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Director Michel Gondry (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) tries his hand at screenwriting for the first time, once again blending love and unreality in the tale of a young, would-be inventor named Stephane (Gael García Bernal), who has trouble telling his dreams from real life.

Lured to Paris by his mother (Miou-Miou), under the premise of a creative job she doesn't exactly deliver, Stephane begins to fall for a woman next door named Stephanie (Charlotte Gainsbourg), in whom he senses a kindred artistic soul. Unfortunately, it's difficult for him (and us) to be sure whether his instincts are based on any real world evidence or just his flights of fantasy.

Gondry does wonders with the inventively low-tech dream sequences, creating sets and toys out of cardboard any craft-minded kid would envy. As a writer, though, he still needs work; there's no real thrust to the story at all, and Stephane is so out of it, it's hard to relate to him.