Film Review: “I Dream Too Much”

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I Dream Too Much is a heartwarming coming-of-age film that illustrates the challenges that women and families experience from the perspective of three different generations…” – idreamtoomuch.com

“You’re never too old to dream!”, is the through-line in this film from writer/director Katie Cokinos. The topic of dreams, goals & aspirations is a common one for coming-of-age films, but I Dream Too Much feels unique in the genre. Where other films tend to sweep you up in out-of-the-ordinary circumstances, huge transformations and inevitable romance, I Dream Too Much is grounded securely in reality; which in turn is all the more effective.

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If you were to make a guess about the direction of the film from the opening sequence, you might suppose you were in for another reckless young-adult voyage of quirky situations and accidental self-discovery, but you would be wrong. I Dream Too Much instead carefully pulls you in on a journey with the lead character Dora (played by Eden Brolin), and puts you right in the center of her yearning for exploration of all things.

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Visually, the film is beautiful. The subdued colors perfectly complement the sweeping snowy landscapes; further highlighting the quiet stillness of Dora’s surroundings. Her bright and relentlessly upbeat personality provides a stark contrast to her environment, but Brolin’s performance is not without subtlety. The nature in which her character processes otherwise dreary conditions makes everything all the more touching.

The tone of I Dream Too Much does not lack humor, however. Crafty one-liners and Dora’s amusing antics brighten up moments in the most unexpected ways, leaving the audience always wanting more. It adds to the relatability, and when you feel a tug on your heart after just laughing out loud, you know that what you’re watching has meaning.

The delightful poignancy of the film is intercut with flashes into Dora’s mind, and without giving too much away, it’s these details that make watching I Dream Too Much almost feel like reading a good novel.

You may also recognize some familiar faces! Internationally acclaimed actress/writer/director Diane Ladd plays Dora’s Great Aunt Vera; infusing the film with a rich character that continues to reveal herself until the very end.

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Actress Danielle Brooks (Orange Is the New Black) adds delightful energy as Dora’s unexpected friend Abbey. James McCaffrey even makes an appearance as music producer Nikki.

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What you won’t find in this film are stereotypes. Finally we get a story about three strong women, from three different generations, universally searching for the same thing without the story focusing on romance in any way. Not to say that romance is bad, but it’s a breath of fresh air to see a movie that focuses on something entirely different (or doesn’t make the lead choose between a boy or a career).

What you’ll find instead are universally understood themes, but presented in new ways. The overbearing mother who tries to live through her child. The lost, post-college young woman searching for her place in the world. The desire to get far away from home and never look back. The yearning to do what you want to do, instead of what you should do. The craving for purpose and validation.

I Dream Too Much gives you all of this, and more… without shoving it in your face. Before you know it, this heartwarming story has gently reminded you that no matter who you are or where your story began, you’re never too old to dream.

Find out more about the film & how you can watch it on www.idreamtoomuch.com. An interview with the director Katie Cokinos is coming soon… stay tuned!

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Kaytra Parkman

About Kaytra Parkman

Actress. “An old cosmic soul disguised as a 21st-century earthling”. Kaytra has no recollection of “catching” any acting bug... it was always there. At the ripe age of 3, she pointed to the television enthusiastically and declared, “I want to be IN THAT!”. After her parents jokingly reminded her she would have to be really small to fit in there, Kaytra skipped and tripped her way through adolescence until she landed a coveted spot at the Orange County High School of the Arts (OCSA). There she spent 4 years studying everything from stage combat to documentary filmmaking amongst a wide variety of young artists. A professional nerd on the side, she also freelances as a social media manager/video editor/techie, and spends her free time Netflixing and obsessing about space. Kaytra hopes to combine her love of acting, filmmaking and activism to evoke positive change both individually and globally.