Vanilla Sky (2001)

What is happiness to you?

Plot outline

A self-indulgent and vain publishing magnate finds his privileged life upended after a vehicular accident with a resentful lover.

Personal notes

127

Plots

A self-indulgent and vain publishing magnate finds his privileged life upended after a vehicular accident with a resentful lover. - David

Incarcerated and charged with murder, David Aames Jr. is telling the story of how he got to where he is to McCabe, the police psychologist. That story includes: being the 51% shareholder of a major publishing firm, which he inherited from his long deceased parents; the firm's board, appointed by David Aames Sr., being the 49% shareholders who would probably like to see him gone as they see him as being too irresponsible and immature to run the company; his best bro friendship with author, Brian Shelby; his "friends with benefits" relationship with Julie Gianni, who saw their relationship in a slightly different light; his budding romance with Sofia Serrano, who Brian brought to David's party as his own date and who Brian saw as his own possible life mate; and being in an accident which disfigured his face and killed the person who caused the accident. But as the story proceeds, David isn't sure what is real and what is a dream/nightmare as many facets of the story are incompatible to be all real. The mysterious man in the restaurant may be able to shed some light on David's confusion. - Huggo

Tom Cruise stars as David Ames, a womanizing playboy who finds romantic redemption when he falls in love with his best friend's girlfriend Sofia (Penelope Cruz, reprising her role from the original film). Before that relationship can begin, however, David is coaxed into a car driven by an ex-lover, Julie (Cameron Diaz), who turns out to be suicidal. Driving her car off a bridge, Julie kills herself and horribly disfigures David. Reconstructive surgery and the loving support of Sofia seem to reverse David's luck, but eerie incidents are soon making him question the reality of his existence and his control over his life, even while he is suspected of complicity in Julie's death.

David Aames takes all he has for granted; his wealth, his inherited publishing company, his good looks - his relationships. Especially his relationships. It catches up to him when a friend/sometimes sex-partner can't see their relationship the way he sees it. From that point, the movie takes a Lynchian twist that ultimately and literally pulls us into Aames' tortured psyche. - Andrew Hope

David Aames, a tycoon's son who, in the eyes of many, is a spoiled child who has no realization of his wealth or luck. Inhereting his fathers company after both parents were killed in a road accident some years prior, David meets a girl whom his friend brings to a lavish house party one night and instantly falls in love with her. Desperate to find out more about this mystery girl, he gets chatting to her, unfortunately a jilted lover is watching David at all times and plans her final plot. After surviving a car crash and having his face reconstructed courtesy of his 'jilted lover', David struggles to find out the truth when his dreams turn into reality, and what he thinks is reality, turns into nightmares. He knows he wants the Mystery girl he met at the party that night, but where is she? who is she? Everything seems muddled slightly, until a doctor manages to repair his face, and life is back to the way it should be, together with his mystery girl, or is it? Questions need to be answered, but who is to be asked and who has the answers. - Stezo Tullichewan

During the week he turns 33, NYC magazine publisher David Aames, a playboy who has strange dreams, spends a night of passion with Julie, "a friend he sometimes sleeps with," and a night with Sofia, a witty, knowing dancer with a Spanish accent - a night with intimations of love. David is charming, rich (his mother's Monet, "Vanilla Sky" is in his bedroom), and feckless: he inherited the magazines and his minority partners want him out. Jump ahead: he's in jail, wearing a prosthetic mask, talking to a sympathetic psychologist to get at the truth behind a death. Who has died? How? And who's Ellie? Popping up often on TV is Benny, a dog who survived for months frozen in ice.