Dream with the Fishes (1997)


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Movie Info

A botched liquor store robbery and attempted mugging results in the teaming of two disparate losers, one who ostensibly wants to die, and the other who is going to die whether he likes it or not. The black comedy begins as stodgy and depressive Terry, unable to get over the seemingly accidental death of his wife, spies on two lovers in a neighboring apartment. Finding the experience untitillating, Terry goes to the liquor store to buy some booze and there runs into Nick, the man he was spying on. Nick was planning to rob the store, but Terry inadvertently stops him, so Nick follows Terry out to mug him instead. But the increasingly drunk Terry doesn't notice and wobbles to a nearby bridge, climbs an abutment and prepares to jump off. With Nick's encouragement, Terry changes his mind and goes to Nick's place where Nick tricks Terry into exchanging his expensive watch for a deadly handful of barbituates. But the downers turn out to be vitamins and while recovering in the hospital, Terry learns that the heroin-addicted Nick will die within a few weeks. The hospital stay has done nothing to stop Terry's yen for suicide. Nick on the other hand, does not want to die until he's done a little more living. Both of them come to realize that each has something to offer the other and this leads to a strange bargain. If Terry will help Nick enact his deepest fantasies, Nick will kill Terry for real. This sets the stage for many twisted misadventures involving a wide variety of fellow misanthropes.


Cathy Moriarty
as Aunt Elise
J.E. Freeman
as Nick's nFather
Peter Gregory
as Pharmacist
George Maguire (II)
as Funeral Director
Kristina Robbins
as Terry's Bowling `Date'
Katherine Copenhaver
as Nick's Bowling `Date'
Gary Brickman
as Drug Dealer
Michael Halton
as Liquor Store Clerk
Mike Por
as Donut Shop Clerk
Chris Pay
as Emergency Room Doctor
Felix Justice
as Nick's Doctor No. 1
James Carraway
as Nick's Doctor No. 2
Michael Vaughn
as Bank Security Guard
Beth Daly
as Librarian
Michael Hsiao
as Restaurant Pianist
Alec Ingalls
as Bartender
Jack A. Roe
as Angry Taxi Passenger
Xris Frank
as Convenience Store Clerk
Capt. Greg Love
as Cop at Funeral/Pharmacy
Officer Ken Cunningham
as Cop at Funeral/Pharmacy
Officer Mike Price
as Cop at Funeral/Pharmacy
Roland Absolo
as Aquarium Security Guard
Sophia Stefanek
as Mary's Daughter
Mark Hager
as Garbage Man
as Nick's Ashes
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Critic Reviews for Dream with the Fishes

All Critics (43) | Top Critics (15)

Despite the emphasis on Oedipal conflict, the film expresses no desire to enter the grownup world; happiness here is associated with eternal adolescence, following the '70s (and now, apparently, '90s) ideal.

Feb 13, 2014 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

A throwback to the independent-minded, anything-goes movies that followed in the wake of Easy Rider in the early 1970s.

Feb 13, 2014 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Clearly, it wishes to be different, but anyone who fondly recalls the buddy films of the '70s will find it to be more of the same.

Feb 13, 2014 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

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.

Feb 13, 2014 | Full Review…
AV Club
Top Critic

As the film progresses, however, it begins to accumulate all sorts of unnecessary characters and subplots that only serve to weigh it down.

Feb 13, 2014 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

A harangue on how ironic it is that men often attack one another verbally and physically as a way to get close.

Feb 13, 2014 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Dream with the Fishes

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