Blythe Danner Proves that Rom-Coms Aren't Just for Young Romantics in I'll See You in My Dreams
If you're not among the millions of millennials succumbing to the gravitational pull of seeing Pitch Perfect 2 in the theaters this weekend, then perhaps the grown-up cast and mature plot of I'll See You in My Dreams is more up your alley. The film tells the story of Carol Petersen, played by Blythe Danner, who, after being alone in her later years, decides to try the dating scene again. The septuagenarian soon finds out that dating is still hard after all these years—yes, that part never gets easier!—until she meets retiree Bill (Sam Elliott) who makes her heart go pitter-patter.
We caught up with Danner when she stopped by our InStyle portrait studio at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year, where she told us that she really believes in the movie's philosophy, which is that you can never stop living life to the fullest, even when circumstances change. "I think people like baby boomers, will feel at peace with their situations when they see the film," Danner told us. "I think you have to remember to be open to situations, but also at peace with whatever you’re given, and learn to accept whatever particular situation you're in."
She drew on the experiences of friends who are back in the dating world as a reference for her character. "They meet at bridge or a reunion," she says. "It's common for the age group"—although Danner doesn't fall into that category herself. "My husband Bruce Paltrow was an incredible guy," she said. "He died 13 years ago. He was just a phenomenal producer, writer, director, and he succumbed to oral cancer, so it was very sad to lose him. They say when you’ve had the best, the heck with the rest. That’s sort of how I feel."
Instead of dating, what truly gives her a thrill is seeing someone in her age group get a starring role and an opportunity to speak to the baby boomer generation's concerns. "I feel so fortunate to be able to crawl into other people’s shoes," she added. "I love pretend. The idea that you can keep exploring and keep digging deeper, that’s what’s exciting. I just learned that I want to act until I die—as long as I can walk around."
Watch a trailer for the film below. I'll See You in My Dreams opens in select theaters May 15.