Wednesday, April 28, 2010

You've Got Mail (1998) [PG] ****

A film review by Roger Ebert, December 18, 1998.

The appeal of You've Got Mail is as old as love and as new as the Web. It stars Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan as immensely lovable people whose purpose it is to display their lovability for two hours, while we desperately yearn for them to solve their problems, fall into each other's arms and get down to the old rumpy-pumpy.

They meet in a chat room on AOL, and soon they're revealing deep secrets (but no personal facts) in daily and even hourly e-mail sessions. The movie's call to arms is the inane chirp of the maddening You've Got Mail! Voice (which prompts me to growl, Yes, and I'm gonna stick it up your modem!). But the e-mail is really just the MacGuffin -- the device necessary to keep two people who fall in love online from finding out that they already know and hate each other in real life.

The plot surrounds Hanks and Ryan not only with e-mail lore, but with the Yuppie Urban Lifestyle. It's the kind of movie where the characters walk into Starbucks and we never for a moment think product placement! because, frankly, we can't imagine them anywhere else. Where the generations are so confused by modern mating appetites that Joe Fox (the Hanks character) can walk into a bookstore with two young children and introduce them as his brother and his aunt (Matt is my father's son, and Annabel is my grandfather's daughter).

Kathleen, the Meg Ryan character, runs the children's book shop she inherited from her mother. She and her loyal staff read all the books, know all the customers, and provide full service and love. Joe Fox is the third generation to run a chain of gigantic book megastores. When the new Fox Books opens around the corner from Kathleen's shop, it's only a matter of time until the little store is forced out of business. Kathleen turns for advice and solace to her anonymous online friend -- who is, of course, Joe.

And yet this is not quite an Idiot Plot, so called because a word from either party would instantly end the confusion. It maintains the confusion only up to a point, and then does an interesting thing: allows Joe to find out Kathleen's real identity while still keeping her quite reasonably in the dark. And, oh, the poignant irony, as Joe has to stand there and be insulted by the woman he loves. You're nothing but a suit! she says. That's my cue, he says. Goodnight. And as he nobly conceals his pain, we are solaced only by the knowledge that sooner or later the scales will fall from her eyes.

The movie was directed by Nora Ephron, who also paired Hanks and Ryan in Sleepless in Seattle (1993), and has made an emotional, if not a literal, sequel. That earlier film was partly inspired by An Affair to Remember, and this one is inspired by The Shop Around the Corner, but both are really inspired by the appeal of Ryan and Hanks, who have more winning smiles than most people have expressions.

Ephron and her co-writer, her sister Delia Ephron, have surrounded the characters with cultural references that we can congratulate ourselves on recognizing: not only Jane Austen, but also the love affair carried on by correspondence between George Bernard Shaw and Mrs. Patrick Campbell. Not only The Godfather (which contains the answers to all of life's questions), but also Anthony Powell and Generalissimo Franco. (It is one of the movie's quietly hilarious conceits that the little store's elderly bookkeeper, played by Jean Stapleton, was in love years ago with a man who couldn't marry her because he had to run Spain.) The plot I shall not describe, because it consists of nothing but itself, so any description would make it redundant. What you have are two people the audience desires to see together, and a lot of devices to keep them apart. There is the added complication that both Hanks and Ryan begin the movie with other partners (Parker Posey and Greg Kinnear -- respectively, of course). The partners get dumped without much fuss, and then we're left with these two lonely single people, who have neat jobs but no one to rub toes with, and who are trapped by fate in a situation where he is destroying her dream, and she is turning to him (without knowing it is him) for consolation. Perfect.

The movie is sophisticated enough not to make the megastore into the villain. Say what you will, those giant stores are fun to spend time in, and there is a scene where Kathleen ventures anonymously into Joe's big store for the first time and looks around, at the magazine racks and the cafe and all the books -- and then there's the heartbreaking moment when she overhears a question in the children's section, and she knows the answer but of course the clerk doesn't, and so she supplies the answer but it makes her cry, and Joe overhears everything. Whoa.

Labels: comedy, romance

Internet Movie Database
Metacritic 57/100
RottenTomatoes Averages (critics=62, viewers=62)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Armageddon (1998) [PG-13] ***

A film review by Roger Ebert, July 1, 1998

Here it is at last, the first 150-minute trailer. Armageddon is cut together like its own highlights. Take almost any 30 seconds at random, and you'd have a TV commercial. The movie is an assault on the eyes, the ears, the brain, common sense and the human desire to be entertained. No matter what they're charging to get in, it's worth more to get out.

The plot covers many of the same bases as the recent Deep Impact, which, compared with Armageddon, belongs on the American Film Institute list. The movie tells a similar story at fast-forward speed, with Bruce Willis as an oil driller who is recruited to lead two teams on an emergency shuttle mission to an asteroid the size of Texas, which is about to crash into Earth and obliterate all life - even bacteria! Their job: Drill an 800-foot hole and stuff a bomb into it, to blow up the asteroid before it kills us. OK, say you do succeed in blowing up an asteroid the size of Texas. What if a piece the size of Dallas is left? Wouldn't that be big enough to destroy life on Earth? What about a piece the size of Austin? Let's face it: Even an object the size of that big Wal-Mart outside Abilene would pretty much clean us out, if you count the parking lot.

Texas is a big state, but as a celestial object, it wouldn't be able to generate much gravity. Yet when the astronauts get to the asteroid, they walk around on it as if the gravity is the same as on Earth. There's no sensation of weightlessness - until it's needed, that is, and then a lunar buggy flies across a jagged canyon, Evel Knievel-style.

The movie begins with a Charlton Heston narration telling us about the asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs. Then we get the masterful title card, 65 Million Years Later. The next scenes show an amateur astronomer spotting the object. We see top-level meetings at the Pentagon and in the White House. We meet Billy Bob Thornton, head of Mission Control in Houston, which apparently functions like a sports bar with a big screen for the fans, but no booze. Then we see ordinary people whose lives will be Changed Forever by the events to come. This stuff is all off the shelf - there's hardly an original idea in the movie.

Armageddon reportedly used the services of nine writers. Why did it need any? The dialogue is either shouted one-liners or romantic drivel. It's gonna blow! is used so many times, I wonder if every single writer used it once, and then sat back from his word processor with a contented smile on his face, another day's work done.

Disaster movies always have little vignettes of everyday life. The dumbest in Armageddon involves two Japanese tourists in a New York taxi. After meteors turn an entire street into a flaming wasteland, the woman complains, I want to go shopping! I hope in Japan that line is redubbed as Nothing can save us but Gamera! Meanwhile, we wade through a romantic subplot involving Liv Tyler and Ben Affleck. Liv plays Bruce Willis' daughter. Ben is Willis' best driller (now, now). Bruce finds Liv in Ben's bunk on an oil platform and chases Ben all over the rig, trying to shoot him. (You would think the crew would be preoccupied by the semi-destruction of Manhattan, but it's never mentioned after it happens.) Helicopters arrive to take Willis to the mainland so he can head up the mission to save mankind, etc., and he insists on using only crews from his own rig - especially Affleck, who is like a son. That means Liv and Ben have a heart-rending parting scene. What is it about cinematographers and Liv Tyler? She is a beautiful young woman, but she's always being photographed while flat on her back, with her brassiere riding up around her chin and lots of wrinkles in her neck from trying to see what some guy is doing. (In this case, Affleck is tickling her navel with animal crackers.) Tyler is obviously a beneficiary of Take Your Daughter to Work Day. She's not only on the oil rig, but she attends training sessions with her dad and her boyfriend, hangs out in Mission Control and walks onto landing strips right next to guys wearing foil suits.

Characters in this movie actually say: I wanted to say… that I'm sorryWe're not leaving them behind!; Guys - the clock is ticking!; and This has turned into a surrealistic nightmare! Steve Buscemi, a crew member who is diagnosed with space dementia, looks at the asteroid's surface and adds this place is like Dr. Seuss' worst nightmare. Quick - which Seuss book is he thinking of? There are several Red Digital Readout scenes, in which bombs tick down to zero. Do bomb designers do that for the convenience of interested onlookers who happen to be standing next to a bomb? There's even a retread of the classic scene where they're trying to disconnect the timer, and they have to decide whether to cut the red wire or the blue wire. The movie has forgotten that this is not a terrorist bomb, but a standard-issue U.S. military bomb, being defused by a military guy (played by William Fichtner) who is on board specifically because he knows about this bomb. A guy like that, the first thing he should know is… red or blue? Armageddon is loud, ugly and fragmented. Action sequences are cut together at bewildering speed out of hundreds of short edits, so that we can't see for sure what's happening, or how, or why. Important special-effects shots (such as the asteroid) have a murkiness of detail, and the movie cuts away before we get a good look. The few dramatic scenes consist of the sonorous recitation of ancient clichés. Only near the end, when every second counts, does the movie slow down: Life on Earth is about to end, but the hero delays saving the planet in order to recite cornball farewell platitudes.

Staggering into the silence of the theater lobby after the ordeal was over, I found a big poster that was fresh off the presses with the quotes of junket blurbsters. It will obliterate your senses! reports David Gillin, who obviously writes autobiographically. It will suck the air right out of your lungs! vows Diane Kaminsky. If it does, consider it a mercy killing.

Labels: action, adventure, disaster, sci-fi, thriller

Two Girls and a Guy (1998) [NC-17] ***

Carla (Heather Graham) and Louise (Natasha Gregson Wagner) are standing outside a New York City building. They discover that they're waiting for the same person, Blake (Robert Downey Jr.). It turns out that he's told them identical stories, and used identical expressions to express his love. Angrily they break into Blake's upstairs loft to wait for him.

Finally Blake arrives, and the two girls confront him; Carla wants to placate and understand him while Louise wants to confront, antagonize and abuse him. Blake tries every possible tactic to avoid being honest with them. He reminds them that he's an actor, and actors lie. He uses his anxiety about his sick mother to win their sympathy. He even fakes a suicide attempt. But gradually the truth emerges. Blake admits that he fell in love with both of them at the same time and just couldn't give either one up. He admits that in the ten months of their relationships, he's had sex with at least ten other women. Carla admits that she's had sex with four other men, and Louise, who is bisexual, admits to having had sex with three women. Carla suggests that maybe they are not capable of monogamy. Louise senses she's likely to be the odd girl out, so she suggests they form a threesome.

Are these three people capable of love or is it all just amoral sex? Is anything they tell each other the truth, or is it all lies and deception? Or is the answer simply that writer-director James Toback is a legendary misogynist (a man who hates women)? 

Labels: comedy, drama
Internet Movie Database
Metacritic 66/100
Tomatometer (critics=52, viewers=42)

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Hope Floats (1998) [PG-13] ***

A film review by Roger Ebert, June 6, 1998.

Hope Floats begins with a talk show where a woman learns that her husband and her best friend are having an affair. Devastated, she flees from Chicago with her young daughter and moves back in with her mother in Smithville, Texas. Everybody in Smithville (and the world) witnessed her public humiliation. Why did you go on that show in the first place? her mother asks. Because I wanted a free makeover, she says. Well, you got one. The victim's name is Birdee Pruitt (Sandra Bullock), and she was the three-time Queen of Corn in Smithville. But she doesn't type and she doesn't compute, and her bitchy former classmate, who runs the local employment agency, tells her, I don't see a listing here for prom queen. Birdee finally gets a job in a photo developing lab, where the owner asks her to make extra prints of any interesting snapshots.

This material could obviously lead in a lot of different directions. It seems most promising as comedy or satire, but no: Hope Floats is a turgid melodrama with the emotional range of a sympathy card.

Consider the cast of characters in Smithville. Birdee is played by Bullock as bewildered by her husband's betrayal (even though he's such a pig that she must have had hints over the years). Birdee's mother, Ramona (Gena Rowlands), is a salt-of-the-earth type who's able to live in a rambling Victorian mansion and keep her husband in a luxurious retirement home, despite having no apparent income. Birdee's daughter Bernice (Mae Whitman) is a little drip who keeps whining that she wants to live with daddy, despite overwhelming evidence that daddy is a cretin. And then there's Justin (Harry Connick Jr.), the old boyfriend Birdee left behind, who's still in love with her and spends his free time restoring big old homes. (There is no more reliable indicator of a male character's domestic intentions than when he invites the woman of his dreams to touch his newly installed pine.) Hope Floats is one of those screenplays where everything that will happen is instantly obvious, and yet the characters are forced to occupy a state of oblivion, acting as if it's all a mystery to them. It is obvious that Birdee's first husband is a worthless creep. And that Justin and Birdee will fall in love once again. And that Bernice will not go home to live with daddy and his new girlfriend. And that the creeps who are still jealous of the onetime Corn Queen will get their comeuppance. The only real mystery in the movie is how Birdee keeps her job at Snappy Snaps despite apparently ruining every roll of film she attempts to process (the only photo she successfully develops during the entire movie is apparently done by magic realism).

I grow restless when I sense a screenplay following a schedule so faithfully it's like a train conductor with a stopwatch. Consider, for example, the evening of tender romance and passion between Birdee and Justin. What comes next? A fight, of course. There's a grim dinner scene at which everyone stares unhappily at their plates, no doubt thinking they would be having a wonderful time -- if only the screenwriter hadn't required an obligatory emotional slump between the false dawn and the real dawn.

I watch these formulas unfold, and I reflect that the gurus who teach those Hollywood screenwriting classes have a lot to answer for. They claim their formulas are based on analysis of successful movies. But since so many movies have been written according to their formulas, there's a kind of self-fulfilling prophecy going on here. Isn't it at least theoretically possible that after a man and a woman spend an evening in glorious romantic bliss, they could still be glowing the next day? Hope Floats was written by Steven Rogers and directed by Forest Whitaker (Waiting to Exhale). It shows evidence of still containing shreds of earlier drafts. At one point, for example, Birdee accuses her mother of embarrassing her as a child with her road kill hat and freshly skinned purse. Well, it's a good line, and it suggests that Gena Rowlands will be developed as one of the ditzy eccentrics she plays so well, but actually she's pretty sensible in this movie and the line doesn't seem to apply.

There's also the problem that the sweet romantic stuff coexists uneasily with harsher scenes, as when little Bernice discovers her daddy doesn't want her to move back in with him. The whole TV talk show setup, indeed, deals the movie a blow from which it never recovers: No film that starts so weirdly should develop so conventionally. Sandra Bullock seems to sense that in her performance; her character wanders through the whole movie like a person who senses that no matter what Harry Connick thinks, she will always be known as the Corn Queen who got dumped on TV.

Labels: drama, romance

Internet Movie Database
Metacritic 42/100
RottenTomatoes Averages (critics=49, viewers=66)

My comment:

Hope Floats has a formulaic plot, mediocre performances and little chemistry between Sandra Bullock and Harry Connick, Jr. The only redeeming feature of the film is a pair of ideas that are closely intertwined, almost like two sides of the same coin, and are presented so subtly as to be almost subliminal. The first idea is that forcing ourselves to change in order to please someone we love can cause us to become so unrecognizable that we end up hating the other person, and ourselves. The second idea is that turning a hobby we love into our career can twist and warp it so much that it becomes unrecognizable, and we end up hating it, and ourselves. The great lesson hidden in this film is that we must be true to ourselves; we must have a clear vision of who we are and why we are here on Earth.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Monday, April 5, 2010

Inventing the Abbotts (1997) [R] ****

Doug Holt (Joaquin Phoenix) and his older brother Jacey (Billy Crudup) lived with their widowed mother (Kathy Baker) in small-town Haley, Illinois in 1957. As a child, Jacey had heard a story about Lloyd Abbott (Will Patton), owner of the town's office furniture manufacturing company, and one of the area's wealthiest men. The story was that, after their father had died in an accident, Lloyd Abbott had seduced their mother and had cheated her out of their father's valuable patent, a patent that later became the source of Abbott wealth.

Jacey harbored a deep-seated resentment toward Lloyd Abbott, and seducing his three beautiful and privileged daughters would be delicious payback. But, in fact, given Jacey's personality, if the Abbotts hadn't existed, he would have invented them. Bad-girl Eleanor (Jennifer Connelly) was as attracted to the handsome, sexy Jacey as he was to her, and she chafed under her father's restrictions. Good-girl Alice (Joanna Going), the eldest, was divorcing her husband, the son of a steel baron she'd married in a shotgun wedding; she was desperate, and an easy target for Jacey. But would Jacey also seduce youngest daughter Pamela (Liv Tyler)? Doug and Pamela had been close friends since they were children, and they loved each other deeply, although they had never expressed it.

Inventing the Abbotts is a poignant, character-driven romantic drama that shows how a life can be damaged by a lie, and how the maze of illusion created by that lie can drive someone to inflict injury and heartache upon innocent people. The story also contains some wonderful lessons about love and forgiveness. The screenplay, direction, casting, cinematography and editing are all outstanding, and while the ending leaves us contented, the path there is heart-wrenching. If you enjoyed films like About AdamHow to Make an American Quilt, Ghosts of Girlfriends Past and Little City, you might really enjoy Inventing the Abbotts. 

Labels: college, drama, romance, teenager    
Internet Movie Database    
Metacritic 49/100     
RottenTomatoes Averages (critics=54, viewers=64)

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Just Write (1997) [PG-13] ***

Harold McMurphy (Jeremy Piven) is a Hollywood tour bus driver who entertains his customers with stories about movies and film stars. He loves movies, is fascinated by the art of storytelling through movies, and dreams of becoming a screenwriter. Then one day Harold drops into a popular Hollywood bar where his friend Danny (Jeffrey D. Sams) is a bartender. Danny points out Harold's favorite young actress, Amanda Clark (Sherilyn Fenn) and encourages Harold to go and talk to her.

Amanda has been arguing with her agent Sidney Stone (JoBeth Williams) about the screenplay for her latest project - a thriller co-starring Brad Pitt. Amanda is afraid the screenwriter secretly hates women, and her part, as written, will hurt her career. When Harold introduces himself to Amanda as a storyteller, she thinks he's a screenwriter. She's impressed by his insights into movies, has a flash of inspiration, and asks him to rewrite her screenplay. Harold is doubtful, but Amanda is so sweet and innocent, and has such trust and faith in him, that with her encouragement, he agrees. Now all he has to do is find an agent, develop his screenwriting skills and do a professional rewrite before Amanda discovers the truth.

Just Write is a truly heartwarming romantic comedy with an inventive screenplay, believable performances, sweet romantic chemistry between Jeremy Piven and Sherilyn Fenn, and a happy ending. The supporting cast is stellar, especially Sams, Williams, Alex Rocco as Harold's father, and Costas Mandylor as Amanda's womanizing film star boyfriend. Despite being a low-budget independent production, the film won awards at several film festivals, including the 1997 Santa Barbara International Film Festival. If you loved Notting Hill, you will probably enjoy Just Write.

Labels: comedy, filmmaking, romance
Internet Movie Database
RottenTomatoes Averages (critics=50, viewers=64)

Still Breathing (1997) [PG-13] *****

Fletcher (Brendan Fraser) is an artist and puppeteer, living in San Antonio, Texas. He's been waiting all his life for a vision of his one true love. Then, late one night, Fletcher has a vision of a lovely dark-haired girl fleeing from danger, and then a neon sign that says: Formosa.

Assuming that his true love must be Chinese, Fletcher books a flight to Taiwan. While between flights at LAX airport, he sees a picture of the Formosa Cafe in Hollywood, recognizes the neon sign, goes to the cafe, meets Rosalyn (Joanna Going), and recognizes her as the girl in his vision. In contrast to innocent, trusting Fletcher, however, Rosalyn is a cynical con artist, working an elaborate fine art scam. She thinks she's meeting a wealthy Texan entrepreneur at the Formosa, not a street performer.

As Fletcher and Rosalyn get to know one another, the depth of their soul connection becomes clearer, although Rosalyn stubbornly refuses to acknowledge it. After years of disappointment, she has given up hope that there is someone made just for her, that she will prove worthy of him, and that true love will bring her happiness. All she knows is that, day after day, she is still breathing. Slowly, gradually, despite Rosalyn's resistance, Fletcher's unconditional love opens her heart, melts her fears, and restores her innocence and trust. This is a touching romance, with great chemistry between Brendan Fraser and Joanna Going, a terrific soundtrack, and a happy ending. 

Labels: comedy, drama, fantasy, romance
Internet Movie Database
Tomatometer (critics=62,viewers=78)

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Déjà Vu (1997) [PG-13] ****

A film review by Roger Ebert, May 1, 1998.

We all look for love like the love in Déjà Vu. We hardly ever find it. That's why there are movies. We want a love that spans the generations and conquers time, a love so large that only the supernatural can contain it. Here is a movie about a love like that. It makes City of Angels look timid.

The story involves an American woman named Dana (Victoria Foyt), who is on a buying trip to Jerusalem when she is approached by a mysterious older blond who engages her in conversation. Soon she is revealing all her secrets: Yes, she is engaged, because being engaged has become a condition of my life, but after six years and no marriage she is not very happy.

The other woman tells her about the love of her life. It was a wartime romance. She was a French Jewish woman, he was an American GI. They planned to wed. He went home to tell his girlfriend, and never returned. Eventually she got a letter with a photo of the man's first child.

Perhaps, Dana says, he could not find you. The woman smiles sadly. He knew where to find me. Life had got hold of us. She pauses. Nothing seemed so real again. In fact, all my life since then has been like a dream. The woman gives her a piece of jewelry -- a clip -- and disappears, after mentioning that the clip was a gift from the GI, who kept the other one.

Dana heads toward home. When the Chunnel train stops briefly at Dover, she inexplicably gets off instead of going on to London. Above the White Cliffs of Dover, she meets a painter named Sean (Stephen Dillane). Have we met before? she asks him. He says, It feels like one of those moments where if you turn the wrong way you regret it forever. It's love at first sight, but they fight it. She's engaged, after all. But then they meet again, by coincidence, at the house of British friends. She discovers that he is married.

Her fiance is Alex (Michael Brandon). His wife is Claire (Glynis Barber). It becomes clear that Dana and Sean are helplessly in love, and their partners react in disbelief and anger, but with a certain civilized restraint. I must not reveal any more. I must say instead that old songs, such as The White Cliffs of DoverWe'll Meet Again and These Foolish Things, are like time machines that can carry love down through the years and can leap from mind to mind, spreading their foolishness and dreams.

Déjà Vu is not a weepy romantic melodrama, but a sophisticated film about smart people. Foyt and Dillane make convincing lovers not because they are swept away, but because they regard what has happened to them, and accept it. When they fall in love, there is a lot at risk: jobs, businesses, which country they live in, the people they're committed to. It takes no trouble at all to fall in love when you're 20 and single. But Dana and Sean must look in their hearts and be sure they cannot live without one another.

The film was directed by Henry Jaglom, and written by Jaglom and his star, Victoria Foyt, who is also his wife. Ah-ha, you think, guessing the connection, especially since the movie is dedicated to the love of my life. But there is another connection coiling down through the years. The trademark of Jaglom's film company is a brief moment of time, showing Orson Welles producing a rainbow out of thin air. Jaglom was one of Welles' close confidantes and friends.

In Citizen Kane, which Welles made in 1941, there occurs my favorite passage of movie dialogue. Old Mr. Bernstein is talking about the peculiarities of time. A fellow will remember a lot of things you wouldn't think he'd remember, he says. You take me. One day, back in 1896, I was crossing over to Jersey on the ferry, and as we pulled out, there was another ferry pulling in, and on it there was a girl waiting to get off. A white dress she had on. She was carrying a white parasol. I only saw her for one second. She didn't see me at all, but I'll bet a month hasn't gone by since that I haven't thought of that girl. Late in Déjà Vu a character tells a similar story, about a woman he once met: A week hasn't gone by since I last saw her that I haven't thought of her. She was the love of my life. Yes. And can you, dear reader, think of such a moment, too? Perfect love is almost always unrealized. It has to be. What makes those memories perfect is that they produce no history. The woman with the white parasol remains always frozen in an old man's memory. She never grows old, is never out of temper, never loses interest in him, never dies. She exists forever as a promise, like the green light at the end of Gatsby's pier.

Only rarely does the universe wheel around to bring two hearts once again into communion. That's what Déjà Vu is about. And that explains the two most curious characters in it. They are the old couple (Anna Massey and Noel Harrison) who own the house where Dana and Sean meet by accident. They have been married a very long time, and like to read in bed, and eat Mars bars at the same time, and be happy to be together. At first you wonder what their scenes mean. Then you understand.

Labels: drama, romance
Internet Movie Database
Tomatometer (critics=65, viewers=61)
My comment: Déjà Vu is a tender, thought-provoking romance for everyone who has ever believed, even for a moment, that they have a soul mate. If the expressions meant for each other and destined to be together cause you to pause and wonder, then this film is for you. If romantic dramas like The Lake HouseThe Love Letter (1998), Sleepless in Seattle and Somewhere in Time are your favorite kind of films, then you will appreciate Déjà Vu.