Film Review – Wishing For A Dream (2016)

You’re lucky to land a life-changing role in the film industry, but what’s life like for a struggling actress in Los Angeles, California? Wishing For a Dream takes a crack at the hardships of an actress just trying to make it to the top. In a way, the film is indeed glamorous with its take on the filming world, but let’s be honest with this one…

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Sarah Malakul Lane as Mika, here depending on drugs to cure her mindless anxieties

Mika (Sarah Malakul Lane) is an aspiring actress who, at the beginning, is dropped by her agent and is left searching for her next move. Her boyfriend Louis (Jared Cohn) is just a rookie filmmaker trying to strike a deal for his latest script. It seems like the perfect duo, but they are not perfect characters. The first half the film follows most of Mika’s daily life; exercising for that perfect physique, scavenging for auditions, and hanging out with her sloppy friend Lily (Nicole Alexandra Shipley). Mika begins to suffer from insomnia with all the stress of agents and script lines. We often see her pop ecstasy and drink with Lily to escape for a bit, and it begins to be annoying after a while.

The second half of the film shares the screen more with her boyfriend Louis. He’s networking with so many producers, trying to find the grounds to make his next film. His character clashes with Mika a lot, but in the end it seems that he has some redeeming qualities. Lane’s performance alongside is a bit dry at times and having Cohn’s semi quirk seems to rub us the right way.

The issues with the film are much too big to ignore. There seems to be no real conflict or plot to it. I was hoping for a game changer here, but to my surprise, a no-show. The story shows no real concern and lacks a lot of attention to that department. Sadly, the great potential does not shine through. Mika and Louis seem to be doing the same things everyday. Fight, audition, make phone calls, take drugs. Wishing For a Dream doesn’t have that spark and the only change in tempo comes with the ending.

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Director Jared Cohn as Louis (left)

It’s a shame as I love the idea for this film, and it would have been a great indie take on the trials and tribulations of the film industry. It has wonderful, simple cinematography and yet the overall execution didn’t need to be over the top. They took the right route with their steady visuals and appealing LA colors but there is not much to applaud in the end.

Wishing For a Dream is headed for my list of films whose trailers were better than the actual thing… It seems Cohn did not dream hard enough for this one!

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