Saturday movie review: I'll See You In My Dreams

I'll just come right out and say it up front: This is a lovely film! You should see it!

 i'll see you in my dreams

I'LL SEE YOU IN MY DREAMS has a lovely cast. Of older people! There's Blythe Danner, Sam Elliott, Rhea Perlman, June Squibb, Mary Kay Place. All older, all lovely, all a joy to watch in this film. There's a younger guy and gal, too: Martin Starr, whom I thoroughly enjoyed in AMIRA & SAM, and Malin Akerman, whom I thoroughly enjoy every time I see her.

That lovely cast plays out a lovely story. About older people! Danner plays vibrant Carol Peterson, a retired school teacher (and former singer) who's been a widow for more than 20 years. She's been relatively happy, spending time on leisurely pursuits with her gal pals — Perlman, Squibb, and Place — and hanging out with her dog. Then her dog dies. Leading Carol to step out of her comfort zone and live a little more before her time is up. She forms an unlikely friendship with her pool man (Starr), enters an unexpected and whirlwind relationship with a stranger named Bill (the always charming and swoon-worthy Elliott), and works toward reconnecting with her only child (Akerman).

Like life, though, things rarely turn out rosy and exactly as one might hope or plan. Yet there's still plenty of fun along the way, plenty of reason to say yes to life and love and laughter.


I adore every single one of the women in this film. It's so refreshing to see older women in parts written specifically for them, specifically to embrace all that women are as they age and all they hope to do with their futures while enjoying the present.

And, of course, there's that whole Sam Elliott thing. How can any woman of any age deny his charm. (I must add: Martin Starr's pretty charming, too, though in a very different — very much younger — way.)

I'LL SEE YOU IN MY DREAMS has plenty of humor. Particularly funny is a truly laugh-out-loud scene when Danner, Perlman, Place, and Squibb decide to take a few hits from a bong, well, more accurately, some sort of medical marijuana vaporizing device, with hilarious results.

There's plenty of heart — and heartache — too. The pitfalls of age and loss and loneliness aren't glossed over. Real moments of real truth choked me up while watching as I considered my years ahead as well as the current circumstances of some of my loved ones.

Ultimately, I'LL SEE YOU IN MY DREAMS inspired me. The touching movie also led me to have tremendous respect for Brett Haley, the (relatively) young man who co-wrote, produced, and directed this film that celebrates and accurately depicts women in their later years. Haley was nominated for Best American Independent Feature Film in the 2015 Cleveland International Film Festival. (Blythe Danner was nominated for Best Actress in the 2015 Gotham Awards for her role.)

Here's Haley on why he created such a film, plus words and wisdom from much of the cast:

I'LL SEE YOU IN MY DREAMS (rated PG-13 for sexual material, drug use and brief strong language) opened in theaters earlier this year and is now available on Blu-ray, DVD, and digital download. Learn more on the film's website.