Ann is from a prominent Japanese-American family, owners of a famous nursery and greenhouse. Tom is from a blue-collar family of self-employed fishermen. Tom and Ann develop a playful, loving relationship, despite obstacles their families throw in their way.
The action of this film consists mostly of their dates, and their attempts to keep them secret from their families. Tom is a likable `nut case' and high school dropout. Ann is a very conservative 17-year old, but she opens up when she's with Tom. They take us on some original adventures that seem true-to-life, not put-on to get laughs from the audience. Similarly, the actions and concerns of their parents seem real, not stereotypical ala `My Big Fat Greek Wedding.'
We bounce to-and-fro among three contrasting lifestyles. Ann's mother wears pearls, drinks tea from a fine china cup, and travels around town in a chauffeur-driven Cadillac. She insists that her daughter always look `presentable,' and disapproves of her going to dances. Tom's parents, though divorced, each own a small fishing boat, one docked next to the other. They seem to spend most of their time dockside, teasing fellow boat owners, drinking from dawn to dusk, or watching TV. Tom and Ann go skinny-dipping, stow away on a truck hauling bales of straw, and enjoy other teenage pursuits.
So what does all this have to do with dreams of glass? The title is not explained until closing theme song.
Although this movie has no `name' actors (except for a few seconds of a young Danny DeVito), all of the performances are good. Despite the class and racial contrasts, the tone is relatively light throughout. The plot is not original, but the execution is refreshingly different.
I liked this movie far more than the much-ballyhooed Love Story that came out about the same time. Both are about young people in love facing challenges. However, the characters in Dreams of Glass are more credible.
I reviewed this movie as part of a project at the Library of Congress. I've named the project FIFTY: 50 Notable Films Forgotten Within 50 Years. As best I can determine, this film, like the other forty-nine I've identified, has not been on video, telecast, or distributed in the U.S. since its original release. In my opinion, it is worthy of being made available again.
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