I’ll See You In My Dreams


Carol, played by Blythe Danner, is a widow in her retirement years who has avoided the dating scene ever since the death of her husband 20 years ago.  She leads a comfortable yet predictable life on her own. Upon discovering a rat in her house, she is introduced to Lloyd, the new pool guy making his rounds.  Lloyd confirms the rat is no longer in the house, and a friendship develops between them.  Lloyd helps Carol rediscover her passion for performing music through karaoke. Her friends then convince her to attend a senior citizens’ speed dating event held at their retirement community.  After a frustrating experience, Carol crosses paths with Bill, played by Sam Elliott, for a second time, and he asks for her phone number.  Things between Carol and Bill heat up quickly as she finds herself in uncharted territory.

50 Dates at 50 Take:

I really like this movie.  It has quality acting and a good storyline.  There are not a lot of movies out there on seniors and dating, and this one does a great job of capturing what dating is like in the 50 Dater age group, especially when it comes to dealing with the death of friends and loved ones. It further reminds us that if we put ourselves out there, we’ll develop new friendships and find romance, even in our golden years.  When one pursues their passion, opportunities open up. In Carol’s case, it is singing.  This movie also addresses not worrying about what other people think of us.  While there is obvious tension between Lloyd and Carol, they have the closest thing to a friendship that a man and a woman can have.

Why You Need to Watch it:

Guys, Bill conducts himself with a confidence that is very attractive.  He does things the old-fashioned way by making a phone call to ask Carol out.  If you want to make a good impression, you need to ask a woman out vocally.  Because this is a movie, things have to move fast.  As a result, Bill does come on way too strong.  In real life, he could not get away with many of the things he does, especially on a first or second date.

Spoiler Alert – Reading past here will give parts of the movie away.  Watch the movie first.

Here are the major mistakes Bill made:

  • Surprising a woman with the first date location.
  • Taking a woman out on a private boat for the first date.
  • Having an all-day first date. First dates should be meetups for coffee or drinks that last no more than 60 to 90 minutes.
  • Pulling the passionate goodnight kiss move on the first date. Slow it down, Bill…
  • Asking a woman out again immediately at the end of the first date. This removes the romance and anticipation and comes off as trying to lock the woman down. It may initially appear attractive and confident but actually demonstrates a level of insecurity.
  • Leaving too many messages on the woman’s phone. Leaving two or more messages in a row demonstrates neediness and insecurity.
  • Gifting flowers on the second date. Really?  What happened to candy?  This is a token Nice Guy move that will not work in your favor.  In real life, it comes off as attempted quid pro quo.
  • Going back to the boat on the second date. This works in Hollywood, but not in real life.  Initial dates need to be fun activity dates.  Bill is telegraphing that boat dates will be the weekly norm.
  • Bringing up death and exes in conversation. Date conversation needs to be kept positive and fun.  You can talk exes in a limited way a few more dates in.
  • Talking marriage after the end of the second date. In real life, Bill would have been doomed. This is a serious subject and has no business being brought up this early, period.  It pushes Carol away, as it will with any woman 99.9% of the time.
  • Asking a woman out again right at the end of the second date.
  • Talking about spending all his retirement on a boat. He’s trying to communicate that he does not care what others think about him, but it also demonstrates financial irresponsibility.
  • Failing to manscape. I respect Sam Elliott. He’s a great actor from an era when lots of hair was fashionable.  (Just look at some photos of Woodstock.)  Sam is a very attractive man, and he can get away with just about anything because of his status.  That said, his chest hair in the bedroom scene is in need of some significant manscaping. The Yeti look might work for his generation, but us Boomers and Gen Xers have to keep our body hair properly managed.

Gals, by putting herself out there, Carol creates her own luck. Bill is a very confident man, and he makes for a great romance story character.  However, in real life, any man that invites you to an all-day date on his private boat out at sea does not have dinner and discussion on his mind.  Additionally, if a man admits to taking his retirement savings and blowing them all on a boat, it’s not a good sign for his management of money going down the road.  There is nothing wrong with living it up, but it’s all about balance and living within your means.  Maybe Bill knows what’s going to happen, and he makes his decisions due to that.

Paul Nelson

Year Released: 2015

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