Dream With The Fishes

Finn Taylor's first film is a self-consciously quirky comedy-drama about a suicidal voyeur (David Arquette) who is rescued from a failed suicide attempt by a terminally ill hunk (Brad Hunt). The two men soon hit upon a deal: Hunt will make Arquette the beneficiary of his $50,000 life-insurance policy if Arquette will help him live out a dozen or so of his fantasies in the month and a half before he's scheduled to die. Soon, Hunt and Arquette are having the time of their lives, engaging in such tomfoolery as naked bowling, prodigious drug use, and ill-fated criminal endeavors. Then the zany pair travels to Hunt's hometown for several weeks of vaguely homoerotic, life-affirming male bonding. Of course, Arquette regains his will to live, and learns many important lessons about living life to its fullest from his doomed yet spunky companion. An earnest and good-natured throwback to the more arty and experimental American cinema of the late '60s and early '70s, Dream With The Fishes has a sincerity that is undeniably appealing. The quirky-misfits-on-the-road genre is nothing new or revolutionary, but the film possesses a naive charm that is as refreshing as it is rare. While the movie does have the occasional sequence that makes it seem like an overly ambitious student film—including a painful-to-watch scene of the two tripping on LSD, then passing it off on an unsuspecting police officer—ultimately Dream With The Fishes possesses an integrity and conviction that more than compensates for its shortcomings.

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