I first became aware of this lovely film, I’ll See You in My Dreams, online through Kickstarter. Kickstarter is a source of crowd funding, where an individual posts the purpose and intention of their project, and then asks for donations, sometimes even as small as $1.00 to help the project along. The contributors each receive a gift for giving a donation, usually graded by how much they donate.
I gave a small donation to this worthwhile filmmaking project. For more about Kickstarter, click here: Kickstarter
I’ll See You in My Dreams needed some seed money to happen, and I saw that as a worthy cause. To my surprise it stars some fairly well known actors, including Blythe Danner and Sam Elliott, with supporting roles by Mary Kay Place, June Squibb and Rhea Perlman. It is rated PG-13 for sexual material, drug use, and brief strong language.
I was pleased by the excellent screenwriting of Brett Haley. The story is realistic, and is about an older woman, Carol Petersen (Blythe Danner), a widow of 20 years with one daughter living in another state. Her female friends all live in a retirement community nearby, whereas she has held onto her home and lives there with her dog.
She meets two very different men, Lloyd (Martin Starr), the man who cleans her pool, who is much younger than her, but it turns out they have a lot of interests in common. The other is the smooth and older Bill (Sam Elliott), more her age, who proceeds to sweep her off her feet.
Blythe Danner gives a wonderful performance. She has a fabulous singing voice. Often she delivered her lines without saying a word. Sometimes allowing the actors to convey just by their body language and the expressions on their faces is so much better than heavy dialogue. Brett Haley made a good choice with his writing in that regard.
I really liked this story. It was engaging and kept me smiling for a long time as the characters were introduced and we got to know them better. The film touches on the issues of older people, particularly women. Those decisions Carol is encouraged to make, moving to a retirement community or living on her own, are not easy ones. Is there more for her than playing bridge and golfing? You’ll have to watch to find out.
I also found it refreshing to see the relationship between Carol and Lloyd develop. We all need friends and Carol is at a stage in her life where friends are more important than ever.
The reality of life for women, whether widowed or divorced in their later years, is honestly depicted in this film, and especially poignant. I think that no matter what age you are, you’d find something in this movie to be inspired and touched by. It addresses the need for companionship, an outlet for talents lying dormant, and the search for meaning in one’s life. I highly recommend I’ll See You in My Dreams.