The Bye Bye Man
The Bye Bye Man is the kind of film that is so boring and bereft of anything of possible interest that it becomes infuriating.
Michel Gondry, 43, is a boy genius. Give him a pile of Legos and he might make an animated video of the White Stripes out of them. Give him some egg cartons, boxes, and a shower curtain and perhaps he'll construct an imaginary TV studio, where the programming consists entirely of the dreamer's dreams. Give him some cardboard tubes, and he can build an entire miniature city, complete with skyscrapers, factories and public transportation.
Gondry, the director of numerous music videos and "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind," creates those last two things in "The Science of Sleep," the hand-crafted fantasy he's written and directed about a little boy in the body of a small young man who confuses waking, sleeping and dreaming.
Stephane (Gael Garcia Bernal), a shy would-be graphic artist, returns to his mother's apartment after his father's death and sleeps in a child's cradle-bed, between colorful automobile-print sheets, in a room overflowing with toys and inventions.
Stephane develops a fitful crush on his across-the-hall neighbor, Stephanie (Charlotte Gainsbourg), in part because he imagines her as his ideal counterpart. After all, her door is opposite his, and she likes to make things with her hands, too, and they practically share the same name, so love must be inevitable. Alas, there's no chemistry at all between Stephane and Stephanie, and no good explanation for why there should be.