On November 29, 2023

The Movie Diary: Dream a Little Dream



By Dom Cioffi

 I know it’s not the most traditional way to celebrate Thanksgiving, but this year, my family traveled to the beach to commemorate the holiday.

Going to the beach during the off-season can be rewarding. Generally, the crowds are at a minimum, so it’s easy to go out to dinner and shop. And the beach itself tends to be barren, so taking a long walk or run can be meditative. 

Of course, the temperatures this time of year limit your beach adventures. I only saw one kid go into the water the entire time I was there. His family watched in horror as he excitedly ran into the surf, get completely submerged, and then came out screaming like his hair was on fire. He ran to his mother who then immediately wrapped him in a towel. After a few minutes, he was chiding his siblings to do the same, but not one of them would have it. 

We made the decision to go to the beach this Thanksgiving because we have family members who just finished building a tiny home in the area. It had always been their dream, so we made the trek to help them celebrate their new beach getaway. 

We rented a house a few doors down; a convenient location, but questionable accommodations. Over the course of our stay, we discovered that the hot tub was broken, the dryer door was unhinged, the filtration system was old (so the water smelled like eggs), and there was limited glassware and cutlery.

Personally, I don’t mind roughing it when I’m at the beach, but if I’m going to pay top dollar for a rental, I expect it to be functional. 

And this was not.

With everyone in a state of angst, I told my family to focus on the things they were looking forward to doing while vacationing near the ocean: My son was anxious to fish, my wife was looking forward to playing tennis, and I was excited to strum my guitar and run on the beach. 

And that’s just what we did.

Everything was going along fine until a mild tragedy struck. We had just returned from an afternoon lunch in the quaint seaside village nearby when my wife announced that she couldn’t find the car keys. This happens on occasion, so I didn’t worry, but after listening to her bemoan the fact for a good half hour, I launched into detective mode. 

First, I questioned all her recent movements and ticked off possible locations, all of which she claimed to have investigated.

I then dug through her car, through her pocketbook, through her clothing, through the garbage, through the walking path from the car to the house, etc., etc. It got to the point where I was looking in places she’d never even been.

 Some people give up after a certain level of frustration, but not me. I doubled down and started to consider scenarios that may have occurred.

I considered that maybe someone walking found them on the ground. If they were an adult, they would have either clicked the remote, located the car, and stolen it, or (more likely) put them in the car that they belonged to. Neither of those possibilities panned out.

But then I thought, if a kid found them, they wouldn’t think to do that. They would likely bring them home and then the parents would bring them to the most logical place, which was the nearby marina. I went there to check, and while people did occasionally find keys and bring them in, none of them were ours. 

In the end, we never found them and, subsequently, had to drive my brothers-in-law’s dumpy truck home with all our gear exposed to the rain.

When we finally arrived home and unpacked, it occurred to me that I might need a vacation from my vacation.  

In this week’s feature, “Dream Scenario” starring Nicolas Cage, we meet a hapless college professor who would love to take a vacation from his entire life after he begins to appear in strangers’ dreams. Initially, he is an innocent bystander, but later things take a dark turn when his presence begins to cause great angst. 

To say that this film was different would be an understatement, and that’s probably why I enjoyed it. The storyline is brilliantly conceived and a wonderful commentary on our current cancel culture and how it effects society. Add in some great performances (especially Cage), and you’ve got something really interesting to watch. 

Check this one out if you’re in the mood for a dark story with consistent comedic undertones.

An imaginative B+ for “Dream Scenario,” now playing in theaters everywhere.  

Got a question or comment for Dom? You can email him at moviediary@att.net.

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