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Friday, 13th December 2019

I’ll See You In My Dreams – Film Review

Ana Pines
Keep N Touch

Ana Pines

Founder/Writer/Photographer/Entrepreneur. Often the only queer person of color at media events. You can't miss me! Want a different perspective, feel free to reach out and I'll be there.
Ana Pines
Keep N Touch


Brett Haley’s ‘I’ll See You in My Dreams’ focuses on retired schoolteacher Carol Petersen’s (Blythe Danner) life after losing her beloved dog, Hazel (Brownie). She’s been widowed for 20 years, has a select group of friends, and a daughter that lives in another state. The loss of her dog, an unexpected romance and a bond that develops with her pool boy snaps her out of her current routine.

Ill See You In My Dreams-Pool Boy

Lloyd (Martin Starr) is Carol’s new pool cleaner. He finds her sleeping outside after she’s had a run in with a rodent in her house the night before. When she’s startled awake to him looking at her she tells him, “You thought I was dead?” and he nervously responds that he doesn’t think she’s old. A bond is eventually formed between her and Peterson over music and his later capture of the rat. They discuss life, feelings of disconnect, and forgotten dreams.

Ill-See-You-In-My-Dreams-PearlmanCarol’s friends Georgina (June Squibb), Sally (Rhea Perlman), and Rona (Mary Kay Place) live in a retirement home close by and are constantly trying to convince her to move in with them. She refuses even though she’s always at the retirement home for bridge parties, golf, dinners and lunches. Noticing her loneliness after her loss, they convince her to try speed dating in hopes of finding a two-legged friend. The scene reminds us that no matter how old you are, meeting new people can be awkward, and even more so when dating. One guy starts telling her that he wants to have sex right away, and doesn’t care if she has herpes. Old age doesn’t equal maturity. In another scene, hilarity ensues when she asks Sally to bring out her medical marijuana and they all smoke out of a vaporizer. They end up going to the supermarket when the munchies hit and get stopped by a cop for walking around late at night with a supermarket cart in an area with no sidewalks.

Ill See You In My Dreams-BillInterwoven throughout these moments is her meeting with Bill (Sam Elliot). He is calm, collected and very “bad boy” type. Like her, he is straightforward, and after a night together he starts to talk about marriage. Her response is to question what marriage even means at their age. Is she really going to start doing someone else’s laundry again?

A short but significant part of the movie happens when her daughter, Katherine (Malin Akerman), visits. The first thing her daughter does is question why she took so long to call her back; mothers always have time to talk to their daughters. She’s there long enough to find out her mom is dating someone and to see her lose him. In one of their conversations, Katherine talks about how her mom had a great life. Carol points out that all the accomplishments she mentions are past tense. At what point in life are we not expected to accomplish anything new? Children forget that parents can still “have a life” and get lonely too.Ill See You In My Dreams-Daughter

This is a well-crafted movie. Anyone who questions life and its meaning will find enjoyment in it. Carol tells Lloyd, “No matter what you do, it’s all going to run together by the time you’re 50.” It’s an exploration of relationships and experiences. When do you stop exploring? When do you stop meeting new people? There will be moments when life will become mundane, painful, fun, lonely, and numb, and that’s okay. That’s life.

Ill See You In My Dreams-PosterStarring: Blythe Danner (Carol Petersen), June Squibb (Georgina), Rhea Perlman (Sally), Mary Kay Place (Rona), Martin Starr (Lloyd), Brownie (Hazel the Dog), Malin Akerman (Katherine Petersen), Sam Elliott (Bill),

Directed by: Brett Haley

Written by: Brett Haley, Marc Basch

MPAA rating: PG-13

Running time: 92 min

Rating: 4/5