REVIEW SUMMARY: This film was the original Vanilla Sky and was every bit as enjoyable as the Hollywood version.
BRIEF SYNOPSIS: Handsome womanizer Cesar finally found the woman of his dreams. However, an ex-girlfriend wants to make sure his life doesn’t end up happily ever after.
PROS: Excellent story, Penelope Cruz does even better than in Vanilla Sky
CONS: The psycho ex-girlfriend in Vanilla Sky (Cameron Diaz) was a more frightening character.
BOTTOM LINE: If you’ve seen Vanilla Sky and loved it, like I did, then rent this film. If you saw it and didn’t like it, then don’t bother with this version. If you haven’t seen either version, then Open Your Eyes is a slightly better film in my opinion, but you have to want to read subtitles.
I put Vanilla Sky on my list of 20 all-time favorite films. I’m not saying that I think it’s a piece of film genius, but there’s something about it that’s grabbed me and makes me keep thinking about it. That movie was based on a Spanish film called Abre Los Ojos (Open Your Eyes.)
The story’s main character, Cesar, is a handsome, young and wealthy co-owner of a restaurant chain. In the opening scenes, his best friend Pelayo laments how Cesar always gets the girls and discards them just as quickly, while he cannot get a date.
One day, however, Pelayo finds Sofia (Penelope Cruz) and brings her to Cesar’s birthday party. Cesar falls instantly in love with her – he’s finally met the woman of his dreams. His newfound love is cut short, however, when an ex-girlfriend asks him to go for a little spin. Don’t get in that car Cesar!
I know this doesn’t sound like a sci-fi film, or at least not a very good one, but it is, and if you’ve not seen it, you owe it to yourself to give it a try.
Penelope Cruz plays Sofia in both films and does a superb job. I think I enjoyed her more in Open Your Eyes, and it seems she had a little more screen time here than in Vanilla Sky.
Watching Open Your Eyes made me a little upset at Cameron Crowe (director of Vanilla Sky). The movies were almost identical, and several scenes were filmed almost EXACTLY the same as the original film. There were very few artistic additons or changes in Vanilla Sky.