California Dreaming

Watch California Dreaming

"A state somewhere between fantasy and reality."
  • R
  • 1979
  • 1 hr 32 min
  • 5.8  (854)

California Dreaming is a 1979 indie film about a young woman named T.T. (played by Glynnis O'Connor) who is seeking a change of pace in her life. She's a high school student in the small town of Emmett, Nebraska, with dreams of experiencing a more exciting world beyond her quiet Midwestern community. One day, she unexpectedly receives a postcard from her mother, who had abandoned her years prior and is now living in California. The postcard inspires T.T. to run away from home and head to the Golden State to search for her estranged mother and a new life.

T.T. hitchhikes her way to California, encountering a slew of colorful characters, including a hippie named C.C. (Seymour Cassel), a struggling musician, and the eccentric, free-spirited Jan (Dorothy Tristan), who she quickly befriends. Along the way, T.T. is exposed to a variety of new experiences, from smoking pot to attending wild parties, but she also faces more sinister encounters, such as sexual assault.

As T.T. navigates her way through California, she ultimately discovers her mother's whereabouts but is confronted with the harsh reality of her mother's life. She also connects with C.C. romantically and embarks on a complicated relationship with him. Despite the uncertainty and turmoil she encounters, T.T. finds herself drawn to the freedom and excitement of California, in contrast to the mundanity of her prior existence. As the film ends, T.T.'s future remains uncertain as she contemplates what comes next.

California Dreaming was directed by John D. Hancock, known for his work on the heartwarming 1971 drama, Bang the Drum Slowly. The film was written by his wife, Dorothy Tristan, and was largely inspired by her own experiences growing up in Nebraska and moving to California as a young adult. California Dreaming was notable for its use of real-life locations, including the legendary Troubadour nightclub, where T.T. and C.C. have a pivotal conversation.

The film was a product of its time, reflecting the skepticism and disillusionment of the late 1970s. California Dreaming portrayed a world where traditional values and social norms were being upended, the bohemian lifestyle was at its peak, and people were seeking a new way of life. The film was a low-budget production, shot on 16mm film with a cast of largely unknown actors. Nevertheless, it proved to be a critical success and was embraced by audiences, particularly young people eager to explore the freedoms of adulthood.

California Dreaming was praised for its honest portrayal of adolescence and the struggles of growing up. O'Connor's performance as T.T. was particularly lauded for its sincerity and understated approach. Cassel and Tristan were also well-received for their portrayals of C.C. and Jan, respectively. The film's soundtrack featured music from the era, including Fleetwood Mac, Eagles, and The Doobie Brothers, adding to its timelessness.

In conclusion, California Dreaming is a poignant and thought-provoking film about the search for identity and the pursuit of dreams. It captures the essence of the counterculture movement of the late 1970s and the longing for something new and different. The film's strong performances and stark realism make it a worthwhile watch, especially for those interested in exploring the cultural landscape of the time.

California Dreaming is a 1979 comedy with a runtime of 1 hour and 32 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 5.8.

California Dreaming
Where to Watch California Dreaming
California Dreaming is available to watch free on Tubi TV. It's also available to stream, download on demand at Amazon Prime, Apple TV Channels, FuboTV, The Roku Channel and EPIX. Some platforms allow you to rent California Dreaming for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 32 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    5.8  (854)