Written & directed by Lije Sarki, “Sweet Dreams” is a sports comedy-drama about a recovering addict coaching a team of misfits to win a softball tournament. Johnny Knoxville plays Morris, a director known for his work on music videos. During his mandatory stay at a rehab center, he is forced to cooperate with his housemates to earn his sobriety and win a softball tournament prize. Besides Knoxville, the cast includes Mohammed Amer (Mo), Gata (Dave), Bobby Lee, Jay Mohr, Brian Van Holt, Theo Von, and Erik Anthony Gonzalez in the central roles. 

Spoilers ahead.

Sweet Dreams (2024) Plot Summary & Movie Synopsis:

What is ‘Sweet Dreams’ about?

“Sweet Dreams” is about a recovering addict who is put into a sober living home to get his life back on track. During his stay, he needs to coach his housemates to win a softball tournament for a greater purpose. While trying to make peace with this new normal, he tries to mend the broken pieces of his relationship with his young daughter. Along the way, he learns to be mature about his relationship with alcohol. 

What happens in ‘Sweet Dreams’?

“Sweet Dreams” begins with Morris (Johnny Knoxville) waking up on a park bench with a bleeding face. He had too many drinks the night before, which led to his poor state. His mother finds him in the park and drops him at a sober living home called Sweet Dreams. Morris isn’t happy about this transition and considers himself better than his housemates. After all, he has a family, a daughter, and a promising career in music video direction. So, he thinks he shouldn’t be with them. The homeowner, Pete (Mohammed Amer), still invites him with open arms. 

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In this home, Morris has to share a room with Garvey (Theo Von). Besides Garvey, his housemates are Cruise (Bobby Lee), Jake (Gata), Frank (Jay Mohr), Dip (Jonnie Park), Stew (Adam Faison), Cedric (Shakewell), and Diego (Erik Anthony Gonzalez). Morris has to accept the house rules, which include doing his own chores and making his own meals. Besides, he must attend five AA or NA meetings a week with a person who has been sober & clean for over a month. Unlike other care homes, Pete doesn’t want his guests to relapse to keep earning from them. Instead, he truly hopes them to recover. 

How does Morris cope with being in a sober living home?

Morris finds it hard to stay in the sober living home. Pete takes away his phone, which frustrates him even more. In the evening, he joins other housemates for a softball game and sees them play terribly. Unlike them, he knows how to play the game fairly well. Later, during a group meeting, he opens up about his struggles with alcoholism. The night before he came there, he attended a work event and got into a fight with a colleague’s husband. Besides, he left his young daughter home alone for hours, thinking he would return home by the time she woke up. Although he regrets his choices, he doesn’t want to end up like his housemates. 

Morris thinks the only things others can look forward to are these meetings. Hearing that, Frank recalls how he also used to be successful before alcohol snatched his life. He wants Morris to get over himself and learn humility. Later, in his room, Morris gets in a fight with his roommate over a trivial matter and pees on his pillow. Pete realizes that Morris’ erratic behavior stems from his egotism. Morris believes that he has a career waiting for him outside. But his recent bar fight made him lose that career. So, Pete tries to discipline him, respect his housemates, see what they have to offer, and learn to be a better person. 

Why does Pete want to enter the softball tournament?

Sweet Dreams (2024) Movie Review
A still from “Sweet Dreams” (2024).

After Pete’s warning, Morris makes efforts to improve his relationship with his housemates. Soon after, they learn about an amateur softball tournament that can earn them $80,000. Pete is reluctant at first but then decides to take part as a team. Meanwhile, Morris apologizes to Garvey for his mistake. To make up for it, Garvey proposes Morris to be their team coach. Morris agrees. They name their team Sweet Creams. On the day of their first match, their opponent team, Busby’s, had one less player than required. So, the Sweet Creams team won by forfeit. 

Still, the Sweet Creams decide to play against the Busby’s and fail miserably. Later on, the housemates realize the reason Pete signed up for the game: he is having a hard time finding his ailing father’s medical treatment. It gives the housemates a bigger purpose to improve their skills to win the tournament. During their next meeting, everyone opens up about their fears and insecurities. Cruise gets emotional remembering how many years he has been inside the care home. On the other hand, Morris fears his ex-wife would not let him see his daughter. He thanks his housemates for their emotional support. 

Sweet Dreams (2024) Movie Ending Explained:

The night before his team’s second match, Garvey bails on them. The Sweet Creams struggle to score against their opponent team and lose the game. Morris joins Jake for a surfing trip on a beach and has a heart-to-heart chat with his friend, Kat (Kate Upton). Later, he sees a burnt-out restaurant that was the result of an accident. He recalls he is the one who caused it. Soon after, he receives an offer to direct a music video for D Squiz (Anderson . Paak) because his director bailed last minute. Before, Morris would have accepted this offer right away. But he takes a moment to think about it, knowing its impact on the team’s game. 

Does the Sweet Creams team win the softball tournament?

For their team’s next match, Jake invites Kat and her friends to help them win. Together, they win this game and have two more games on the way. While they win their next match, Dip abruptly leaves home because of his relapse. Morris decides to make amends to the restaurant owner that he wronged. So, he meets the owner, shares the truth, and decides to pay the price. Turns out, the owner is also a recovering addict. So, he decides not to press charges against Morris. Eventually, on the day of their last match, Morris chooses the game over the video shoot. He sees his daughter show up in the audience. It boosts his morale and gives him more confidence. Everyone supports each other and helps others be the best versions of themselves. So, the Sweet Creams team won the softball tournament.

Sweet Dreams (2024) Movie Review: 

“Sweet Dreams” is another example of a well-intentioned film that doesn’t live up to its premise. It tells the story of recovering alcoholics and addicts trying to improve their lives and head on a better path. So, it’s a story that we all can empathize with. However, the film’s shoddy direction ruins any sort of potential in the script.  Essentially,”‘Sweet Dreams” is a sports drama that revolves around team-building, sobriety, and self-improvement. The dialogue deals heavily with flawed people trying to make amends for their imperfect past. At times, their stories are devastating. But their heartfelt confessions are spread so unevenly without a strong emotional connection between the scenes, making it hard to see them grow as a family.

The direction doesn’t develop enough of their mutual emotional bond to make us buy into their team beyond surface-level solidarity. Although the cast has enough talented actors, they are not used to their complete potential. So, despite Johnny Knoxville’s conscious effort for a stirring performance, the half-baked script fails the film to reach its true potential. 

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Sweet Dreams (2024) Movie Trailer:

Sweet Dreams (2024) Movie Links: IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes
The Cast of Sweet Dreams (2024) Movie: Johnny Knoxville, Mohammed Amer, Gata, Bobby Lee, Jay Mohr, Brian Van Holt, Theo Von, Erik Anthony Gonzalez, Kate Upton, Adam Faison, Jonnie Park, Triston Thompson, Sara Tepper, Chelcie Lynn, Jamie Ohlsen, Anderson Paak
Sweet Dreams (2024) Movie Genre:
Comedy/Drama | Runtime: 1 hr. 39 min

 

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