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by Garon Cockrell
DVD Review: Dream On
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By Garon Cockrell
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Dec. 19, 2013 12:01 a.m.

Dream On is a somewhat strange film about two teenagers who meet at a campground in 1987 and make a promise regarding their futures. It was written and directed by Lloyd Eyre-Morgan, based on his own play of the same name.
When the film opens, Denise (Janet Bamford) and her teenage son Paul (Bradley Cross) have arrived at a sad-looking campground by the sea. I love any film that opens with the words ďBloody hell fire,Ē as this one does. That is Deniseís reaction to the place, and she then adds that the place looks nothing like the brochure her mother had sent them.
Paul soon meets George (Joe Gosling) who has been coming to this campground with his father since he was four years old. However, this time his father hasnít quite bothered to show up, and George is on his own. Paul tells him that his mom ďis into all this self-help and crystal healing stuffĒ since his dad walked out. George gives him one of his purloined comic books, and a little later Paul reads it, upsetting his mother, who says, ďYou can poke me with a stick when the foodís ready if you donít want to open your gob and talk to me.Ē Paul then does poke her with a stick, further upsetting his mother.
Paul comes across as overly awkward, due in large part to his voice. Though he is supposed to be sixteen, he looks older, but acts younger. Heís a nervous chap who is intimated by his mother. His nervousness is a bit over-the-top at times. Like, he admits at one point that his mother dressed him.
A father and daughter run the campground, and the father, Norman (Matthew Seber), takes a shine to Denise, while the daughter, Angharad (Emily Spowage), flirts with George.
The film has an odd feel to it, like part dark comedy, part sweet coming-of-age story, part family drama. Thereís a kind of sweet montage of Paul and George hanging out together. And in one shot, Angharad is off to the side, but trying to be the center of attention. Itís brief, but funny. She then spies on George. When George doesnít respond favorably to her none-too-subtle flirting, she lashes out: ďYou must be gay. Like Iím irresistible
Sheís not irresistible, but he is gay. And when he and Paul spend the night together, looking up at the stars, they make a promise to each other. They will work to save money and then meet again in one year to follow Georgeís dream of moving to Australia and opening a bar. Sure, itís not the grandest of dreams, but itís one that seems feasible.
The film then jumps to the following year, as Paul makes his way back to the campground. The second half of the film is a lot more serious in tone. One thing I love is that the characters have changed a bit, particularly Angharad. She has grown up a bit, and is much more likeable. And though the film is really about Paul and George, I am glad she is allowed her moments. There is a brief scene in the later part of the film where her father hugs her, and itís a truly sweet moment.
Yes, the film does suffer from a bit of cheesy, melodramatic dialogue. But itís generally enjoyable. And toward the end thereís a great surprising bit with a female bartender and a girl named Trish.
Special Features
The DVD includes one deleted scene Ė an early scene at the campground, where Norman invites Denise and Paul to go for a walk. There is also some footage shot during a performance of the original play, when the boys first kiss, and then when Paulís mom catches them in bed. The DVD also includes the filmís trailer.
Dream On was released on DVD on November 12, 2013 through TLA Releasing.

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