I’ll See You in My Dreams

The title of this enchanting little film reflects the reality of life. Yet our women are a spirited little group that won’t give up.

I'll See You in My DreamsAs most of you know, it is frequently easy to avoid certain independent films that appear to be of questionable merit. When you are left in doubt, it is frequently easy to dodge a couple of hours at a movie theater when other matters demand attention.

That is the way I felt about Director Brett Haley’s I’ll See You in My Dreams. Focusing on 70-year-old women trying to find a bit of meaning in their lives, the previews made it look more corny than appealing. However, let me just say that you will be left in tears in your seat during the first 15 minutes of this wonderful little film, and it really is a movie that deserves your attention.

Blythe Danner plays Carol Petersen, a widow who spends her time at home with her aging dog while joining three female companions at their residence in a community center where they can knock down booze while playing gin. Her dog sleeps with her in bed, and let me warn you that you will be sobbing when Carol has to confront the heartbreaking reality of putting a pet to sleep.

But just when you begin to question the wisdom of buying your admission ticket, a spirited brilliance unfolds that represents the ugly reality of life. The four female friends are all either widowed or divorced, and there is little meaningful excitement in their lives outside of their own company.  June Squibb, Rhea Perlman and Mary Kay Place play the three companions and they all are sweet human beings.

Yet they all are tormented by the thought of once again having a man in their lives, none more so than Carol. She initially flirts with a young pool boy who recalls her life years ago where she sang with a band with her late husband. Yet she suddenly encounters Bill, played with a good deal of spunk by Sam Elliott, and their short relationship is filled with spirited fun. Let me just note that Elliott’s character passionately believes in the here and now, and this is reflected by his small yacht entitled “So What”.

What makes this film work is its poignant reflection on life. All of us realize that death waits around the corner, and sooner or later we are going to have to say goodbye to those we love. Carol has to discover whether you simply give up in the face of this monstrous reality or live with some gusto by adopting the motto “So What”.