Beautiful Dreamer:  Beautiful Movie

Claire (Brooke Langton) and Joe (Colin Egglesfield) go fishing for something special in "Beautiful Dreamer."

By Madelyn Ritrosky
Entertainment Magazine

They were so in love…
But when Joe looks at Claire, his wife, without recognition – none at all – it’s one of those heart-wrenching moments, so romantically, tortuously painful.  What makes such cinematic moments so exquisite is the knowledge that love will, somehow, conquer all.  That deep down, this man’s love for this woman can never die.  That deep down, this woman has the inner strength to help him heal.      
We know all this because Beautiful Dreamer’s tag line proclaims it an unabashedly romantic film:  “Love will bring you home.”  For Claire, played by Brooke Langton (The Replacements), and Joe, played by Colin Egglesfield (All My Children), home is indeed where the heart is – even under the disconnection of war-induced amnesia.

Cynics may scoff at these kinds of sentiments, but there is nothing trivial about romance.  Romances, which appeal predominantly to women, allow the woman to be at least the man’s equal protagonist (sometimes more so).  But more than that, a romance like Beautiful Dreamer is, as director Terri Farley-Teruel suggests, a hopeful movie for the whole family about the power of love.  And the setting is, as Colin Egglesfield suggests, the romantic and classy 1940s.  I recently had the opportunity to speak with Farley-Teruel and Egglesfield about their work on this film (with links to those interviews below). 
Beautiful Dreamer was written by Terry Chase Chenowith (associate producer of The Devil and Daniel Webster).  And he and Jack Robinson (location manager and stuntman on Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery) produced the film.  Although this is Farley-Teruel’s feature directing debut, she has directed a number of short films, including two award-winning shorts.  And Beautiful Dreamer has now won several festival awards.   
Colin Egglesfield, who was one of People magazine’s “Sexiest Men Alive” in 2005, brings Joe Kelly to life in a sensitive portrayal of vulnerable masculinity – a man who has been deeply affected by the horrors of war and needs his wife more than ever.  Egglesfield’s other film work includes Vampires: The Turning, S.W.A.T., and Must Love Dogs.  While Egglesfield has done several TV projects, he is probably best known for his current role on All My Children.     
Beautiful Dreamer is a film that harkens back to classic Hollywood romances like An Affair to Remember, It’s a Wonderful Life, and The Best Years of Our Lives.  And it is nostalgically romantic as well, setting the love story in the “romantic” past of the World War II era – which also conjures associations with “the golden age” of 1940s Hollywood.  Not many contemporary films do this.  Thus, Beautiful Dreamer seems perfect for moviegoers who feel ignored by blockbuster-Hollywood’s obsessive quest for 13- to 25-year-old males as well as the postmodern cynicism or moral ambiguity of edgy independents.   
When I saw this film at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, I loved it.  Some viewers next to me – retired folk, no doubt – had only good things to say about the film as the lights came up.  This is the older audience segment that the filmmakers consider part of their target audience:  older viewers with a closer connection to the 1940s, and with firsthand experience watching classic Hollywood movies.               
Beautiful Dreamer’s story follows Claire and Joe Kelly, young sweethearts and then blissfully married newlyweds.  But World War II interrupts their life together.  As a pilot, Joe’s plane is shot down over enemy territory; death, destruction, and the butt of a gun lead to amnesia.  He is declared missing in action, and then presumed dead. 
But he’s not – at least his body is not.  He does not remember who he is and has started a new life in another town.  Claire discovers him, and she must struggle to gently help the man she loves – even at the risk of selflessly walking away.  Love has to be given breathing space, and it will bloom again.  Barry Corbin (Northern Exposure) co-stars as Joe’s grandfather, James Denton (Desperate Housewives) is the doctor who specializes in war-related trauma, and Rusty Schwimmer (North Country) is a wise-cracking secretary at the local airstrip.    
A limited theatrical release in Atlanta is in the works for this summer, with a possible wider release later. 

Beautiful Dreamer exclusive interviews: 
“Let Your Heart Fly” with Terri Farley-Teruel
“Romantic & Classy” with Colin Egglesfield

Madelyn Ritrosky Home Page

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Beautiful Dreamer exclusive interviews: 

“Let Your Heart Fly”
with Terri Farley-Teruel

“Romantic & Classy”
with Colin Egglesfield

Veteran actor Barry Corbin plays Joe Kelly’s grandfather.

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