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In AMERICAN DREAMER, frustrated housewife and writer Cathy Palmer enters a mystery-writing contest and wins an all-expense-paid trip to Paris. Once there, she is struck by a car and awakens believing that she is Rebecca Ryan, the heroine in a wild spy adventure.
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All of the actors are outstanding. Tom Conti shines as the haplessly overwhelmed straight man to Jo Beth Williams' delightfully outrageous amnesiac. The actors who played the Spanish diplomat and French politician couldn't have been more perfect for their roles. Their performances had us laughing so hard we had tears streaming. The secondary characters were well-cast and gave excellent performances.
This is an older movie that we first saw when we rented it way back in the dark ages when the video stores also rented customers the VCR with which to watch their movies. Later, we bought our own VHS copy and just about wore it out. It got lost in a move and we discovered we couldn't find any place that streamed it for rental or purchase. Luckily, the DVD version was available and we snapped it up.
The movie has some droll humour, some over-the-top slapstick, some farce and some romance. I don't believe it was ever big at the box office but it is a gem. It is relatively clean, especially by today's standards. There is a little bit of non-graphic sex but I don't remember any profanity. It doesn't feel dated to me but it is probably slower-paced than some current comedies. I highly recommend this movie.
I happened to see this the first weekend it came out and was shocked to see how bad the credits panned this film. What is wrong with a movie that is just fun to watch? That's what this movie is to me. The crazy adventure this board housewife goes on is so much fun and we get to go along for the ride. JoBeth Williams is fantastic in this movie - as she is in every other role she has portrayed. Not a lot of her roles were comedic though I wish she played against type more because she has a talent for it. Tom Conti is also a gem in this movie.
I watched it on VHS for years and finally purchased the DVD a number of years ago (finally getting around to reviewing past purchases). I watch this a few times of year. It is a great movie to put on when you want to just chill out and laugh on a weekend afternoon.
I love this movie, and I recommended it to some friends who are fans of the 80's tv series Scarecrow and Mrs. King. Like the heroine of that series, Cathy accidentally gets swept up into a world of intrigue and discovers that she has abilities that she never fully realized that she had. Along the way, she finds adventure and romance.
As the result of a car accident in Paris, Cathy is convinced she is Rebecca Ryan, a female James Bond-like character, who is the heroine of her favorite romantic thrillers. "Rebecca" sneaks out of the hospital and goes "home" to the hotel suite she shares with Demetri, her gay sidekick in the thrillers. Alan McMann, played by a not-at-all-ho-hum Tom Conti, the son of the purported author of the Rebecca Ryan novels, lives in the hotel. Naturally, Rebecca believes he is Dimetri. Although he protests most of the way, Alan is swept up in Rebecca's fantasies. When someone tries to kill the pair, however, he begins to believe there is some truth to Rebecca's constant warnings that they, and most of the people with whom they interact, are in danger. A frustrated policeman, dubious diplomats, the eccentric author of the Ryan series, a super obnoxious husband, and attempts on Rebecca's life add color and humor to the story line. Although neither the plot nor the dialogue is brilliant, American Dreamer is a satisfyingly pleasant comedy. The attractive Conti and Williams are very watchable, playing their roles with a tongue-in-cheek charm that is pretty much irresistable.