Stars: Robin Williams, Cuba Gooding Jr., Annabella Sciorra, Max von Sydow. Written by Ronald Bass. Directed by Vincent Ward. Rated PG-13 for thematic elements involving death, some disturbing images and language.

Chris Nielsen (Robin Williams) dies in an auto accident and, after roaming the earth for a few days, wakes up in heaven. His vision of heaven, a favorite painting by his artist wife Annie (Annabella Sciorra), becomes reality for him. Soon a guide named Albert (Cuba Gooding Jr.) shows up to help Chris understand what heaven offers and how he can use his world- creating powers. Annie, having lost her children to another auto accident four years earlier, becomes inconsolable at the loss of her husband and so commits suicide. Since she took her own life, she is sent to hell, leaving Chris without a chance to be with her eternally. But because they are soul mates, Chris braves a visit to the nether regions in order to see his beloved one last time.

"What Dreams May Come" is a near-perfect example of style over substance. The film features astounding, creative visuals, but lacks the emotion one would expect from a romantic drama. That it is slow and dull is just its most obvious problem. The filmmakers have turned heaven into a colorful but dreary place where souls interact with odd detachment, if they choose to interact at all. Hell is actually presented better, putting to good use the despair that seems to permeate both realms. Told mainly in intrusive flashbacks, "What Dreams May Come" is more tiring than inspiring.

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