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  • "Just a Dream" is a slow moving, soft spoken sentimental tale from Showtime about one boy's special summer and the lessons he learns. The obvious scripting, theatrical flavor, and Pollyanna attitude of the flick is easily overlooked in view of its higher purpose as it spins its wistful story delivering positive messages about life. Good old fashioned back-to-basics family entertainment which should be about PG rated. (B-)
  • TheGeneral5079 July 2005
    young boy finds himself struggling with his youthful innocence and the sins of adulthood. His father, (Robbie Benson), and his mother, (Ally Sheedy) have a relationship that is falling apart. Benson is the town doctor and apparently he has a few activities on the side that take him away from his family. In search of a father figure the young boy befriends an African American man who has a crush on Marilyn Monroe and a Native American bartender who offers up a bit of wise advice and hope every now and then. Both men teach the boy about life and the struggles of right and wrong. Another influence in the boy's life is a strong woman (Amy Madigan) who owns the bar that the boy works for. Surrounded by the arms of these unlikely friends the boy grows into a wise and happy soul. The writing is well done and most of the characters rich with meaning.

    The best part of this film has to do with the fantasy as it revolves around Marilyn Monroe. The dreams of the characters seem somehow distant and unobtainable, just like those in reality, but when some dreams finally come true the scenes are absolutely touching. This film is a true sleeper, lost somehow in the shuffle but well worth its weight in gold. The story is inspirational in a softly portrayed way showing us that sometimes life is more than just another dream.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    ****Spoilers Ahead**** I watched Just a Dream last night and it was so sweet. It starts out in Dayton Nevada in 1960 where 12 year old Henry Sturbuck has his first summer job at a saloon. He's very shy, innocent, and naive because of his strict upbringing. His dad (a doctor)and Mom (a housewife) are both really strict and in fact his mom is so prudent that she won't even let Henry go to movies. When Henry starts working at the bar however, everything changes. He meets lots of people of different races and befriends them, giving them hope and inspiration to realize their own dreams can happen even if they feel opressed. He also learns much from them, including ways of life, cuss words, and sticking up for yourself. In particular he befriends JM, the Marylin-Monroe-obsessed-mechanic and only black man in the town who takes Henry to his first drive in movie and even teaches him how to drive. One day Henry learns that Marylin Monroe and Clark Gable will be in town shooting a movie called the Misfits (where his Dad will be the set doctor). But through his attempts to arrange a meeting between Marylin and JM, tragic consequences occur. This will defintiley be a summer Henry nor anybody else will ever forget. It was a really good movie and all the actors did a great job, especially Jeremy Sumpter who played the boy Henry, he stole every scene he was in. He's a wonderful actor and not to mention a little cutie! The man who played JM was also a really good actor. It's funny at some parts (Henry calling JM 'Old Yeller' in charades, talking about going to see Pillow Talk, and just the way he looks at everything etc) and sad at others.... ***spoiler ahead*** like when he rushes to get his father in hopes that he can help his friend that has just been shot in the saloon but finds out that his seemingly religious Dad has really been gone not tending to patients but cheating on his wife, the irony of everything is painful. I really recommend this movie, it is very sweet and there are great performances. 8/10
  • This made for television film is the directorial debut of actor Danny Glover.

    Henry Sturbuck (Jeremy Sumpter) is a 12 year old in a small Nevada town in 1960. In the opening scene we see that their car is being towed by a local mechanic JM Hoagland (Carl Lumbly.) Few words are exchanged between between his father who is the local doctor and JM who is black. In fact JM hardly opens his mouth in this early minutes.

    Dr Sturbuck arranged a summer job for Henry in the local bar to broaden his horizons and get to know a little about the world. He becomes friends with JM, Cecil, the local Indian bartender and Cindy, the tough bar owner.

    It seems Henry has had a strict upbringing such as never been to see a movie which his father wants to rectify. We get the feeling that his parent's marriage has become distant as his father spends a lot of time away from home being on call at the hospital.

    Henry becomes friends with JM who almost acts like a father figure to him. Henry hangs around his garage, go to the movies, he even teaches him to drive. JM idolises Marilyn Monroe and lo and behold, one day a film crew arrives for the filming of The Misfits which stars Clark Gable and Marilyn Monroe.

    That summer Henry learns lesson about his life as he works in the bar, spends time with JM and hangs around the film set where his father gets a job as the on set doctor.

    This is a slight film but charming, somehow a little predictable as well. You can sense the racial tension between some of the locals and the black and native American characters in the early 1960s.

    However the film is more about growing up and having dreams noting that these dreams are somehow always unobtainable. The catalyst is that CJ adores Marilyn but when she comes to town he knows that it is no use wanting to meet her, she would want nothing do with him.

    The film is narrated by Ed Harris who is the elder Henry. It is nice but really light on plot.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    "Just a Dream" was an okay movie. Mainly got it because of Sumpter, but cool to see Ally Sheedy("WarGames") and Robby Benson("Beauty and the Beast") in it. The movie was good in the end, I thought maybe JM and the mom were going to get together in the end. It was nice that JM got to meet Marilyn Monroe, so he kind of got his wish, and it sucked the Indian guy got killed, I thought it wasn't really needed in the film, but hey I didn't write it, I guess they wanted more drama in the story, but they got it when the Indian guy just got killed and then Henry saw his dad and the waitress together as went to get help. Man, I would be shocked. Wish they had that in "Local Boys"- in which the suicidal guy should have jumped, that would have made Sumpter's character in that movie more screwed up. But over all, "Just a Dream" was a worthy effort, and you saw the rating I gave this movie! I can't wait for Sumpter's next movie, "Cyber Seduction: His Secret Life"!