Dream a Little Dream
I liked this one more than I expected. It had some problems, but overall I liked the cast, the acting, and the message.
Chelsea Hobbs and Tamera Mowry-Housely play Claire and Danielle, the Dream Moms. Strangers, they meet through Danielle’s brother’s dance studio. They are both hard-working and devoted to their families. Claire is a divorced mother of two sons and their Dad is not in the picture. She works in the garment district and is hard put to handle her job and raise her two boys on her own. To add to the financial and time pressures, her oldest son, ably played by Glen Gordon, a Hallmark regular, has been accepted into a prestigious prep school, but can’t go unless she comes up with the tuition money or he wins a scholarship. Danielle is married to a successful attorney who is up for partner in his firm. She has a daughter who is a talented ballerina. Her whole life revolves around being a helpmeet to her husband, a support to her daughter, and volunteer work. Both of the women were once Broadway hopefuls, Claire a dancer and Danielle a singer who can also dance. But they both have traded their own dreams in to support their families and their hopes and ambitions.
When the ladies meet at Danielle’s brother RJ’s studio he has the idea of putting them together to enter a nationally televised talent competition for duos only. The prize for the ultimate winner is $100,000. Chelsea is all in because she needs the money, as does RJ in addition to the publicity. Tamera finally agrees in order to support her brother although she really doesn’t need the money.
The time they need to devote to the success of their act causes tensions within their respective families. In Claire’s case, she is forced to accept help from her sweet and handsome neighbor, Sam, played by Matthew James Dowden, who is a peach and a mensch. (she has trust issues, of course, because her husband deserted her). At one point he intervenes when her son Paul gets all pissy with her because she missed his brother’s ball game and is no longer at their beck and call because of rehearsals. After Sam points out a few home truths to her son, he gets on board, which was very satisfying. In Danielle’s case, she is mostly OK until she finds out that her final competition night is the same night OF COURSE as her daughter’s most important dance showcase which will ensure her acceptance into a prestigious ballet school.
Danielle struggles with the decision and keeps putting off telling her family, and, more importantly, Claire. This was the source of quite a bit of frustration on my part because I knew what she should do, no question.
I liked the message this show ultimately sent to parents and their children. Danielle’s epiphany comes during a conversation with her daughter when she realizes the message she is sending to her husband and her daughter by her constant self-sacrifice is not necessarily a healthy one. Even though she has always been loving, supportive, and always present for her daughter and her husband, she has also modeled the idea that being married and being a mother means giving up your own dreams and not having a life of your own.
The actors who played the children of the two women were wonderful. As the two families get to know each other and become friends (which I loved) Claire’s son and Danielle’s daughter have an innocent teenage romance which was sweet, but get in a little bit of mischief and trouble as well. Tamera Mowry-Housely, not surprisingly, was a stand-out as Danielle. Her marriage was healthy and happy, although the husband had a few things to learn for sure. I liked that. It was a wise and not surprising choice to have the successful well-off family be black and the struggling family be white. It was well-paced and kept my interest throughout. Danielle was not one of those neurotic mothers who live life through their children and are overly protective or overly involved in their lives. She was a good mother and counselor but needed to look at things in a new light. That is to the writer’s credit. Hallmark loves crazy mothers. I also liked that when any of the characters pissed me off, they came to their senses in a timely manner. Claire’s learning curve was not as dramatic as Danielle’s, but the scene where she reads an essay that her son wrote about her was touching and gives her the courage to make a brave decision.
The only real problem was the Dream Mom’s act itself. Tamera sang and danced nicely, while Chelsea danced with her and around her. And though she wasn’t bad, she didn’t really bring anything to the table. There really wasn’t any reason for her to even be there. Kind of like Richard Carpenter or the Captain of The Captain and Tennille. Their act and rehearsing for the act are throughout the movie so it’s hard to ignore and is pretty glaring. I will say that the original songs were good and the performances were not an embarrassment which is not always the case with Hallmark. Bless ’em. Despite Matty Finochio playing the part of the host, the actual TV show was pretty feebly done as well.
The movie ends with *spoiler alert* everyone’s dreams coming true, though not in the way you might think. Romance was not the focus in this one, and I like that Hallmark is seeming to get the fact that it does not always have to be the be-all and end-all. That said, Sam and Claire getting together did provide a little romantic satisfaction. Matthew James Dowden and his low-key pursuit of Chelsea was a highlight for me.
5 thoughts on “Dream Moms”
Ha. This one sounds really good!
I love the successful black family twist, too – not enough of those, to me.
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All Black people are rich and successful at Hallmark. It was the juxtaposition with the struggling white family. 😉
I had mixed emotions on this one. It had potential, but the script and directing were just kind of all over the place. I didn’t understand what value Claire brought to the act. And how did JR fit into all this? Danielle was supposed to be doing this to bring attention to his studio, and he never got any air time. He never choreographed anything. And Hallmark’s dystopian view of bosses is really starting to get to me. This boss guy won’t approve Mark to be partner unless he approves of his family life? Why would you invite your boss to see your daughter’s dance recital? And who cares what he thinks if your wife is not there?
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You are so right about Mark’s boss! Didn’t Mark say he said something critical about Danielle not being there? Of all the nerve. I’m glad Mark pushed back on that. I like the little touches of the families having dinner together and the Attraction between the two teens
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Not to mention what boss would even want to go to such a thing. Very odd.