What Dreams May Come

So much technology at the service of such a stunted vision! It's enough to make you cry, which is more than can be said for the purportedly heart-rending plight of Chris and Annie (Robin Williams, Annabella Sciorra), soulmates whose devotion is tested in this life and the next. This spiritual drama with mega-special effects trifles with devastating emotional...read more

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Reviewed by Maitland McDonagh
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So much technology at the service of such a stunted vision! It's enough to make you cry, which is more than can be said for the purportedly heart-rending plight of Chris and Annie (Robin Williams, Annabella Sciorra), soulmates whose devotion is

tested in this life and the next. This spiritual drama with mega-special effects trifles with devastating emotional material -- the death of children, the horror of madness, the loss of a spouse and the black hole of suicidal despair -- so it can fool around with a vision of the afterlife whose crushing mediocrity really feels like a slap in the face. Annie and Chris lose their kids, Ian and Marie (Josh Paddock, Jessica Brooks Grant), to a car crash. Chris helps the devastated Annie pull through, but four years later, he's killed in a freak accident, too. While she's falling to pieces, he's getting used to heaven, or rather, as kindly guide to the great beyond Albert (Cuba Gooding Jr.) explains, his heaven. We all get to imagine our own eternities, and Chris creates his out of an idyllic scene Annie once painted, complete with the paint. This makes for some messy walks through the immortal flowers, which smear and smudge and smush until Chris sees the wisdom of envisioning a less impressionistic world. Then Annie kills herself, and Chris has to descend into hell -- a miserable dump of desaturated color, full of wretches who look like they're going to a Marilyn Manson concert -- to try to get her back. The insidious influence of too much therapy permeates this misguided and very long picture, which tries to envision heaven and hell without that pesky God (one dismissive aside notwithstanding) and winds up trivializing love and pain and the whole

damn thing.

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  • Released: 1998
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Review: So much technology at the service of such a stunted vision! It's enough to make you cry, which is more than can be said for the purportedly heart-rending plight of Chris and Annie (Robin Williams, Annabella Sciorra), soulmates whose devotion is tested in… (more)

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