The challenge of finding personal fulfillment takes its toll on Carol Peterson (Blythe Danner) a retired schoolteacher and longtime widower in I'll See you in My Dreams. An all-star cast is showcased in this feature film about coming-of-old and how to cope. Filmmakers Brett Haley and Marc Basch count themselves both fortunate and honored to have produced a film worthy of their seasoned talent.
Old-age ailments for discussion is not the film topic chosen, instead Haley and Basch address the options open to mature adults to live again after suffering more than their fair share of loss. Their opinion is that life can begin again at any age. Haley and Basch call their film a dramedy (half drama and half comedy). Their endearing and heartfelt narrative, shot in only eighteen days, features beloved seasoned actors. The experience necessary in finding the value of relationships, as well as, romance at an old age--conventional or not is effectively portrayed. The cast performs with the sweetest style and grace.
Carol is forced to put her ailing, fourteen-year-old golden retriever, Hazel, down. Hazel's absence is a reminder that loneliness has become a part of her life more than she realizes. And, maybe for the first time recognizes her true age. She admits, "It's hard growing old. When your life is good, growing old doesn't cross one's mind.”
Carol likes her tranquil routine of playing cards and golf with her loyal girlfriends: Georgia (June Squibb), Sally (Rhea Perlman) and Rona (Mary Kay Place). And, the joy of working in her garden or lounging by her pool with a glass of wine. But, Hazel's absence has left a void in her life. A difficult thing for her to handle. Carol's best friends encourage her to put herself back on the market and try speed dating. Much to her chagrin she tries but the encounters make it more difficult for her to think of anyone else but her late husband. He was her everything but has been gone for twenty years.
Carol, an attractive 70-something classy lady, is not looking for nor is interested in a romantic relationship. But, two male suiters, Lloyd (Martin Starr) and Bill (Sam Elliott) come knocking at her door. Both Unexpected. Both Unconventional. Both come out of nowhere.
Lloyd is a new pool maintenance guy that shows up for duty substituting for her regular service man. He's young and attractive. Lloyd finds Carol sleeping on the patio sofa from a night of too much wine mourning Hazel's absence. Carol is frightened at first by the new face but is then embarrassed by her own actions. Over time a friendship develops between the two, discovering they have more in common in spite of their age difference. Bill notices Carol at the golf club and actively pursues her. Taken by surprise at the attention he gives, she is flattered. Carol opens the door to her heart to let him in, though initially unsure of his motives. Lloyd and Bill slowly begin to replace Carol's loneliness. Each providing companionship for Carol that allows her to choose to live-again.