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Ever meet someone with a basket full of real life stories and come away thinking, "Wow! That would make a great movie!"
Writing a screenplay was the first thing that crossed the mind of Melinda Jaffe, wife of producer Stanley Jaffe, after reading I Dreamed Of Africa. The book chronicles the experiences of Italian born KuKi (played by Kim Basinger) and her son Emanuele (Liam Aiken and Garrett Strommen) who leave the comfort of Italy to follow Kuki's new husband Paolo Gallmann (Vincent P0xE9rez) to a life in Africa.
For the restless Paolo, Africa is the fulfillment of his life's dream. For Kuki, it's a chance to discover a world described to her by her well-traveled father, but her visions of the continent are immediately altered when she sees her new home. The primitive shack's tin roof offers excellent star gazing at night, but little protection against the unpredictable weather. With wild animals and poachers on her doorstep, and her son's newfound passion for snakes, Kuki has no lack of challenges. But her hardest struggle is coming to terms with her husband's new hunting buddies and his risk-taking sense of adventure.
To help her psychologically overcome what many will view as a life full of loneliness and grief, Kuki kept a diary, which was eventually published as the book that enthralled Melinda Jaffe. Her husband Stanley (with significant credits like Kramer vs. Kramer) was able to convince Kuki to allow him to put her life to film.
Jaffe hoped the resulting movie would offer a "positive, inspirational and uplifting message" teaching that life "always offers hope." Unfortunately, viewers may find instead a disjointed collection of many tragic stories, with a short unnecessary sex scene between the Gallmans (featuring Basinger's breasts and P0xE9rez's buttocks) attempting to hold the audience's interest.
Meanwhile the many crises Kuki faces include a brutal car crash with bodies strewn on the ground, and images of animals mutilated by poachers who later retaliate and beat Paolo. Especially for young viewers, this basket may be a nightmare much more than a dream.
I Dreamed Of Africa is rated PG-13: for a scene of nudity/sensuality and some violent/traumatic episodes
Cast: Kim Basinger, Vincent Perez, Liam Aiken, Daniel Craig
Studio: (pictures (c)2000 Columbia Pictures)