I’ll See You in My Dreams (Bleecker Street Media, PG-13)

Ill-See-You-in-My-Dreams 75Even though I’ll See You in My Dreams might seem like a cookie-cutter, dry, old-people, clichéd drama at first glance, it’s really quite the opposite!

 




Ill-See-You-in-My-Dreams 500

I’ll See You in My Dreams, a coming of age drama directed by Brett Haley really checks all the necessary boxes; it’s a little bit funny, a little bit sad, a little bit romantic, yet also very, very clever. When Carol (Blythe Danner), a 70-something widow, has to put down her four-legged long term companion and best friend Hazel, she realizes her life isn’t going anywhere and might actually be starting to fall apart. She looks absolutely stunning, has enough money, three funny girlfriends, a responsible daughter, yet suddenly feels numb.

With the brilliant delivery by the amazing Danner (Meet the Parents) Carol is truly a pleasure to look at every time she is on screen, which is almost always. Her performance is so warm and genuine, it is a shame we haven’t seen more of her in feature films (she even knows how to sing, as we learn from a karaoke bar session involving Julie London’s classic “Cry Me a River”).

Once Carol loses her dog, she befriends the new (and a little awkward and very bearded) pool guy Lloyd, played by Judd Apatow regular Martin Starr. Lloyd is trying to get a big black rat that moved in to her Los Angeles house out, and the two instantly bond over wine, and their relationship remains kind of platonic yet very unpredictable throughout.

After being pushed into a horrible speed-dating gathering by her group of hens at their retirement home, Carol exclaims: “I live a long healthy life for this?!” And it’s true, I’ll See You in My Dreams isn’t just a drama for old people, it’s a drama about life, and not just living for the moment, and it’s done on a completely relatable human level.

It’s been over twenty years from the time her husband died in a plane crash, and Carol did not think once about remarrying. But when she finally scores a date with the handsome and intriguing lonely older man Bill (Sam Elliott) on his yacht, it looks like the bad times might finally be over for her. But death is unpredictable and definitely not finished yet… leaving Carol in despair again (and still plagued by the large rat residing in her home).

Apart from the already mentioned magnificent Blythe Danner and her performance, what I also particularly enjoyed were the colorful and chic outfits her character wore. As well as a couple hilarious scenes worth mentioning, for example the four older women getting high on medical marijuana and running to the grocery store to soothe their munchies, only to be stopped pushing a shopping cart at the side of the road by a cute cop.

Even though I’ll See You in My Dreams might seem like a cookie-cutter, dry, old-people, clichéd drama at first glance, it’s really quite the opposite! I was pleasantly surprised, and definitely entertained throughout its 92 minutes of running time; the film certainly does not miss a beat. | Lea Vrábelová

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