Quite a few responses to my reactions on Vanilla Sky, including this informed note from my friend Pat:
First, I want to share my agreement (albeit with slightly less vitriol) about VS (the working title for Almost Famous, by the by - "I love this damn title too much not to use it!"). I don't mind the occasional movie headfucking, really I don't - Usual Suspects and Memento spring to mind. But the difference there is they had their feet firmly grounded in *story*. What might be called razzle-dazzle was strictly to service the tale, as opposed to VS's distracting. If your feet aren't on the ground, you're either flying, floating, or falling. And this ain't flying.
Since I know I'm only preaching to the converted, let me bring up one good thing about the movie. The tech support character, looking uncannily like Martin Landau in North by Northwest, is played by Noah Taylor. Taylor may be previously best known as playing the younger, pre-crackers David Helfgott in Shine, but my favorite movie of his will forever be Flirting, a 1992 Aussie film about a prep boy coming of age as he has an illicit interracial romance with Thandie Newton. This is notable because (a) Newton costarred with Cruise in Mission Impossible 2, and (b) both Taylor and Newton costarred in Flirting with (drumroll) Nicole Kidman. Now all three can be connected to Kevin Bacon in one step. And if that's not a good thing...
Reality check: Does Cameron Crowe really think that he can slap a name on a film just because he likes it a lot? I don't think it is too much to ask for the title to have some visceral connection to the film. I wish they'd called it OPEN YOUR EYES, like the original, but that would imply a lower level of suck-assedness and ego-stroking than we see on display here.
I'm done with the film, but if others want to chime in feel free to write and I'll post anyone who puts up a decent defense or interesting details.