Overall, this movie is bit above average. There is a truth to the portrayal of the complexity and speed of life, especially in the big apple, but at times the movie feels slow and bland. We can see the conflicts Alice the protagonist, played by VanCamp, faces in her everyday life as an assistant editor. These conflicts are then sometimes sprinkled with dashes of interesting scenes and actual character development.
Emmett, the man who was introduced to Alice by her best friend Sadie, turns out to be a likeable character, as many a “good guys” will relate to him, especially after confused Alice cheats on him with her best friend’s babysitter. With the exception of Emmett pretty easily giving in and going back to Alice at the end, while solving the whole movie’s riddle or why Alice seems so affected, he should have played a bigger physical presence in the movie since it’s the main character’s reason for changing her whole life.
The author of “Waking Eyes” in the film, Milan Daneker (Nyqvist), will remind you of Lolita’s Nabokov (whose name you actually see written on a blackboard at one point). Milan’s character is pretty realistically creepy, so that was very good, but again some of the scenes he is in seem to drag on for too long and are too slow. I’d rather see a girl get a dragon tattooed on her, slowly. See what I did there?
Most importantly, I think Alice’s confrontation with Milan is pretty weak sauce. This was supposed to be the climax of her growing insanity. I was expecting shattering of glasses, broken bones, but it didn’t excite that much emotion. Maybe this was too much a depiction of what would happen in real life, and it left the viewer wanting more Hollywood absurdities, and bloodshed.
If you’re into dramas with some romance, this is not a bad movie. It’s actually quite refreshing seeing a woman chase and beg a man for forgiveness, instead of the typical other way around. Even with that in mind, it’s not at the top of anybody’s recommendation list, but it’s worth a watch if you have an hour and a half to spend and like thoughtful writing. Overall, I’d give it a 70%.