Psychiatrist Needs a Therapist
Psychiatrist Joanna Shaw (Jolene Blalock) finds herself treating Leslie (Carrie Colak) who is struggling as to whether or not she should leave her husband for her former high school sweetheart. But when Leslie is murdered Joanna gets sucked in to the case especially when she meets and grows close to Clay (Martin Cummins), Leslie's lover. And to make matters worse she hides this from the police when they start investigating, in doing so putting her career, marriage and life in danger.
"I Dream of Murder" has a simple storyline but the basics of it are well worked out as Joanna can empathize with Leslie's feelings for an old high school flame as it is similar to something she once felt and hasn't fully had closure on. It is the basis for making the connections because whilst we have the murder of Leslie we also have Joanna getting close to Leslie's high school flame Clay, a substitute for Joanna's own lost love. And whilst Joanna is married her relationship with husband Harrison is rocky because they barely see each other which give reason for her even contemplating becoming involved with Clay.
The irony of this is that whilst the main storyline to "I Dream of Murder" should be about who killed Leslie, which trust me is so ridiculously obvious that you will laugh, the story ends up about Joanna seeing Clay and keeping it a secret from Detective Thorn. You can guess how this will go because at some point Thorn will discover that Joanna has been seeing Clay and with Clay being a possible suspect in the murder of Leslie Joanna will suddenly feel concerned. In many ways it is predictable but because there is reasoning for many of the things Joanna does, no matter how ridiculous those things are, the basis of "I Dream of Murder" works.
Unfortunately there is that negative side to all this and that is far too many people do some stupid things most notably the fact that Joanna doesn't tell Thorn anything about Clay. You have to laugh because it just doesn't make sense, nor does the way that Clay warms to Joanna within hours of discovering Leslie is dead. But the most stupid thing about "I Dream of Murder" is when it comes to who the murderer is because not only is there no reasoning there is also no real screen time for the murderer.
In many ways it ends up Jolene Blalock as Joanna who makes "I Dream of Murder" work because it almost seems like she is playing the character in an Ashley Judd sort of way. From her look to the way she reacts it is all very similar but it works and you keep watching because of Blalock. It also helps that director Neill Fearnley adopts a similar style to the Ashley Judd thrillers of the previous years, from the colour tones to the pacing giving "I Dream of Murder" a much better look than your normal made for TV thriller.
What this all boils down to is that "I Dream of Murder" is actually a pleasant surprise because whilst it is still only an average TV movie it has the basis for something decent and has a director who delivers a look superior to other TV movies. Unfortunately whilst Jolene Blalock creates an interesting character "I Dream of Murder" is let down by the fact too many people do too many stupid things which wouldn't happen in real life.