‘Stevie Nicks: In Your Dreams’ – Movie Review
You can give ‘Stevie Nicks: In Your Dreams’ this much: From the start, you know what you’re in for. The documentary opens with almost three minutes of people talking about how much they love the singer and what a genius she is. What else do you need to know?
At this point in Nicks’ career, we should expect a certain amount of veneration from a movie about her. She’s an established artist with nothing to prove, and a film like this is pretty much made for fans who are already 100 percent on board with the singer. Still, she and the filmmakers could have used that security to provide a peek into Nicks’ creative process.
You’ll find no such glimpse in ‘Stevie Nicks: In Your Dreams,’ which gets away with the documentary tag by focusing on the recording of her 2011 album ‘In Your Dreams.’ But the film takes such a surface approach to its subject that you’re left with little more than a series of interconnected vignettes. You’ll come away knowing the details — Nicks reached out to former Eurythmic Dave Stewart to produce the LP, recorded it in her house and hoped to make an old-school album that hangs together as a complete listening experience — but with very little sense of what makes them fit together.
Part of the problem is that, as entertaining as ‘In Your Dreams’ is (especially in the diminished context of Nicks’ later-period output), none of the new songs hold up very well to her best work. That may be an unfair comparison, given how great some of her songs are, but that doesn’t help as you watch the often tedious process of musicians working in the studio — even if the studio is filled with unquestionable talent like the one here.
But the movie’s most fatal flaw is that it simply lacks a compelling narrative, which is doubly damning given that, on several occasions, ‘In Your Dreams’ hints at more interesting threads buried in the canvas. There’s a moment early in the movie where Stewart points out that he felt an affinity with Nicks because they were both members of groups that survived fractured romantic relationships. It’s an interesting parallel that goes nowhere. It all gets to be boring after a while, especially when coupled with the reverential treatment of Nicks the artist. It turns out to be not enough and too much at the same.
Still, ‘In Your Dreams’ will probably click for fans who agree with the movie’s first few minutes. Then again, they may be the only ones who’ll bother with it anyway. If Nicks and Stewart (who gets a co-director credit) tried digging a little deeper, they might have come up with a truly fitting tribute to one of rock’s most enigmatic artists.