Dream Lover (1994) - Rotten Tomatoes

Dream Lover (1994)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

In this stylish, sleek, but unsatisfactory, thriller, Ray (James Spader), a young, successful, recently divorced architect meets a mysterious, beautiful woman, Lena (Madchen Amick). Ray, successfully pursues the extremely attractive Lena, but before they get too involved she warns him that she is, like many normal people, really screwed up. She also points out that men, blinded by their fantasies about her, are easily deceived into believing they know her. Despite her warnings, the two get married and start a family. After several years pass, however, Lena appears to be discontented and evasive. Ray begins to suspect she is having an affair after he catches her in several rather obvious lies and overhears some disturbing telephone conversations. To discover the truth he goes to Texas to investigate Lena's background and learns that everything she has told him about herself is a lie. He finds her parents and brings them back to California to confront her. Lena confesses that she changed herself to get away from her past, and by the time Ray finally realizes that his "perfect" life is crumbling down around him, it is too late to save himself. His ensuing confrontation with Lena reveals that, for quite some time, she has been formulating a devious and carefully thought-out plan to ruin him. Screenwriter Nicholas Kazan, in his directorial debut, moves the story along at a good pace and uses, fluid, flashy camera work, but the implausible story bogs the film down, as does the unconvincing, contrived ending. James Spader gives a fine performance as Ray, making the most of a difficult role. This interesting, nouveau-noir mystery, had great potential, but cannot overcome its poorly conceived plot.
Drama , Mystery & Suspense
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
PolyGram Video


James Spader
as Ray Reardon
Mädchen Amick
as Lena Reardon
Larry Miller
as Norman
Kathleen York
as Martha
Blair Tefkin
as Cheryl
Kate Williamson
as Mrs. Sneeder
Tom Lillard
as Mr. Sneeder
Lucy Butler
as Ray's Secretary
Carl Sundstrom
as Officer
Irwin Keyes
as Officer
Joseph Scorsiani
as Martha's Lawyer
Archie Lang
as Judge
Michael Chow
as Mr. Mura
Talya Ferro
as Cora's Sister
Sandra Kinder
as Beautician
Harriet C. Leider
as Carnival Woman
Peter Zapp
as Ticket Taker
Armando Pucci
as Bernardo
Jeanne Bates
as Jeanne
Shawne Rowe
as Debby
Robert David Hall
as Dr. Sheen
Gretchen Becker
as Celine Rogers
Harriet Leider
as Carnival Woman
Ava DuPree
as Check-Out Woman
Erick Avari
as Dr. Spatz
Michael Milhoan
as Ray's Lawyer
Eleanor Zee
as Nurse
Cassie Cole
as Tina (age 6)
Timothy Johnston
as Bob (age 4)
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Critic Reviews for Dream Lover

All Critics (14) | Top Critics (2)

Eschewing his standard performance of smugness and distance, using intense, blank stares, Spader actually emotes with his lips too, suggesting that there's more going on than just a slimy scoundrel who we should pity because his livelihood is threatened.

Full Review… | July 15, 2012

Engagingly creepy thriller.

January 27, 2005
Movie Mom at Yahoo! Movies

A psychological thriller that explores sexual politics from many perspectives

Full Review… | July 18, 2003
Spirituality and Practice

Madchen Amick is super-sexy. Some of the love scenes are steamier than cooked rice. If that's your idea of entertainment, you've found your baby.

September 19, 2002

This was not a very satisfying thriller.

Full Review… | July 16, 2001
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Audience Reviews for Dream Lover

A strangely done movie,

Cynthia S.
Cynthia S.

Super Reviewer


James Spader plays a very successful businessman who just got a divorce and is very lonely until he meets the beautiful Mädchen Amick. They marry and have children but soon he discovers that his seemingly perfect "Dream Lover" of a wife has many hidden secrets that she always seem to have a perfect explanation for.
DREAM LOVER has a tightly wound plot and the twists and turns really work taking the viewer along for the ride as well. Definitely worth a rent for anyone looking for a psychological Neo-Noir style mystery thriller.

Deb S
Deb S

Super Reviewer

There was only one reason why I watched this and that reason was satisfied. Anyway, the actual movie was lame. I was distracted by above reason and in the olden days I would probably give this a high rating, but I'm looking past that, and rating fairly (sort of). Yeah, so without being cryptic... the plot was lame, acting was ok, good endind but the movie was fairly sucky.

Lauren Donis
Lauren Donis

Super Reviewer

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