Sweet Dreams


Biography / Drama

IMDb Rating 7.1


Downloaded 752 times
12/7/2019 11:11:23 AM

115 min
P/S 0 / 0

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by gftbiloxi 7

Reality is generally more complicated than any motion picture can possibly convey--and such is the case with SWEET DREAMS, the 1985 bio-pic of singer Patsy Cline, which ran into a firestorm of criticism at the time of its release. For Patsy Cline was not a figure from the remote past. She and her life were extremely well recalled by family, friends, and co-workers, and one and all attacked the film as an extremely inaccurate portrait of her, her husband Charlie, and her life and career.<br/><br/>To a certain extent, the validity of these complaints about the film are a matter of opinion. But it does seem likely that the script softened Cline&#39;s harder edges and over-emphasized the stormy nature of her marriage in order to cast her in the role of victim. What isn&#39;t opinion is the way the film treats her career: it didn&#39;t happen like that, and while the film presents her as a great star at the time of her death in truth she had released only a handful of widely distributed records by 1963--and while some of them were big hits, they weren&#39;t quite as big as you might think. Even the celebrated &quot;Sweet Dreams&quot; never made it to the top spot on any music chart, and it was not until well after her death that she received full recognition for her remarkable work.<br/><br/>So instead of truth, or even a good approximation of it, SWEET DREAMS gives us the legend, the folk tale of the rough-and-tumble girl with the big, emotional voice who came from no where, married an abusive husband, and leaped into stardom that was cut short by an untimely death. And as legend, the film works very well.<br/><br/>The weak point of the film is the script, which plays largely to a &quot;domestic drama&quot; aspect and tends to smooth out the characters in a &quot;santized for your protection&quot; sort of way. The direction and cinematography are no great shakes either, and ultimately SWEET DREAMS looks very much like a made-for-television movie. But the cast carries it off in fine style. Jessica Lang looks no more like Patsy Cline than I do, and her lip-scynchs to Cline&#39;s work is rather hit-and-miss, but she gives a truly memorable performance; Ed Harris equals her in the role of husband Charlie, and together they create a synergy that has tremendous power. The supporting cast is also quite good, with Ann Wedgeworth a standout in the role of Cline&#39;s mother Hilda.<br/><br/>And then there is that soundtrack. Even if you&#39;ve heard all these songs a thousand times, they&#39;re still worth hearing again. Patsy Cline was truly an amazing artist. But the film does something odd with them: the bulk of the story is set during the 1950s, but there is not a 1950s-era Cline vocal to be heard in the entire film, everything is taken from her glory years at MCA between 1960 and 1963. And very often it seemed to me that the original scoring of Cline&#39;s songs had been replaced with new arrangements.<br/><br/>And that, ultimately, is rather typical of the film as a whole. Just a little change here, just a little inaccuracy there, and while they all seem slight individually, they add up to a fairly significant distortion collectively. The performances make it worth watching, and they bring it in at a solid four stars. But if you&#39;re expecting anything more than the glossy legend of Patsy Cline, you won&#39;t find it here.<br/><br/>Gary F. Taylor, aka GFT, Amazon Reviewer

Read More
Reviewed by gbrumburgh 7

Biopics are always a difficult nut to crack. It&#39;s never easy to condense the bigger-than-life story of a legendary celebrity into a two-hour movie and still provide the viewer a complete feeling of satisfaction. What it needs to do is not only highlight the well-known peaks and valleys of their career and personal life, but then, and most importantly, write choice, definitive scenes that will flesh out and humanize the character.<br/><br/>Chronicling the life of a famous country singer is especially tricky. So many things can go wrong. Severe miscasting, a hokey, superficial story line, an overly glossy, sanitary, and/or inaccurate treatment of the source. Many of these gals have had their hard-knock life stories laid out. Loretta Lynn, Patsy Cline, Dottie West, Tammy Wynette, Barbara Mandrell. The best of the film pickings is assuredly 1980&#39;s &quot;Coal Miner&#39;s Daughter,&quot; Loretta Lynn&#39;s backwoods tale. And, fair or not, everything similarly produced since has been up for comparison. Thus, &quot;Sweet Dreams,&quot; the retelling of country and pop superstar Patsy Cline (1932-1963), had a lot going against it by the time of its release, which was only five years after &quot;Coal Miner&#39;s Daughter.&quot; Not only identical in heartache and rags-to-riches narrative, Patsy and Loretta Lynn were actually sisters at heart. They KNEW each other. And so, well, I&#39;m surprised this biography came off as well as it did.<br/><br/>&quot;Sweet Dreams&quot; would be relatively fine on its own but it suffers in comparison to you-know-what. Shorter in scope, detail and focus, it is the star performances that rise above the conventional material here and earns what respect it gets. Patsy the Star is short-shrifted here, electing to concentrate more on Patsy the Woman and her stormy off-stage love life. Not necessarily a wrong decision, it&#39;s just that the execution lacks that creative spark. Despite the use of Cline&#39;s original soundtrack (superbly lip-synched here by Lange) to a number of her greatest hits (&quot;Crazy,&quot; &quot;Walkin&#39; After Midnight&quot; and the title tune), the movie rests on the fact that you already KNOW Patsy Cline became a BIG, BIG star. It doesn&#39;t capture the magic and electricity of Patsy that made her the star she was. <br/><br/>Jessica Lange is absolutely luminous as Patsy. She does her proud. Neglecting Kline&#39;s entire childhood, the film begins with her in the mid-50s, weighed down by a stalled career and a benign, boring husband. Lange captures the essence and spirit of the feisty, indomitable Cline. Like a restless stallion, she breaks free and shakes up her life, tangling with a reckless, kick-ass cowboy who she hopes will put the twang back in her life. With Charlie Dick (played with macho flair by Ed Harris), Patsy gets much more than she bargained for. With a last name like &quot;Dick,&quot; you know this is going to be a fightin&#39; man with a short-trigger. The virile, blue-eyed Harris is the perfect tough-and-tumble co-star. He&#39;s so damn good when he&#39;s bad, and sexy to boot. He does more than justice to the real Charlie, who had little of Harris&#39; charisma. The two stars show real chemistry here and it ends up being the film&#39;s strongest suit.<br/><br/>In support, Ann Wedgeworth as Patsy&#39;s careworn mom (remember her from &quot;Three&#39;s Company?&quot;) finally drops the tawdry, superficial &quot;Mrs. Robinson&quot; stereotype she&#39;s done way too much of, and offers us a deeply-felt portrayal of a quiet, strongly spiritual down-home woman who stands behind her girl through thick or thin. Basically a stage actress, this is Wedgeworth&#39;s finest film role to date. Meanwhile, John Goodman gives us another broad, healthy dose of comedy relief as Harris&#39; brawling bar buddy, while P.J. Soles offers her cushiony &#39;other slutty girlfriend&#39; routine.<br/><br/>But, alas, &quot;Sweet Dreams&quot; has been done before...and better Potential female country singing star marries lusty, hard-drinking ne&#39;er-do-well. The wife becomes a big success. The dirty dog slides into his lyin&#39;, cheatin&#39; ways. They fight. They make up. And over again. It offers no new or unique approach to the standard female slogan, &quot;Can&#39;t live with him, can&#39;t live without him.&quot;

Read More
Reviewed by coop-16 7

I will say at the onset that I thought Beverly D&quot;Angelo was a slightly better Patsy Cline ..at least, she looked more like Patsy, who was fairly Rubenesque in real life. Still, Jessica Lange captures the sassy, spunky, bawdy spirit of the great Cline. Ed Harris ( always superb) is wonderful, capturing Charlie Dicks tender side, as well as the time when he acted like, like , well, a dick.Anne Wedgeworth, a fine under-used actress was good as Patsy&#39;s mother. In short, one of the few good &quot;Country&quot; movies ever made.

Read More
Read more IMDb reviews