Ok, so I have a confession to make. I may or may not have seen this one more than once. I may, or may not, have zipped through to a few favorite parts. What is it about this one? Is it the phenomenal acting talents of American Idol Runner Up Ms. Katherine McPhee? (Not so much). Is it the lost puppy face of the guy from Under the Dome who is now on the 11 billionth TV show about soldiers on a mission? (Whose name is Mike Vogel, according to the picture posted.) Don’t know. Is it because I have remarkably vivid dreams so I totally and completely buy into this plot? Whatever. Don’t care. I like this one. It’s In My Dreams.
Katherine McPhee plays Natalie Russo, an Italian restaurant owner who is mourning her mom, and who is mourning her life – which seems to be stuck in a rut. Her restaurant needs customers, and her best friend Charla (but not a Sassy Friend) keeps pushing her to make things more her own, and to get on out there.
Mike Vogel plays Nick Smith (who comes up with these names?) an architect, just out of a bad break up, with the most over-bearing mother ever. Take Mrs. Bennet, plus the mom from The Goldbergs, and ratchet it up by 1000. She is obsessed with having her son get married, but not because because she needs grandkids (she’s got 2 already from other offspring) but just … because. She’s such a matchmaker that she resorts to hooking her son up with the girl he dated when he was in 7th grade, whose name is Laurie Beth and those two names just shouldn’t go together, sorry anyone else out there named Laurie Beth. In the opening set piece of this film, both Natalie and Nick make a wish at a fountain in the middle of a beautiful park, and with the power of magic and a slow-motion setting on the camera, we see the second their pennies touch at the bottom of the fountain. And they sense something is in the air, because the music over the soundtrack tells us so.
So both Nick and Natalie are not satisfied with their lives at this juncture. Nick works for a gloryhound of a boss who takes credit for everything that Nick does. He is entering a “Green Bridge” contest to design an eco-friendly bridge, because that’s what he really wants to do. Natalie misses her mom, and profits, from her restaurant. They are both due for something to happen, right?
Natalie has hired a new chef named Mario, who’s handsome and Italian and chases customers out of the restaurant because they wanted extra garlic on the Alfredo sauce. So not helpful, Mario. And after a soul-crushing day, where his mom arranged a date for him with the said Laurie Beth in the most annoying way possible, Nick heads home to his fabulous apartment. Natalie lives in a sad apartment above her restaurant. And they both fall asleep.
Dream 1: They meet up at the fountain from the beginning of the movie in that weird washed out light of dreams in movies. They both feel like they know each other, and there are a lot of pregnant pauses and soulful gazes, but with dream logic, if they touch, they wake up, because that’s what happens before they’re good and ready.
Nightmare the next day happens for Nick, as Laurie Beth texts him every 15 minutes before their date, and loops his mom into these texts, too, which is just Super Sad. Stage 5 Clinger Alert! Plus, at the end of their date, she states that she already updated her Facebook status to “in a relationship” and asks “are you breaking up with me?” when he says whoa, crazypants, what’s going on. All of this makes Nick super tired, so back he goes to his apartment to fall asleep on his couch, while watching the only channel his tv gets – some kind of weird nature station.
Dream 2: Natalie is on the ledge of a tall building, saying she can fly, and how she wants to feel alive. He talks about his bridge and it shows up in the distance. She says she bakes, and poof! there’s a cookie – and apparently it’s the best cookie he’s ever had. Dreams are awesome, right? They are just loving each other on top of this building, but before they can kiss, they fall off the building, and wake up on the floor of their respective apartments.
Throughout the next day, they just can’t wait to go to sleep. So when it’s bed-time, she does her hair and puts on a fancy nightgown (that is the same exact fabric as her shams and duvet – how did she work that out?) and he swigs the Listerine. And they both sleep in their beds for the first time (mostly it’s been on the couch so far). They both had double beds but only sleep on one side, so my question is, WHAT IS WRONG WITH THEM? Spread out, because you never know when your bed will get super cramped by a 7-year-old with a nightmare who needs to cuddle with his mama. Anyway.
Dream 3: They are in the wilderness in the snow which leads to a picnic because why not. He states he hates broccoli, but she says she could make him love it at her restaurant, but when they try to get there, they end up no where near. While they talk, he gives her the pep talk that literally everyone else has been giving her (make the restaurant her own, branch out, etc) but I guess this time she has to listen because he said it. They don’t want to wake up so they basically dream together all night and it’s unicorns and rainbows until the morning.
She takes his advice immediately, as there is a new sign on her restaurant within hours (because movie magic doesn’t have to worry about lead times, and how long it takes to get a sign printed.) Through all of this, Nick is thinking he wants to quit his job and start out on his own. They both inspire each other, get it?
But before the next night’s dream – uh oh, Nick’s ex, Jessa (what kind of name is that?) calls and he rushes over because she said it was an emergency. (What was the emergency? There was a mouse in her apartment. Speaking of someone who had to deal with that WITHOUT a man to help her, Jessa, you suck). And Poor Natalie is all by herself in the dream world, which is so upsetting to her that she says needs to live in the now, and asks Mario the chef out for a date at the end of the night. She is determined, and has very determined bangs to accentuate this.
Their date is at a club and she hates it, but they dance the night away, and now Nick is all by himself in the dream world. And he gets the same determination – not to live in dreams but in reality, damnit. But he’s super upset that she’s not there, so much so that he’s lying in fetal position. Poor guy. Better go console yourself with your trashy ex, Jessa.
So now Nick and Jessa end up at Natalie’s restaurant, but they don’t run into each other because we have to keep suspense up until the end of the movie, right? But she knows he’s there because he ordered the broccoli, and he knows she’s there because, um, he just knows? But they both brush off this magic feeling and go on with their day, until she finds his drawing of the fountain from the beginning, and she heads out there.
Where she meets mystical sad flower lady, who tells her about the legend of the Heyward Fountain. If you throw a coin in and make a wish, you’ll dream of your true love for 7 nights, and if you really love each other, they will become real and you’ll meet them and live happily ever after. Mystical floral lady is sad because she didn’t get to meet her true love.
Dream 6: They are on a carousel, but a boring one with just horses. They both are tired of things not being real, and Natalie ends the dream because she just can’t handle it. And both of them are crying when they wake up. Poor Babies.
Nick really wants to quit his job, but Jessa is like, wait, you won’t have any money, thereby cementing her suckitude because she’s not inspiring him, she’s worried about his medical benefits.
Nick and Natalie are both so miserable that on the last night, neither of them go to sleep – she stays up all night and does her books and he does some kind of architecty thing. But in the morning, Nick does quit his job, which makes Jessa super pissed.
That night, it’s both the Green Bridge Awards, and the night a celebrated food critic shows up at the restaurant. But rather than be where they should be, they are off racing around to try to find the other one, because that’s where they need to be, guys. So Nick wins the award and is not there to claim it, and the critic loves the food but Natalie isn’t there to hear it. Finally, finally, finally, they both end up at the fountain again.
Is it a dream? Oh is it???!?!?! They touch and NOPE! Not a dream. Yay, it’s real life. And when they kiss for the first time, it just seems really awkward, but who cares because they found each other! They stay on a park bench all night, and I refuse to believe that some beat cop didn’t tell them to move along at one point, but whatever. Natalie gives sad mystical floral lady a penny and tells her to make a wish, because dreams do come true, and THE END.
Oh why do I love you, In My Dreams? Looking back through this recap, it’s hard to see why, but I do. You don’t have to, I’ll do it, just so you don’t have to.