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Rated 3.08 stars
by 353 people

ReelTalk Movie Reviews
Carpe Diem
by Betty Jo Tucker

I love movies for grown-ups! That’s probably why I’ll See You in My Dreams charmed me completely. It focuses on a longtime widow in her seventies who feels her life is over until she meets two very different men who help change her mind. Lovely Blythe Danner turns in the performance of her career as a former songstress/retired teacher mourning the death of her pet dog and facing one boring day after another. Sam Elliott and Martin Starr are also splendid as the new men on the scene.

Carol Peterson (Danner) spends her days drinking wine, watching television, and playing golf or bridge with three amusing lady friends (Rhea Perlman, Mary Kay Place, and June Squibb). She resists their pleas to move into the “retirement village” where they all live. “I like my house,” she insists. As well she should. It’s a very nice house. She soon meets her new pool boy, Lloyd (Starr, simply perfect in this key role), a young man who seems to be as lonely as she is. It’s wonderful to watch the bond of friendship develop between these two on screen. They even get up enough nerve to visit a Karaoke bar and sing a couple of songs. One of the film’s highlights involves Carol’s emotionally spellbinding rendition of “Cry Me a River.” I did not know Danner could sing, so this was a delightful surprise for me.

Next, into Carol’s life comes Bill (Elliott), a charismatic gravelly-voiced retiree, who spots her checking out various multi-vitamins in the store he’s also shopping at. “You don’t need any of those things; you look fine just the way you are,” he whispers in her ear and disappears -- but not before she sees the twinkle in his eye.

The next time they see each other is at the retirement village patio café. Carol looks up and notices Bill staring at her. She feels a bit uncomfortable, but we can tell she’s intrigued. So, of course, they become romantically involved. Opposites attract, the saying goes, and that holds true for Carol and Bill. She doesn’t like her life to be complicated; he wants new adventures. Do these two have a future together?

The important thing here is that we really, really, really want Carol and Bill to be a happy couple, thanks to the exquisite chemistry between co-stars Danner (Meet the Parents) and Elliott (The Golden Compass). Every time they appear together in a scene, a charge of electricity fills the air. The way they look at each other and talk to each other creates a special vibe that makes us love them both and want the best for them.

I’ll See You in My Dreams deals with loneliness, mourning, friendship, romance and aging. These are all serious aspects of the human condition. This dramedy could be a downer, but the filmmakers add enough sensitivity and humor to make sure the story’s heart and soul shine through instead. Be sure to watch for a very funny “senior citizen speed dating” sequence as well as for an entertaining rendtion of  “I’ll See You in My Dreams,” a new song by Keegan DeWitt  -- which should get an Oscar nomination as best original song this year if there’s any justice in the movie world.

(Released by Bleeker Street Media and rated “PG-13” for sexual material, drug use and brief strong language.)

For more information about this film, go to the IMDb or Rotten Tomatoes website.

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