Dream Lover Film Details
Overview: A successful businessman tries to uncover what is wrong with his wife.
Tagline: If you think you know your lover. Think again. Especially if she’s your wife.
Review: This rather slow romantic thriller reminds me a little of the old “Alfred Hitchcock Presents” show from the 1960s — an engaging idea with little effort spent in polishing it up in a satisfying manner, as if the writers were working under a deadline. A rich architect (Spader) accidentally meets a ravishing young woman (Amick) at an art show. When I say “accidentally”, I mean he spills wine on her new dress. Then they coincidentally bump into one another in the local supermarket and he takes her to dinner. On his first visit to her apartment they jump into bed. Okay for HIM, I suppose. After all, it’s Madchen Amick, looking pale and delicious, full mouthed, and eyeball-coagulatingly gorgeous. But what about HER? I mean, whatever happened to family values? No matter. The couple are madly in love and they marry and have two children. Or do they? As one of the guests at a party remarks, the child doesn’t look like Spader at all. Amick swoops around in slinky gowns and glamorous hair dos and a Rajah’s fortune in jewels, and Spader labors away at the firm, bringing home the shekels to pay for his perfect family. About half-way through the film, things get a little twisted though. A series of the most unlikely coincidences pop up. Well, let me describe the first one. Spader and Amick are in a fancy restaurant in a city and an older woman approaches their table and says, “Why you’re Sissy from Pruneville, Texas! I know you!” (Something like that anyway.) Later, as it turns out, this was no mistake in identity. She really IS that small-town girl. But, then, what is the likelihood of two people who from Pruneville, who already know one another, showing up at the same Japanese restaurant at the same time in the same big city? The likelihood is exactly one chance out of 8,502 to the seventh power. The same implausibility haunts the rest of what might have been turned into a film that really grabs you, something on the order of “Vertigo”, if “Vertigo” had been shoddier and less demanding of its audience. In this case, we have — here comes a spoiler — we have Madchen Amick who has reinvented herself in order to marry a rich WASP who supports her while she indulges her sexual appetites and other sociopathic impulses. It takes Spader a couple of years to twig. When he finally penetrates all of her intrigues and confronts her, she taunts him until he belts her for the first and only time, which is what she’s been waiting for. She calls in her psychiatrist and the police, exhibiting bruises that she seems to have caused herself, and has Spader committed to what is delicately called an “institution”. (This is beginning to sound like MY marriage.) Boy, does the writing get sloppy here. Spader is taken by his keepers to a legal hearing at which all of his findings and suspicions are labeled delusions. And Spader is required to do what all sane people in the movies do under similar circumstances. Instead of calmly explaining his position, he goes berserk in court, begins shouting curses, tries to attack his wife, and is hauled away by his keepers. Actually, the psychiatric hospital is really a pretty nice place compared to some that I’ve worked in. This one must be private because it looks kind of like a resort spa. In any case, Spader enlists his first wife in a ploy to get Amick to visit him. She does, explaining that she plans to run off with one of her boyfriends, maybe taking the kids with her or possibly just “dumping them”. He takes her to a secluded spot on the grounds. (The photography is quite good and the direction not bad.) There, alone, he sensibly explains to her that, since he is now legally insane, he can’t be held responsible for anything he does. If he commits a crime, his defense is already prepared, and he’ll be out in a year. It doesn’t matter what the crime is. He could even strangle her. And he does. The end. What a waste of material. It’s like a half-hour TV show drawn out to an hour and a half with a trick ending tacked on. It COULD have been turned into a much better movie without any loss to its thrill quotient. The reveal is far too sudden. And the climax looks like an idea someone dreamed up while stoned. And there are several “dream” interludes, the points of which managed to escape me. (My dreams are splotchy and not half so neatly organized.) Spader does fairly well in his role. He’s best at looking quizzically at someone, at listening, not projecting rage. He did a fine job at posing as a cooperative listener in “Wolf”. Madchen Amick is stunning but illustrates the limits of her range as an actress. Larry Williams, as a weak friend of Spader’s, talks fast but comes across more as a self-indulgent idiot than a good pal. It’s not an insulting film. It’s just that it barely reaches the bar it set for itself, and that was pretty low to begin with. There are some good scenes in it, and the idea is solid, but this is a script that really did need a doctor.
Country: United States
Language: Japanese, English, German
Duration: 103 min
Genre: Drama, Mystery, Thriller
Also known as: Amante Ideal,Εφιαλτικός έρωτας (1993),Dream Lover,Жена-мечта,Unelmien Rakastajatar,Álmaim asszonya,El amante ideal,Ljubavnica iz snova,Ahava Zdoneat,Nightmare Lover,Incubo d’amore,水曜日に抱かれる女,Une épouse trop parfaite,A Mulher dos Meus Sonhos,Секс, ложь, безумие,Hayalimdeki Sevgili,Efialtikos erotas,Wyśniona kochanka,Любов или отмъщение