"I'll See You In My Dreams"
Release Date: June 5, 2015
Running Time: 95 minutes
To live and lose love and not to love again is not to live at all, I’ll See You In My Dreams firmly believes. Writer/director Brett Haley’s wistful dramedy about the emotional void created by a lack of love focuses on Carol Peterson (Blythe Danner), a widow who has allowed time to pass her by since her husband died an untimely death 20 years earlier. It takes two men— Martin Starr’s aimless pool cleaner Lloyd and Sam Elliot’s divorced Bill—to make Carol realize the error of her ways. Carol initially strikes up a platonic relationship with the much-younger Lloyd out of loneliness, but he quickly becomes her sounding board. Star displays a willingness to listen and a capacity to understand that makes Lloyd’s friendship with Carol convincing and authentic. Elliot oozes Southern charms as the cigar-chewing wealthy Texan who appears out of nowhere and reminds Carol what it’s like to love again. Haley treats these people in their golden years as sexual beings, and he underlines the post-love scene between Carol and Bill with a hopefulness that speaks not just to their assignation but to those that may follow. As elegant as ever, Danner conveys the emptiness of Carol’s existence by presenting her as a woman bound to a love that holds her captive and to the repetition that supposedly gives her life meaning. Why else would Carol still set her alarm for 6 a.m. after her dog dies? Danner gives off a glow the moment Bill invites Carol lunch, and it grows stronger as Carol begins to get in touch with the feelings she has suppressed for decades. Even when things turn bad, there’s a noticeably difference between the old Carol and the new Carol. Danner also gives some bite to the humor in I’ll See You In My Dreams that is a little too relaxed and predictable at times. Yeah, it’s always funny to watch old folks get stoned, but Haley could give this bonding moment between Carol and her gal pals (Mary Kay Place, Rhea Perlman, and June Squibb) a better payoff. Also, Carol’s relationship with her caring daughter, Katherine (Malin Ackerman), offers no new insights into why Carol choose to dedicate her life to the memory of her late husband. Katherine certainly isn’t put in the same position as Lloyd to push Carol forward with her life. Haley offers a surprise late second-act twist that fortunately allows him to avoid the cutesy ending we all expect and dread. It’s a reminder that death is a part of life but that there’s a point when a person like Carol needs to stop living for the dead and start living for herself.
Aired: June 4, 2015
Web site: http://www.bleeckerstreetmedia.com/#!ill-see-you-in-my-dreams/cvk9