I have mixed feelings about this film. On the one hand I really liked it - it explored the deeper themes of perception, meaning, and symbolism that are associated with sight. On the other hand, however, it delivered a very mixed message.
Amy (Mira Sorvino) meets Virgil (Val Kilmer) at a holiday resort and falls in love with him. The reason she takes to him so quickly is because he is blind - he sees what is beneath the surface, and reminds Amy of the little things in life that people often either take for granted or miss completely. He re-awakens her, in a way. However, the first chance she has, she's suggesting that Virgil get corrective surgery on his eyes to restore his sight. This is where it gets tricky.
One of the things Amy loved so much about Virgil was his unique perception, completely unhindered by sight, symbolism, and constructed meaning. Yet the first thing she wanted to change about him was everything she had come to love - something she saw as a 'problem'. This didn't sit right with me in the slightest. I can't put this any better than Virgil himself did: "That's the thing, there is no damn problem!". And this is where the film sold me (or rather, where Virgil sold me).
This reminded me of something I once read in one of my Deafness & Communication lectures: There is no ability or disability. Some people are born with sight/hearing, and some people aren't. Just like some people are born blonde or with brown hair. It's just a variation of the human condition. And that is basically what this film is about - learning to accept that people are who they are, and that is what makes them unique.
I also felt there was absolutely zero on-screen chemistry between Kilmer and Sorvino - the sex scene was completely awkward, as was the scene where she demonstrates her many facial expressions to him (what should have been an endearing scene was instead rendered obnoxious and stupid). I didn't truly believe in Amy and Virgil, and found it hard to feel anything but utter contempt for Amy through the second act of the film. I didn't want to fight for either of them, and honestly would have cared less if Virgil had never met up with Amy again.
This film had a lot of potential, but I think what saved it for me was the thematic exploration of sight and what it meant to both Amy and Virgil.