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The Kind Of Thing That Shows Up In R. Crumb’s Heaven: A Recap Of “What Dreams May Come”

Robin Williams is driving a little wooden boat around on a lake in Switzerland. He’s wearing a really thick sweater. Seems like that sweater would just drag him down to his watery grave if he fell into the lake. Then he crashes his boat into a pretty lady’s boat. Instead of capsizing and dying a soggy woolen sweater-related death, he goes on a picnic with the lady. “Soon.” the sweater thinks to itself.

Robin Williams marries the boat woman and they have two children with androgynous haircuts. His wife runs an art gallery so she has a haircut like He-Man. “By the pageboy of Grayskull! I hang the paintings!” Then their children get killed in a car wreck. Then Robin Williams gets killed in a car wreck. He is survived by his wife’s bangs and his sweater.

Then Robin Williams goes to Heaven! Everything is made of paint because he loves paintings so much. I love macaroni and cheese but I don’t want to live in a house made of it when I go to Heaven. Also, his dog is there. Even though Robin Williams gets to fly and run really fast and manifest physical objects with his thoughts, his dog has no special powers and has to keep being a regular dog. Maybe the dog is in dog purgatory. He probably rejected dog Jesus but lived a good life anyway.

Cuba Gooding, Jr. shows Robin Williams the ropes in Heaven. Robin Williams asks him if there’s a God. Cuba Gooding, Jr. says yes, God’s up there “shouting down that he loves us and wondering why we can’t hear him.” An affectionate hobo with laryngitis on some scaffolding might have that problem, but God can probably make himself heard whenever he wants.

Turns out whatever Robin Williams’s wife paints on Earth appears in his Heaven because they are soul mates. So he sees a tree that she painted come to life and bloom flowers. Good thing for him she doesn’t paint Tijuana bibles starring Scrooge McDuck or Harry Potter/Draco erotic art. Guess that’s the kind of thing that shows up in R. Crumb’s Heaven.

Also, Robin Williams won’t take his trenchcoat off in Heaven. With all the lakes and clouds and dripping paint it looks pretty humid up there. He’s got to be burning up in that thing. Then he meets a beautiful Asian woman. She takes him to a steampunk beach where everyone wears lace and flies around. Apparently they’re flying away to help people be reborn as babies on Earth. Hey, I’m here to help you become a baby! How? I don’t know, but look at my crazy parasol! And I got some goggles and a top hat! Now go get in a vagina!

There’s also steampunk dudes riding penny-farthings wearing white gloves. Where are you guys going? To the art-collective bicycle co-op to drink PBR! Then a mermaid flies up out of the water into the sky. I don’t want to tell you how to do your mermaid business, but the whole reason you have fins instead of legs or wings is so you don’t have to take to the skies. Grass is always greener I guess.

Then the hot Asian woman tells Robin Williams that when she was alive she overheard her father say Asian women were “lovely and graceful” so that’s why she looks Asian in Heaven. Then she reveals she’s actually his daughter. Here’s a tip— if you’re going to be giving your dad the “welcome to Heaven” tour, don’t choose an appearance that gave him a boner when he was alive.

Back to Robin Williams’s wife on Earth. She’s eating frosting and contemplating suicide. That Hieronymus Bosch painting over her bed probably isn’t helping. Let’s see, I’ve got 400 thread count sheets, a white noise machine and an enormous depiction of the souls of the damned being devoured by bird headed demons. Mr. Sandman, bring me a dream!

Cuba Gooding, Jr. tells Robin Williams his wife committed suicide and he can never see her again because suicides go to Hell and nobody has ever brought a suicide back from Hell before. Robin Williams is still wearing his trenchcoat. They go to Heaven’s library to get a “tracker” to find his wife. They find Max von Sydow floating in the air reading a book and wearing a fur coat and flamboyant hat. Guess he’s reading up on how to dress for The Players Ball.

They take a boat to Hell through a crazy storm and a bunch of dirty naked people come up out of the sea and surround them with arms outstretched. Must be what it’s like to be in front of the Michael Franti and Spearhead stage at Bonnaroo. Then Cuba Gooding, Jr. reveals he’s actually Robin Williams’s son. Robin Williams must have mentioned that Snow Dogs gave him an erection at one point when he was alive.

Max von Sydow and Robin Williams find his wife in a filthy Hell version of their house and Max von Sydow says Robin Williams has three minutes to talk to her and after that he’ll go insane, like the five second rule for food, if every time you ate a dropped piece of toast you had to look into a soul-destroying void of madness and depravity. Which is actually how the Little Miss Sunbeam bread logo was created.

Anyway, Robin Williams refuses to leave his wife’s side even though he knows he’ll lose his mind in Hell. You know what else he refuses to leave in Hell? His coat. Anyway, his sacrifice saves his wife’s soul and they both go to Heaven. What about all the other suicides in Hell? Oh, sorry— you need a spouse or loved one to risk their sanity on your behalf in order to leave Hell. What’s that you say? Your life of loneliness and inability to find someone to love you drove you to suicide in the first place? Get back in the fire, loser!

Ultimately, What Dreams May Come was a beautiful movie with gorgeous visuals and flawed logic, unless you’re the founder and CEO of Burlington Coat Factory, and then it’s a triumph of the human spirit. The end!