartment building that Stephane has recently moved to from Mexico. Stephane’s crippling immaturity prevents him from pursuing a sexual relationship with Zoe, so he substitutes creating arts and crafts as a basis for romance. Gondry employs plenty of Pee Wee Herman-inspired animated sequences to underscore his oh-so-precious view of passion. Anemic, weirdly depressing, and tedious “The Science of Sleep” is an excruciating experience.

Rated R, 105 mins. (D)

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