Tiffanie DeBartolo's "Dream for an Insomniac" proves to be a snooze that seems more play than movie but would probably be only marginally better on stage than screen. It's an overly talky yet under-characterized romantic comedy of unstinting artificiality and triteness and no style whatsoever.
Ione Skye stars as a San Francisco romantic, an aspiring actress who's looking for love and who's determined not to compromise her dream. (She's so intense about romance and career she can barely sleep.) So when her knight in shining armor (MacKenzie Astin) appears--and the movie switches from black-and-white to color--she's not to be deterred, even though he has a girlfriend and Skye's set to move to L.A. with her pal (Jennifer Aniston), also an aspiring actress, within about 48 hours.
The film's stagy-looking setting is a coffee shop owned by an Italian immigrant (Seymour Cassel), who lives above the store with his son (Michael Landes), who's gay but afraid to come out to his father, and Skye, who is Cassel's niece. Since the place draws few customers--they'd probably only get in the way of the histrionics--it's hard to see why anyone would see any need to replace Skye, once she takes off. In any event, in walks Astin, who's looking for work, and it's love at first sight for Skye.
There's not a whiff of real life or any distinction to "Dream for an Insomniac." It's likely to be no more than a blip on the screen for its appealing actors, who've done fine work before and since this wan effort was finished three years ago.
* MPAA rating: R, for language. Times guidelines: The film has some strong language.
'Dream for an Insomniac'
Ione Skye: Frankie
Jennifer Aniston: Allison
MacKenzie Astin: David Shrader
Michael Landes: Rob
Seymour Cassel: Uncle Leo
An Avalanche release. Writer-director Tiffanie DeBartolo. Executive producers Christopher Lloyd, Rita J. Rokisky, John Hackett. Cinematographer Guillermo Navarro. Editor Tom Fries. Costumes Charles E. Winston. Music John Laraio. Production designer Gary New. Running time: 1 hour, 28 minutes.
* Exclusively at the Mann Westwood, 1050 Gayley Ave., Westwood Village, (310) 248-MANN (No. 005) and the Town Center 4, Bristol at Anton, South Coast Plaza, Costa Mesa, (714) 551-4184 or (714) 777-FILM (No. 086).