Handsome, wealthy and charismatic, New York City publishing executive David Ames leads a charmed life. But one night David makes a small mistake that causes him to lose Sofia, the girl of his dreams. In his search for her, David is thrust unexpectedly into a roller coaster of romance, sex, lies and suspicion that results in his ex-girlfriend's suicide and a car accident that leaves David hideously disfigured. Soon, however, his luck seems to change when Sofia declares her love for him and the doctors are able to rebuild his face. But when strange things begin to happen, he starts to realize that his life has taken a turn beyond his control.
Tom Cruise and Cameron Crowe, who directed him in "Jerry Maguire," re-team for a far less confident but still entertaining fable about male vanity that begins as a psychological thriller, then lunges awkwardly into allegorical science fiction. Although Mr. Cruise dominates the movie with his marathon-man energy, Cameron Diaz nearly steals it with her ferocious portrayal of a cad's vengeful girlfriend. Penelope Cruz's continuing difficulties with the English language undermine her depiction of "the last guileless woman in New York." – Stephen Holden
2001-12-14 | Stephen Holden | Read the New York Times Review of Vanilla Sky