22 user 11 critic

California Dreaming (1979)

A nerd from Chicago tries desperately to fit in with the California surfing crowd, blind to the fact that their lives are even more boring and empty than his.


John D. Hancock (as John Hancock)


Ned Wynn




Cast overview, first billed only:
Glynnis O'Connor ... Corky
Seymour Cassel ... Duke Slusarski
Dorothy Tristan ... Fay
Dennis Christopher ... T.T.
John Calvin ... Rick
Todd Susman ... Jordy Banks
Tanya Roberts ... Stephanie
Alice Playten ... Corrine
Ned Wynn Ned Wynn ... Earl Fescue
James Van Patten ... Mike (as Jimmy Van Patten)
Stacey Nelkin ... Marsha
Johnny Fain Johnny Fain ... Tenner (as John Fain)
Tom McFadden Tom McFadden ... Dan
Tom Rosqui ... George Booke
Marshall Efron ... Ruben


Young T.T. comes from Chicago to spend the summer in California. He slowly becomes "California-ized," while learning about love and life in the Golden State. Written by Alan Cantu <uncleal@softcom.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


A state somewhere between fantasy and reality.


Comedy | Drama | Romance


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Old video copies of this film omit the title song (as performed by America), which was heard in its entirety during the closing credits (the Burton Cummings tune is heard instead). All the other tracks remained intact. America's version of The Mamas and the Papas classic is available on their greatest hits CD, as it was issued as a single one month before the film's release, failing to make the top 40 (it peaked at 56). See more »


Near the end of the film, items on the windowsill replace themselves after T.T. knocks them off/over with the volleyball. See more »


Spoofed in California Reaming (1986) See more »


I'm in Love Again
Performed by Pat Upton
Music & Lyrics by Fred Karlin
Produced and Arranged by Vincent Albano
See more »

User Reviews

Extremely not bad
13 January 2000 | by DaCritic-2See all my reviews

According to George Carlin, the term "Extremely not bad" should be used more often ... as in, "Gosh, this turnip casserole is extremely not bad."

California Dreaming follows the trials and tribulations of TT (Dennis Christopher) as he arrives in California with some recordings of his recently-deceased brother's jazz music. The idea is to play the music near the ocean, because his brother loved the ocean. While in California, TT stays with an old surfer (Wynn, in probably the best role he's ever had ... should be, though, because he wrote the script), who offers TT a place to live. TT becomes a surfer, woos his landlord's daughter, gropes gratuitously-displayed breasts; so far, it's pretty standard surf-movie fare.

Near the end, though, there was an actual plot twist; the plot had been so thin up until that point that I didn't even notice it coming. I'm not as easily manipulated now as I did when I first saw this movie (when I was about 15), but I was so blindsided by this development that it actually gave the ending a strong emotional impact, for me.

Great cinema, it ain't, but Glynnis O'Connor and Tonya Roberts were both hotties, the surfing scenes are pretty cool, and the acting is convincing, if not outstanding.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 22 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.






Release Date:

April 1979 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

State Beach See more »

Filming Locations:

Avila Beach, California, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

Recently Viewed