Passion of Mind
Directed by Alain Berliner
Review by Matt Heffernan
It's been three years since Demi Moore has been on the silver screen, keeping herself busy with a very public divorce from Bruce Willis. As his career continued to make him an even bigger star, Moore had only a string of critical and financial disappointments to look back on. She has finally tried to make a comeback, but so far it has failed to gain much attention.
In Passion of Mind, she plays a woman who lives two lives. As Marty, she is a literary agent in New York, single and dating her pick of men. When Marty falls asleep, however, she awakes as Marie, a widow with two daughters living in France. There, she is a book critic, and leads a very private life. Then, she falls asleep, and she is Marty again, waking up in her Manhattan apartment.
In both lives, she consults with psychiatrists, each trying to convince her that the other life is the dream. They both fall in love, as well -- Marty with the accountant (William Fichtner) of one of her clients, Marie with the author (Stellan Skarsgård) of a book she has recently panned. She tells her lovers about each other, but that may prove to be a mistake as carrying on both lives becomes too much to handle.
This film does manage to work on the level of a romantic drama in certain parts. The relationships are believable, but the high concept connecting them does not make Passion of Mind greater than the sum of its parts. The only perceived benefit is that Moore can make love to two men at the same time without much guilt. Beyond that, the only concern is which life is real.
I'll admit that it's a clever spin on the tired whodunit genre. Unfortunately, it doesn't stand up to scrutiny very well. Surely, one of her characters could go where the other lives, not to mention the time zone logistics and sleeping patterns. In the end, the answer is not entirely satisfying, and almost causes one to wonder whether the real Demi was a complete idiot.
I did enjoy the film in parts, but I couldn't recommend it as a whole. If you want to save eight bucks, you can just email me, and I'll tell you which character is dreamed by which. However, judging by the film's box office take, few people really care. So much for the big comeback.
For more information, go to the Internet Movie Database:
Passion of Mind (2000)
Video Pick of the Week
Guide to Star Ratings
Review © 2000 Matt Heffernan