Dreamland – DVD Review

Available at Amazon.com

Director:
Jason Matzner

Cast:
Agnes Bruckner…Audrey
Kelli Garner….Calista
Justin Long….Mookie
John Corbett….Henry
Gina Gershon….Mary
Chris Mulkey….Herb

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment presents Dreamland. Screenplay by Tom Willett. Running time: 88 minutes. Rated PG-13. DVD release date Dec. 5, 2006.

The Movie

I might not be an expert to the world of trailer parks, but this movie has over romanticized trailer park life. The cast is just too damn pretty to be living in a trailer park in the desert. You have hunky DJ from Northern Exposure, the star of Showgirls, the “I’m a Mac” dude from the Apple computer ads and two cute actresses living amongst the single wide squalor. This seems less a real film than one of those Helmut Newton fashion pictorial in Interview magazine (back when you’d care to leave it on your coffeetable). Sure these people talk about watching Jerry Springer, but they are eons apart from the mobile home denizens that Jerry ushers onto the stage. Dreamland is not your normal houses-on-wheels community.

The story is about how Audrey’s father (John Corbett) hasn’t recovered from the death of her mother. He doesn’t want to leave the trailer park or get a real job. She hides the numerous scholarship letters from colleges because she can’t leave her dad. Her best friend is Calista, a girl who dreams of being Miss America while they soak in the Trailer Park’s hot tub. She deals with her MS by being stung by bees and shocked by an electric fence. The girls seem comfortable in their routines. Trouble comes in the form of a new family to Dreamland. The new boy (Justin Long) is a college basketball player who is recovering from an injury. Both girls like him and he doesn’t mind double-dribbling. The question is which girl will be willing to follow him into the world outside Dreamland when he decides to return to the court.

The motivation for the characters to contemplate leaving their happy world is uninspired. You can see it coming like a 3-D effect. It is hard to root for Bruckner and Garner to leave a life that includes long stewing sessions in the hot tub. The duo are quite easy on the eyes in their bikini tops. But a movie needs to do more than be a tame version of Girls Gone Wild.

The film is reminiscent of Gas, Food and Lodging if it was remade as CW teen drama. There’s so little weight to the drama. It’s easy to see why it played at various festivals such as Sundance since Bruckner and Garner deliver good performances. But the story just isn’t compelling or gritty enough to be a true indie film. It’s just too clean and pretty for a trailer park in the desert.

The DVD:

VIDEO:
The picture is 1.85:1 anamorphic.

AUDIO:
The soundtrack is Dolby Digital 5.1. The subtitles for are in English.

EXTRAS:
None

The DVD Lounge’s Ratings for Dreamland
CATEGORY
RATING
(OUT OF 10)
THE MOVIE

5
THE VIDEO

9
THE AUDIO

9
THE EXTRAS

0
REPLAY VALUE

8
OVERALL
5
(NOT AN AVERAGE)