Do you ever wish that your dreams could come true? Well, if you’ve ever dreamed of watching a dubious film based on such an occurrence you’re in luck: In Your Dreams is out now on DVD.
Made in 2007 and starring Dexter Fletcher as Albert Ross, a dentist whose dreams quite literally come true, In Your Dreams is one of those films which makes you wonder just what was going on in the minds of all involved, from scriptwriter to director to actors and in particular the financiers.
The press release mentions that this is a “touching British Comedy…the perfect gift or treat to a romantic night in”. That’s the Trades Description Act violated straight away, as if you were to give this film as a gift you’d probably get it given back to you in two halves and if it was for a romantic night in you’d be single before the evening was out.
Moving away from the publicity, the film itself starts in a 1980 English schoolyard, where young Albert is playing football (though there’s no attempt to make the kids look like they’re from the era and they might as well be off home that night to play they’re Wii).
A brief appearance from Susan George as Albert’s mum, who is clearly the same age in 1980 as she is in 2007, doesn’t do much to save the first few minutes.
Following the titles there’s a “comedy” sequence following the grown up Albert on his way to work. I think the point here was to show that Albert is a Frank Spencer-style accident waiting to happen, but this doesn’t really match up with everything else we see happen to him in the film.
The problems really start in the next 10 minutes or so, with the introduction of a badly miscast Linda Hamilton as lesbian private investigator. Yes that’s star of Terminator and Terminator 2 Linda Hamilton.
Glossing over this odd choice, those press notes are keen to point out that Ms Hamilton’s character is a lesbian and the script hammers the fact over our heads numerous times throughout the film. There’s not really a character here at all, just an excuse for some crude sex jokes at various points and a dodgy New Yoik accent that is as strained as her dialogue.
From here it’s downhill all the way with a muddled script further hampered by bland direction. The film’s lighting seems to be the same all the way through while most shots consist of a camera plonked in front of the actors and left running.
The cast are given some truly embarrassing scenes, such as the “dance” routine carried out by Fletcher and love interest Elize du Toit. Quite how this ever got past script stage is a mystery and it typifies the cheap and humourless feel of the film as a whole.
With zero characterisation for anyone in the film and a series of scenes that barely hang together, it’s difficult to pick out many positives here, though Dexter Fletcher does seem to be trying gamely throughout.
Also on the disc is a 60 minute making-of feature set behind the scenes of the film. There does seem to be real enthusiasm from everyone involved, even the actors. Whether everyone was genuinely this happy about the script or not is difficult to tell, but it’s hard to believe all the problems were caused by bad direction and editing in the final cut.
Perhaps of interest to anyone who enjoys those one-off ITV1 comedies starring ex-soap stars, this is a truly unique film. Film students may find the documentary interesting and it’s a shame the original script isn’t offered as a PDF so that comparisons can be made with the end product.