A widower whose book about coping with loss turns him into a best-selling self-help guru, falls for the hotel florist where his seminar is given, only to learn that he hasn't yet truly confronted his wife's passing.
A girl with insomnia who works in a coffee house has impossibly high standards for her love and fears she will never meet a worthy man. Then in walks a new employee and they click - until she discovers he has a girlfriend. Undaunted, she moves to L.A. with a friend sure that he will dump the girlfriend and follow her. She puts all her faith in fate and hopes for the best. Written by
Dream for an Insomniac is not a bad movie, nor is it a particularly good one. Writer/Director DeBartolo in her first attempt at doing either produces a film that has bright moments, a few good ideas, very little meaningful dialogue, and some moderately entertaining scenes.
The black-and-white to color transition when Frankie first meets David Schrader is perhaps the most metaphorical and artistic achievement this movie makes. It is unfortunate that it is neither touching as a metaphor nor very artistic.
The majority of the film centers around the interplay between Frankie and David. The interaction between the characters is labored and unbelievable, the dialogue being little more than witty banter and archaic quotes swapped back and forth. If DeBartolo had any intentions of the audience empathizing with the characters she failed to write them in such a way to elicit such empathy. Frankie remains reminiscent of a love-struck schoolgirl throughout the film, a glutton for punishment, while David Schrader feels two-faced, reluctant to leave his girlfriend but quite friendly and flirtatious with Frankie, who is quite obviously in love with him. If these characters existed in the real world, they would both seem too neurotic, emotionally unstable, needy, and self-centered to spend time getting to know. And yet in spite of this, DeBartolo manages to put together a film that is not terrible.
Aniston's character, an aspiring actress who speaks in false accents during conversations to become believable in them, provides a solid supporting character that is much needed throughout the film. Juice, the slacker musician, finds his way on screen just about exactly when some comic relief is due. Some of the conversations, especially the one concerning the Holy Trinity of rock and roll, seem similar to something that could actually be heard in the real world, or at least the world of Generation X. And the subplot of Rob, the coffee-shop waiter reluctant to tell his father that he is a practicing homosexual, is actually quite endearing and entertaining.
Dream for an Insomniac would have been a much better film had DeBartolo stepped down the massive intellectual undertones running rampant in the dialogue, given both main characters a healthy dose of Prozac, and focused on the basic but meaningful theme of romance in the 90s instead of showing off her obviously impressive knowledge of memorable quotes through her characters. If anything less than extraordinary is a waste of your time, then so is Dream for an Insomniac. If, however, you are willing to settle for a decent first attempt at a movie by a newcomer to writing and directing, lay down a couple of bucks for this film at your local video store.
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