I’ll See You In My Dreams is A Thoughtful Comedy

Directed by Brett Haley, I’ll See You In My Dreams stars Blythe Danner in a thoughtful comedy that people will be talking about during awards season.

Written by Haley and Marc Basch, the 95-minute film stars Danner in a cast that features Martin Starr, June Squibb, Rhea Perlman, Mary Kay Place, with Malin Akerman and Sam Elliott. Danner will certainly be a contender for Best Actress during Oscar season and I expect a nomination for the Film Independent Spirit Awards.

Haley and Basch write a film that is spirited, funny, and sincere. They explore life, loss, and love that is able to bridge generations. The casting of Starr and Akerman should help the movie with finding a younger audience but this is a film that is likely to attract an older audience. While I was disappointed in the amount of screen time that Akerman got, I have to remember that this isn’t a film that focuses on her but it should not take away from just how well-made this movie is.

After the death of her dog, Carol (Danner), a widow and former songstress, discovers that her life can start again no matter what age. While she is strong, stubborn, and opinionated, she never remarried after her husband died 20 years prior. But when her dog dies, she finds that it doesn’t matter what she does–bridge, gardening, drinking wine–all of these these everyday activities just don’t bring the same meaning that they used to do. Their luster is gone, if you will.

As she decides to change up her life, Carol has the support of three of her friends (Squibb, Perlman, and Place). She makes the unlikeliest of all friendships with the pool maintenance man (Starr), meets a new love in her life (Elliott), and decides that she should reconnect with her daughter (Akerman).

Haley, a filmmaker in his 30s, makes the interesting decision of exploring the lives of retirees. It’s a tale, Haley says, that audiences of all ages should identify with. They should. For those of us in our 20s through 40s, our parents and grandparents are getting older. Having seen both I’ll See You in My Dreams and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, I found this one more appealing to watch.

“I wanted to explore that idea of living life to the fullest, rather than being afraid of it ending,” Haley says of I’ll See You in My Dreams. “I don’t think older characters are often represented appropriately in films, so I tried to make something original and honest about the people in the third acts of their lives.”

I’ll See You In My Dreams is now playing in select theaters.