review for Dream for an Insomniac on AllMovie

Dream for an Insomniac (1996)
by Andrea LeVasseur review

For those who genuinely like the sitcom Friends, Dream for an Insomniac will score big points as a successful romantic comedy. Sultry Frankie (Ione Skye) and suave David (Mackenzie Astin) are attractive leads who engage in a courtship that consists of dropping the biggest names in literature to each other. The flat, stagy coffee shop setting is very much like the set of the aforementioned sitcom, and not very much like the downtown San Francisco locale it pretends to be. This play-like environment is well suited to the talky script, which is filled with enough witty banter to fuel the romance. Even Jennifer Aniston herself appears in the role of the best friend, adding some much-needed personality to the movie. However, many viewers may find the verbose dialogue too painful to endure, and at times it seems like the script is just a series of literary quotes strung together. With little opportunity to derive meaning from any of these references, the characters appear to be nothing but namedroppers. The stylistic choice to switch from black-and-white to color when the romantic leads meet each other is also severely heavy-handed, as is the generic Frank Sinatra-inspired decor of the coffee shop. Still a pleasant enough distraction, Dream for an Insomniac remains a charming romance that delivers a familiar style of sentimental coupling.