Review: I'll See You In My Dreams
Its silly title is strangely representative of what follows: I’ll See You In My Dreams is all parts fluffy optimism and wise resignation. A love story featuring a widowed septuagenarian, this light romantic comedy features the softest edges, some bits of warmth, and a few familiar plots with unfamiliar characters.
Blythe Danner leads as Carol, a longtime widower who has found comfort in her stable health as well as her canine companion, a lifestyle that offers freedom and fun. She resists the urge to hole up with her friends (Rhea Perlman, June Squibb, Mary Kay Place) in a retirement community, while enjoying wine at any time and in any amount she wishes.
A pair of men comes along to subvert her existence, and she finds herself at last willing to try and give herself to another – emotionally, mentally, physically. That the only difference between this film and so many other rom-com is that its central figure is of a certain age is all the difference. Danner’s performance is revealing and tender, yet strong and wise.
One of the men who enters her world is a pool boy (Martin Starr) – it’s not what you think. Of a different generation, the two bond who a shared love of music while seemingly finding themselves at similar places in their lives. The other man is more her age, as Sam Elliott portrays a cigar-toting rich bachelor intent on wooing Carol.
It all seems a little convenient and cute, but this story written by Marc Basch and Brett Haley, and directed by Haley, offers more nuance than would be expected. While devolving into absurdity from time to time, and telegraphed sudden dramatic turns, I’ll See You In My Dreams is heartfelt, even if it’s message is very on the nose.
Enjoy the time you have, whenever you are ready to, it declares. Insecurities, discomforts, fun and frivolity can arrive at any time from any direction, and while it may be a light view of the world, it has it enjoyments.