Butterfly Dreaming

Rating:

And Another Thing, That Title is Stupid!

Main cast: Andrew Bowen and Missy Crider

Director: Rufus Williams

What?

I mean, seriously, WHAT? I’m not sure if Butterfly Dreaming was a serious movie I just watched, or if writer/director Rufus Williams is just messing with me, but what the friggin’ WHAT???

Lemme see if I can piece together some kind of plot here. Mathematician Rob Pollack (Andrew Bowen, “MADTv”) is recovering from the recent suicide of his wife Katrina. He’s doing this by continuing the affair he was having with Tess (Missy Crider, “24”) that was about to lead to the breakup of his marriage–if not Tess, then his compulsive online gambling might have done the job–and by urging the insurance company to make quick with the life insurance policy because he’s a little strapped for cash at the moment.

But he’s also having a hard time with reality lately. His memory of the few days leading up to his wife’s death is sketchy at best, and the days following it aren’t working out much better. He keeps zoning out, daydreaming, finding himself in odd situations and then waking up from them to learn he was just dreaming. Rob’s grasp on his own sanity is slipping big time.

He starts to see a therapist, Dr. Baldrica, who makes Rob wonder if he might have killed his wife and blocked the memory. That is if Dr. Baldrica is even real. There’s some question about that. Rob may have killed and buried him, he’s just not sure.

Meanwhile there’s a cop that keeps insisting Rob let him have a look at Katrina’s diary, which Rob has been reading

I guess these don’t really form the PLOT of this movie, but then I’m not entirely sure there WAS a plot to this movie. What I described above was more a list of events that took place as I watched them play out on my screen while the DVD spun inside my laptop. They don’t actually form a coherent story or anything. I suspect Williams took some inspiration from a few movies that handled the reality vs. dream scenario much better, movies like JACOB’S LADDER or … okay, that’s the only one I can really think of at the moment, but it’s the one that handled the subject best anyway, so it’s probably the biggest inspiration. There was STAY with Ewan McGregor, but how many people actually saw that one?

Butterfly Dreaming has the feel of a movie that’s going for “deep”, but only manages instead to be pretentious and insulting. Rufus Williams, you stole 85 minutes of my life, for THIS? That’s something I’m definitely not going to allow to happen a second time.

Andrew Bowen and Missy Crider are along for the ride, doing the best they can with a script that probably makes about as much sense if you read it upside down and backwards as it does forward. Bowen’s confusion as Rob reads pretty genuine, because it probably was. I get the feeling he had no idea what the hell was going on and was just there to show up, hit his mark and recite his lines before retreating to a corner and crying. Crider, on the other hand, just seemed to be losing her patience, desperate to finish up for the day and get wasted (not that I’m implying Missy Crider is or was an alcoholic, I’m just being sarcastic because I’m upset I had to sit through this movie. I’m sure she’s a very nice woman who has her stuff together), definitely not taking this movie nearly as serious as Williams was.

I have no problem with a movie that plays with reality and perception, one where you’re not sure what’s real and what’s dream, but I do think that, at some point, before the end, before the credits start to roll–hell before the credits are over–you should at least gain SOME sense of which was the real story and which was the fantasy. Butterfly Dreaming doesn’t give a shit what I think, though, and even up to that last frame I have no idea exactly what was going on. Was that last scene the real story while many of the preceding scenes were bits of Rob losing his mind? Or was that last scene a prequel and everything that came before it Rob’s life flashing before his eyes in some haphazard, mixed-up way? I don’t know!!!

And it’s pissing me off!

I think maybe, at some point in the early stages, Rufus Williams may have had a decent idea for what could have been an interesting, thought-provoking movie. But definitely somewhere along the way he either lost the thread of what he was trying to do, stopped caring at all and just wanted to finish the movie, or he had a mild stroke halfway through the writing phase and never realized it. It’s got to be one of those three, because the only other option for what happened with this movie is that he did it on purpose, and if that’s the case, that’s just mean. Think of the children!

I’m not saying my time is more valuable than anyone else’s but I do have a life to lead and things to do on a daily basis, so to expect me to willingly give up some of that time to sit through a movie, and THIS is what you’re giving me? No thanks. The only bright side to this is for YOU reading this, because now you’ve been warned and if some cruel jokester says to you one day, “Hey do you want to watch this movie Butterfly Dreaming with me?” you can look that person in the face and say, “No. No, I do not.”

You’re welcome.

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