Friday, October 30, 2015

Movie Review - I'll See You in My Dreams

I'll See You in My Dreams (2015)
Starring Blythe Danner, Martin Starr, June Squibb, Rhea Perlman, Mary Kay Place, Malin Akerman, and Sam Elliott
Directed by Brett Haley

At the center of I'll See You in My Dreams is a lovely performance from Blythe Danner (in her first leading theatrical role after nearly five decades in the industry) as Carol Petersen, a widow whose husband died two decades prior and is now finally contemplating the possibility of getting into a relationship with another man.  Danner is very good, easily anchoring the film with her charm, glowing exuberance, and reflective emotion.

However, as you move away from Danner at the center, I'll See You in My Dreams as a film doesn't quite match the actress's performance.  Director/co-writer Brett Haley has the makings of a nice short film here, but when stretched out to feature length, the flick flounders a bit.  We're given typical "girlfriend" moments where a cast of funny co-stars -- June Squibb, Rhea Perlman, Mary Kay Place -- are rather wasted despite working well off of each other.  A rather odd (although admittedly somewhat intriguing) friendship for Carol with a much younger pool cleaner (Martin Starr) walks a weird line of hinting at romance while at the same time creating a maternal-type relationship.  (Granted, I think that was the point, but it never quite feels anything but unsettling.)  And let's not even delve into the fact that once again we're given the "old people smoking pot for comedy" trope which is, as loyal readers know, quite possibly my least favorite movie go-to and reason enough for me to knock this one down a few pegs.

Once again, Blythe Danner is very good here and reason enough to give this one a watch.  Her performance is absolutely captivating and as she navigates the tricky road of her character's late-in-life renaissance, Danner certainly holds the audience's attention.  It's just a bit of a shame that the film itself feels as if it's in need of a little more critical re-writing in order to fully flesh out Carol's new lease on life.

The RyMickey Rating:  C+

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