Picks and Pans Review: Lathe of Heaven
updated 09/09/2002 AT 01:00 AM EDT
•originally published 09/09/2002 AT 01:00 AM EDT
A TV critic is duty-bound to keep his eyes open, but I admit my lids got verrrry heavy during this drowsy dramatization of Ursula K. Le Guin's 1971 sci-fi novel. "My dreams change things for everyone," says George Orr (a zombielike Lukas Haas). "It's like the past never existed." Desperate to get some sleep without fear of inadvertently altering reality, George seeks help from Dr. Haber (a sluggish and unpersuasive James Caan), but the psychiatrist starts using the patient's dreams to advance his own career. Feeling exploited, George turns to lawyer Heather Lelache (Lisa Bonet), whose breathy, insinuating tone befits the bedroom more than the office. Though attorney and client eventually have sex, neither ever seems fully awake.
The book is filled with ideas on history, ecology and psychology, but they don't translate to film any better here than they did in PBS's 1980 adaptation.
Bottom Line: Nap time