Landscape of Lost Dreams (1997)

Posted on September 28, 2020 in 2 Oogies, Idiot Box Reviews, Series: Ghost Stories

See all articles tagged as .

Landscape of Lost Dreams (1997)
Landscape of Lost Dreams (1997)

Main cast: Lane Burgess (Margo Sloan), Steve Jones (Harry Sloan), Michael Harrah (Evans), Michael Laurence (Policeman), and Rip Torn (Narrator)
Director: Jeffrey Fine

Margo and Harry Sloan revisit the resort they spent their honeymoon at in a last ditch effort to save their marriage. This trip seems to be more of Margo’s idea, though, as soon after their arrival, Harry flounces off because he’d rather work and his wife thinks they should be focusing on silly things like rekindling their romance. Meanwhile, a mysterious guest on the same floor, Evans, shows up to admire a landscape that is hanging in the couple’s room. He tells Margo that the painting is lovely, but incomplete…

And then Margo vanishes, and the cops think Harry has killed her. Hilarious.

Landscape of Lost Dreams is a The Twilight Zone-ish episode that is light on scary or spooky stuff, and super heavy on the PSA. It’s pretty obvious early on that Margo has gone into the landscape itself, which is some kind of demiplane of its own, because these characters practically narrate the entire story in slow, stilted delivery each time they open their mouths. Seriously, nobody here speaks like a normal person; instead, they are launching bombastic speeches about their feelings, or in the cop’s part, melodramatic accusations about murder and perfidy when he has very little evidence to even begin with.

The whole episode is a heavy-handed whack in the forehead between one’s eyes on how we should pay attention when the partner wails about their feelings and how we are assholes for not dropping everything to indulge their whims. When we do, the reward is to be trapped in eternity in a landscape of a beach, probably unable to travel to anywhere else. God, that sounds hopelessly boring. Plus, the artist is also in the painting, so there is always an unwanted third wheel that just won’t go away.

Also, these people talk about how beautiful that landscape is, but to my admittedly untrained eye, it looks like something one can buy for cheap at some Home Depot or IKEA outlet.

Seriously, whose bright idea is it to green-light an episode that is this hammy in the execution?