Déjà Vu, starring Stephen Dillane and Victoria Foyt, directed by Henry Jaglom, rated PG-13 for brief sexuality and drug use, 117 minutes
In Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, one of the most underappreciated films ever in Spiritual Cinema, the central theme emphasizes our ability and desire to retain our memories of loving another person. If a relationship ended badly, or if the memories were just too painful, would we and should we erase that memory entirely if we were given an opportunity to do so? Just hit "delete" as we would a document on a computer. If we did so, and we met that person anew, would we fall in love yet again? In essence, then, are our "soul mates" hardwired into our system so completely that any attempt to convince ourselves otherwise is the ultimate fool’s errand?
Henry Jaglom’s brilliant 1997 film Déjà Vu asks those kinds of questions and is that kind of love story. It challenges us to look at our belief systems in a very frank and some might feel challenging and even controversial way. At the core of the film, it holds up a mirror to all of us who are in relationship and shines a very powerful light on the very underpinnings of that relationship.
What happens if you meet the person of your dreams, the one you’ve always known was out there somewhere, and that person is with someone else? And, to add an Olympic degree of difficulty, so are you. Déjà Vu posits just that question, and weaves it into a brilliantly conceived and deeply spiritual love story.
To delve too much into the plot of the intricately-woven screenplay that Jaglom co-wrote with the luminescent star of the film, Victoria Foyt, would be unfair to those of you who might have missed this "hidden gem" of a film when it was theatrically released in the late 1990s. I will not, therefore, get into a discussion of the storyline here, other than to say that the film pivots around a serendipitous meeting between a woman (Foyt) who is engaged to be married and a mysterious painter whom she meets. The painter is played by the extraordinary Stephen Dillane, whom many of you might remember as the husband of Nicole Kidman’s Virginia Woolf in The Hours.
Déjà Vu is an adult film about adult issues that moves our heart and challenges our minds. The kind of film that you want to see and then enjoy a long dinner of discussion and reflection. The kind of film "they don’t make anymore." A classic in Spiritual Cinema and a hidden gem indeed.
Members of The Spiritual Cinema Circle are receiving Déjà Vu as part of the October 2007 DVD collection, which also includes three outstanding short films. For a limited time, new subscribers to The Circle can receive a free trial membership (for a nominal shipping fee) by visiting www.spiritualcinemacircle.com or by calling 1.800.556.0129.