For a couple of weeks my mother had been asking me when the movie with Blythe Danner and Sam Elliott was going to open.
Saturday morning, I took her to see it.
Each year at her birthday and again at Mother’s Day I give her three coupons for a free movie and snacks – she doesn’t think it’s really going to the movies unless popcorn and a soda are part of the package – and she cashed one of her recent stash of coupons in to see I’ll See You In My Dreams.
I like intimate dramas, little slice of life pictures, and I like seeing a cast of older actors I’ve enjoyed for years get a little screen time (in addition to Danner and Elliott, add June Squibb, Rhea Perlman, and Mary Kay Place).
But, this film did not capture my imagination consistently.
What would have engaged me more?
I think the problem for me resides in the script. Danner is earnest, but the character as written is too much of a cipher.
I’m no advocate of the cathartic moment or the bold character arc for its own sake, but I wanted to know her as a person instead of a somewhat cardboard character, which is a critique more of authenticity and depth than of degree of transition.
On the other hand, Martin Starr (whom I love in Silicon Valley) steals every scene he’s in with a carefully contained yet quirky performance that feels real every screen moment.
I wish I could say that I liked I’ll See You In My Dreams more than I did, but you could do a lot worse at the movies.