- Directors: Cameron Crowe
- Producers: Cameron Crowe, Tom Cruise, Paula Wagner
- Writers: Mateo Gil, Cameron Crowe
- Genres: Mystery, Romance, Sci-Fi, Thriller
- Actors: Tom Cruise, Cameron Diaz, Jason Lee, Kurt Russell
David Aames recently has become owner of his deceased father’s publishing company, and begins to enjoy a wealthy lifestyle. David, through his friend Brian Shelby, is introduced to Sofia Serrano, and the two begin to flirt and become closer. When David’s former girlfriend, Julianna Gianni, discovers this, she becomes extremely jealous. One day, she offers David a ride, but purposely crashes her car at high speed off a bridge; Julianna dies while David survives, though his face is scarred up so badly he wears a mask to hide the embarrassment from the world so that people will not stare or look at his face. On an evening out with Brian and Sofia after the crash, David becomes extremely intoxicated, much to Sofia’s displeasure, and she and Brian leave David to wallow on a sidewalk. However, the next morning, Sofia returns to help David back onto his feet, and they begin to date steadily.
Though David’s life seems perfect, he finds oddities about it, such as a completely empty Times Square. At times, he finds himself hallucinating, his face reverting to before the plastic surgery. A strange man appears at various locations to tell David he has the power to control the world. After one hallucination episode, David goes to Sofia’s apartment to find Julianna there, and that all the old photos and pictures of David and Sofia have been replaced with Julianna. In a fit of rage, David kills Julianna by suffocation. He is arrested and put into prison, placed under the psychological care of Dr. Curtis McCabe. David, finding himself suffering from a form of amnesia, attempts to recount the recent events to Dr. McCabe, and the two discover that there may be a connection between David and a company known as “Life Extension”, who place clinically-dead patients into cryogenic chambers to awaken in the future when cures may be available. David and Mr. McCabe visit the company, who explain that they place their patients into a “Lucid Dream” state while in the cryogenics company. David recognizes that the reality he is in is his own Lucid Dream, and calls for Tech Support.
David escapes from the company office to find the mysterious man directing him to an elevator. As they rise to the top of an impossibly tall building, the man, revealing himself to be the tech support, explains David’s true past: after passing out drunk on the sidewalk, he never saw Sofia again. Due to his depression, David sought the services of Life Extension, wishing to start the Lucid Dream the morning after the drunken incident, and to live under the “vanilla sky” his mother always talked about; he then committed suicide so that he may be placed in the cryogenic system, where he has been for the past 150 years. While David was experiencing the Lucid Dream, a malfunction of the system caused the dream to become a nightmare, merging Sofia and Julianna’s personas and creating people, such as Dr. McCabe, out of his past memories. At the roof of the building, the man offers David a choice, to either be reinserted into the corrected Lucid Dream as to be together with Sofia forever, or to opt to wake up though this requires a leap of faith off the building. David opts to be awakened so that he can live a real life, and he takes a few last moments to say goodbye to the Dream versions of Sofia and Brian, then jumps off the building, his memories flashing through his eyes as he falls. Just as he hits the ground, a voice tells David to wake up, the film briefly focuses on his closed eye opening onto the real world.