The Science of Sleep (15) <!-- none onestar twostar threestar fourstar fivestar -->

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Gondry's film completes this week's hat-trick of duff romantic comedies. Gael Garcia Bernal plays Stéphane, a nerd in a Peruvian hat returning to his mother's flat in Paris and falling for the girl next door (Charlotte Gainsbourg), despite his difficulties in separating his unconscious life from his waking one. Gondry puts great effort into portraying the ever-wackier dream world of his hero, who experiences the kind of trippy visions usually the preserve of acid freaks. The sequences achieve an antic goofiness, but can hardly compensate for the feeble whimsy smeared over the film like cheap mustard. Gondry bamboozled us with Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, but its success now looks to be more the credit of Charlie Kaufman's scriptwriting. Dreams are easy to invent, and as easy to forget. The real challenge is to invent stories that have a stake in logic as well as truth.