I’ll See You In My Dreams Blu-ray Review
Hollywood is all about youth and appealing to young people. This is reflected in casting and the storylines. It is always refreshing when a film features actors of a certain vintage. I’LL SEE YOU IN MY DREAMS is one of those films and people should be sure to check it out.
Carol (Blythe Danner) has been a widow now for 20 years. She has a regular routine down pat. She gardens, has fun with her old dog, plays bridge with her friends Georgina (June Squibb), Sally (Rhea Perlman) and Rona (Mary Kay Place) and watches television at night. She is content with her life and doesn’t want to complicate things. Everything changes though when she has to put her dog to sleep. She takes a step back to examine her life and how she is living it.
Her new pool guy Lloyd (Martin Starr) finds her sleeping outside after her encounter with a big rat. This starts an unique friendship between the two. They connect mainly on music. Carol was a singer in her younger days and Lloyd attempted to sing previously. Sally gets Carol to go to a speed dating event with predictable disastrous results. Carol though soon makes a connection with Bill (Sam Elliot), a cigar chomping guy who is enjoying retirement. Carol likes his devil may care attitude and he likes the warmth that she exudes. It is a nice match that is played out maturely.
Director Brett Haley has a firm grasp of the material at hand. He wanted to make a drama about people in their golden years and how they keep on living. He co-wrote the screenplay with Marc Basch. There’s an authenticity to the scenes with Carol and her friends. They talk like human beings and not like how people converse in movies at times. Haley did put in an obligatory drug scene which comedies have done to death these days. I wasn’t bothered by it like with other comedies. Other comedies seem to put it in to pad the screen time and show how funny stoned people can be. Most of the time, it really isn’t all that funny. You are on the outside looking in as people act stupid. It’s a cheap comedy trick that has outlasted its usefulness. But in this movie there is a point to the scenes. Carol is starting to loosen up and take some chances. Haley shows this by having her get stoned with her friends. They of course act goofy and get the munchies. I didn’t feel it was gratuitous or searching for cheap laughs.
Haley also does a wonderful job with the relationship between Carol and Lloyd. It’s a tight balancing act that he does here that could go wrong at any second. He could have easily gone for the cheap laughs by having them have an affair. He was looking for something deeper in their connection. These are two lonely people who like being in each other’s company without the tricky sexual politics that dooms many relationships between a man and a woman. It is just nice to watch.
I’LL SEE YOU IN MY DREAMS is a wonderful drama made for grown-ups and treated with the utmost respect. It felt authentic every step of the way. This is a film that shouldn’t be missed.
Video: California looked great on the screen. You could honestly feel the sunshine beaming off the screen.
Audio: The sound was perfect. It was clear and concise.
A Look Inside I’ll See You in My Dreams (3:28): Short feature involving the director and most of the actors in the film.