13 January 2000 | DaCritic-2
Extremely not bad
According to George Carlin, the term "Extremely not bad" should be used more often ... as in, "Gosh, this turnip casserole is extremely not bad."
California Dreaming follows the trials and tribulations of TT (Dennis Christopher) as he arrives in California with some recordings of his recently-deceased brother's jazz music. The idea is to play the music near the ocean, because his brother loved the ocean. While in California, TT stays with an old surfer (Wynn, in probably the best role he's ever had ... should be, though, because he wrote the script), who offers TT a place to live. TT becomes a surfer, woos his landlord's daughter, gropes gratuitously-displayed breasts; so far, it's pretty standard surf-movie fare.
Near the end, though, there was an actual plot twist; the plot had been so thin up until that point that I didn't even notice it coming. I'm not as easily manipulated now as I did when I first saw this movie (when I was about 15), but I was so blindsided by this development that it actually gave the ending a strong emotional impact, for me.
Great cinema, it ain't, but Glynnis O'Connor and Tonya Roberts were both hotties, the surfing scenes are pretty cool, and the acting is convincing, if not outstanding.