Last night I went to see an interesting movie called, I’ll See You In My Dreams, starring Blythe Danner and Sam Elliott. Now, I’m familiar with the name Blythe Danner but couldn’t tell you where I knew it from and so had to look her up on the net. She has a long list of credits and I remembered seeing her in a M.A.S.H. episode and I can easily imagine her as Zelda Fitzgerald in F. Scott Fitzgerald and ‘the Last of the Belles’. Rhea Pearlman will be remembered from the Cheers series, and Mary Kay Place did an episode or two on The West Wing (a favourite of mine).
Perhaps it’s my stage of life that I find movies about older people examining their life choices interesting. From the previews, I had the impression this was going to be more of a romance than it turned out to be. Carol Peterson (played by Danner) has been a widow for twenty years and more or less satisfied with her three loyal friends and the activities that give her life structure: golf, bridge, gardening, the odd glass of wine, and walking her dog. When her dog dies, she begins to question whether or not she is truly satisfied and decides to try new things: karaoke, speed dating, a motherly interest in the pool man, reconnecting with her daughter, and a new relationship with an interesting, good-looking man.
I don’t want to spoil the movie for you, but it certainly didn’t end the way I thought it might, and not the way Carol thought it might either. There are some very funny scenes in the movie (like when the four ladies decide to try some medicinal marijuana, get high, and head out to purchase a cart full of snacks), and a few sad scenes, and a rather nice rendition of “Cry Me a River” by Danner in a karaoke bar but mostly, it’s about Carol trying new things and deciding to stick with life pretty much the way it was before she thought perhaps she was dissatisfied with life.
I’m glad I went to see it but I wouldn’t rate it as one of my favourite movies of the year. * * *