If you’re a Boomer Broad I can pretty much guarantee you’ll love the movie I’ll See You In My Dreams starring Blythe Danner (real-life mother of Gwyneth Paltrow as well as TV mom to Will of Will & Grace), Mary Kay Place (remember her as the Boomer looking for an inseminator in The Big Chill?), Rhea Perlman (formerly of Cheers and Taxi and ex-wife of Danny DeVito), June Squibb (who starred in the movie Nebraska, HBO’s Getting On and the wife of Jack Nicholson’s character in Something About Schmidt) and Sam Elliott as the object of their affections. This movie was a virtual Baby Boomer love-fest.
Carol (played by Blythe Danner) is a widow living alone with her old dog and a close circle of Boomer girlfriends in a nearby retirement community. Sounds good so far, eh! The plot is incidental to the dialogue between the characters which is so rich and relevant to our experiences and stage in life. The role of Lloyd the pool boy (a rather anachronistic name for a young man these days) seems a bit odd but perhaps he was intended as a catalyst in bringing out a side of Carole which I doubt was ever truly missing. His character also reinforces the value in having friends who are not always in our age group. Carol is an intelligent, confident and engaging individual. But she’s no cougar and is a totally relatable Boomer-aged woman who has lived a life much like our own, dealing with the challenges associated with aging, loss of loved ones and a philosophical outlook that we can all identify with.
My biggest takeaway from this movie is the power and importance of our relationships with girlfriends. Our generation has elevated female friendships to a level beyond what our mothers enjoyed even a generation ago. They were more circumspect in their intimacies with friends. Now, if one of us even has the “vag” everyone in the circle knows about it. No filters; no embarrassment; no secrets; just support, encouragement and validation. The movie also reminded us of the importance of simply having something to look forward to. When we’re retired or have lost someone important in our lives, it’s easy to retreat into memories. What keeps us going is having plans; perhaps a golf game with a girlfriend; looking forward to a weekly book club meeting or card game or meeting a friend for lunch at an outdoor patio.
The movie will induce laughter, tears, empathy and sympathy as Carole lives her everyday life. The writing is intelligent and relevant. Early in the movie, I turned to my girlfriend sitting next to me as we were munching our buckets of warm popcorn and slurping icy Diet Coke (also our lunch and an essential part of moving-going) and said, “I’m loving this movie.”. I think you will too. And take your honey if you have one; he’ll enjoy it too.