Saturday, March 27, 2010


Sweet Dreams - The Story of The Legendary Country Singer Patsy Cline wasn't a very good biopic. When I watch a movie about someone's life, I go into it knowing that events are going to be condensed and that it is being made for entertainment value with accuracy a second thought. However, I do expect the movie to be about the person promised. Sweet Dreams is more of a story about Charlie Dick (Patsy's second husband) than about Patsy herself.

We do get some basic background on Patsy at the first of the movie. Once Charlie Dick (Ed Harris) enters the movie, everything Patsy (Jessica Lange) does for the rest of the movie seems to revolve around him, even down to the last words she speaks in the movie.

Jessica Lange just couldn't make me believe she was Patsy Cline. First, her body type is not correct, she's a little to thin. Second, it appears that Jessica Lange copied her accent from Sissy Spacek in "Coal Miner's Daughter", since I kept thinking I was listening to Loretta Lynn not Patsy Cline. And finally, Jessica Lange lip-sync's her songs.

Ed Harris made a good Charlie Dick, I guess, since I have no preconceived notions of what Charlie Dick would sound or look like. Since the movie makes Charlie Dick out, for the most part, to be a complete cocky asshole, Ed Harris seems to have been cast correctly for the part. I did have a hard time believing that if Patsy was the strong type of woman she always appeared to be that she wouldn't have taken all the physical and emotional abuse that Charlie Dick heaped on her. And according to some of the things I read about Patsy's real life, she usually won any fight with Charlie Dick.

After sitting through what should have been titled "The Charlie Dick Story featuring Patsy Cline", the movie really goes haywire with Patsy's last scene. As her plane is about to crash into a mountain, they show her last words to be yelling "Charlie". This fabrication is an insult to Patsy and to the viewers of this movie.

For a much better portrayal of Patsy Cline, check out Beverly D'Angelo in "Coal Miner's Daughter".


  1. Can see your point about the film being a bit "Charlie-heavy", though I didn't think of it that way when I saw it..."Coal Miner's Daughter" could show the hard times and sad times, & loss, and not be "depressing," whereas "Sweet Dreams" showed the hard times and seemed more harsh, to me, anyway, & hence not as entertaining as the viewer hoped.

    1 question: have you seen Robert Altman's "Nashville" - ?

    Agree with your assessment of D'Angelo's "Patsy" -- she "rocked" that role!

  2. Hi - Thanks for your comment, one of the best I've had since starting this blog (which I neglect too much). I saw Nashville many many years ago and I guess I need to take another look at it. What's your assessment of Nashville?


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