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5 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Enjoyable and fairly accurate

Author: les6969 from United Kingdom
11 May 2010

I thought this was a good film that captured the essence of the Beach boys. The conflict with the Father and his unreasonable behaviour was well acted out as were the many changing faces, moods and music of this great band.

Of course in a 90 minute film covering many decades there will be omisions and errors but I was amazed at how much this film did cover. Most of the great songs are included and the actor playing Dennis Wilson was particularly good, although the Mike Love character was probably the most like the man himself, his role was underplayed.

My only real criticism is I would have liked to have heard and seen more songs and maybe some of the more joyful times that this band no doubt would have had, but overall a damn good film I'd say.

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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Good film, bad hair

Author: LCShackley from United States
16 November 2004

This film is currently running on cable (Nov. 2004) and I had not seen it previously. From articles I have recently read about the Wilson family, the depiction of their relationships is on target. However, trying to cram so many years of Beach Boys history into 90 minutes is too difficult. So of course, the writer focused on key conflicts which make for interesting TV, but left out a lot of the intervening story. The years go by way too fast, almost confusingly. I felt the best acting was done by the actors portraying Murray and Dennis Wilson...very believable and intense. However, as the movie progressed I became more and more distracted by the changing hair styles and some of the very poor facial hair creations (especially for Brian). My son and I started laughing whenever a new "bad hair day" began. Interesting trivia...the executive producer is "Steve Dahl" -- could this be the shock rock jock who burned disco records in Chicago back in '79 or so?

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Certainly no good vibrations

Author: DX-5 from Worcestershire, England
26 February 2001

I saw this film a couple of years ago and being a Beach Boys fan, i was hoping the film would be a half decent biography. But as soon as they finish "God Only Knows" the film just becomes boring. It hardly documents on Brian's health problems and his road to recovery with the help of Dr. Eugene Landy, and it focuses on Dennis' involvement with Charlie Manson a bit too much. I just think it is too brief and it is hard to watch with interest when the songs finish. The film could have been so much better if they had gone more in depth and brightened it up with more songs. So much happened in the Beach Boys career that wasn't even shown in the film.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Credible version of the band's story.

Author: Hermit C-2 from Marietta, GA, USA
1 December 1999

Considering the natural constraints that are built into a TV-movie, this one does a pretty good job of telling the Beach Boys' story. One might almost call it admirable. The script is based on Steven Gaines book about the group, 'Heroes and Villains,' and for the most part it deals honestly and straightforwardly with the band's roller-coaster ride over a couple of decades, a ride which unfortunately had more than its share of steep declines. Main themes include the struggle for creative control of the band between head of the Wilson clan Murray and eldest son Brian, the struggle for Brian Wilson's sanity as he tries to handle the responsibility of being the band's leader, and Dennis Wilson's problems with drugs and relationships that prove self-destructive.

It was easier to depict Dennis' earthy lifestyle than to delve into Brian's complex psyche, I suppose, so this turns into more of the Dennis and Brian show than one might imagine. The other group members Mike Love, Carl Wilson and Alan Jardine accordingly clear the stage for the most part. The music proves a bit problematic, too. Apparently unable to use original Beach Boys material, the imitations are not so terrible, but any true fan of the group will immediately note the difference. Love's voice proves a lot easier to recreate than does Brian's falsetto. One good scene has the boys performing their first song, 'Surfin',' for Mr. Wilson. The best musical sequence is designed to show Brian's blossoming genius at composing and arranging, and this occurs when the band is seen recording 'God Only Knows.' They even correctly showed Carl doing the vocal! But it seems the movie's producers didn't have the nerve to try and take on the Beach Boys' biggest hit and Brian's most glorious creation, 'Good Vibrations.' It's nowhere to be heard in this film.

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4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Summer Dreams

Author: Boe Badley from Eugene, OR
30 July 1999

Being a big Beach Boy fan, I was excited to see this film. But after viewing it , I wish I had never watched this smut. Everyone knows the Beach Boys had some problems, but this was ridiculous. This movie was nothing but negativity the whole way through. I found myself overwhelmed with all the crap that was being thrown at me. I also read the book it was based upon, "Heroes and Villains" by Steven Gaines, which was just more detailed crap. Both the book and the movie seem to forget the importance of the Beach Boys, and the stronghold Brian Wilson had on the music world, and focused more on the problems. Yes there were bad times, but there were good times as well, and this movie shows few if any. This is why I do not recommend this to anyone, especially Beach Boys fans. D-

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Almost perfect

Author: nicholls_les from United Kingdom
18 February 2016

I loved this movie and have been trying to find it on DVD as it is one I could watch over and over. The film that captured the essence of the Beach boys and the many changing faces, moods and music of this iconic band.

Bruce Greenwood as Dennis Wilson was really good, but for me Casey Sander as Mike Love stole every scene he featured.

Lot's of Beach Boys hits are captured really well but the film concentrated on the bad times more than the good times, and the Dennis Wilson story is indeed a sad one.

Thoroughly gripping and well made movie.

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

I lived through the beach boys era.

Author: Mike Smith from United States
18 June 2005

I lived through the beach boys era, I was just a kid when it began but spent many a great summer at beach boys concerts throughout the 70's Including one memorable concert in the former Foxboro stadium (now the Gillette stadium) Where they performed with the band Chicago and their combined vocal and instrumental talents shone. While the movie has been panned by many I would say it is the closest thing (in motion picture form) to a real view of their history. It in some ways minimizes their impact on both the music of the time and future musicians, but is a good start for anyone interested in learning about the band and what they still mean for so many even to this day.

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Really worth a watch

Author: carin_in_mtl from Montreal, Quebec
15 August 2003

As an avid film buff - I've got to say that despite "Summer Dreams" being a tv movie, it is of excellent quality. The acting, in particular Bruce Greenwood in the role of the late Dennis Wilson, is superb and the way in which the story is told is intriguing, touching and real without being over hollywood-ized. Summer Dreams is perhaps the best tv movie I have ever seen. As matter of fact I have had it on video since it first aired. in 1990...quite a long time. If you ever catch it in the tv listings, give it a shot -- it is well worth watching.

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3 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

First Class Unauthorized Bio of this Super Band!

Author: Ralph DeMattia (FatAss-4) from Gaithersburg, Maryland
1 July 2000

I've only seen this film twice, and will look forward to #3, as it is an excellent film. The acting is superb, the actors have the looks of each of their characters down pat, as well as the mannerisms, and the musical group, whoever they are, do a spectacular job of sounding as close as they do to the real "McCoy." I recommend this movie highly, especially if you love The beach Boys!

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2 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

song title needed or artist

Author: cntry4608 from United States
27 July 2009

Does anyone know the name of the song being performed by the band on stage when the Beach Boys arrived for their first live performance, a band was playing a surfer instrumental on stage at the beginning of the scene. I would love to know the title of the song or the artist being portrayed. I hope all the members of the Beach Boys know that their influence and contributions were historical and will never be matched. I am glad to be a member of the 70s Generation. The movie shouldn't have focused almost entirely on the bad elements of the band. Dennis was the one spotlighted for trouble, but if you think about it, it was the actions of Dennis that inspired most of Brian's wonderful collection of landmark hits.

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