Sliding Doors (1998) / Comedy-Drama
MPAA Rated: R for some sexuality and language
Running Time: 99 min.
Cast: Gwyneth Paltrow, John Hannah, John Lynch, Jeanne Tripplehorn
Director: Peter Howitt
Screenplay: Peter Howitt
Review published October 14, 1998
Helen gets fired from her job, then catches a train...and misses the train...well, she does both! You see, this film explores how Helen's life would progress if she catches the train and if she just misses it. When she catches the train she meets an oddly humorous and talkative man, then later walks in on her boyfriend fooling around with an old fling of his. She leaves him to live with her best friend where she runs into the man she met on the train and they form a relationship. In her alternate life, she misses the train, gets mugged, comes to her home and her boyfriend manages to cover up the affair, only to slowly have her suspect. The film alternates between both lives.
I'm not sure what the underlying message is, but I recommend the film because it maintains a certain interest level and the acting is quite competent. Helen is a likeable character and it is interesting how one's life can dramatically change by the mere fact of missing a train. Both stories are compelling and complex, and even though you may think the whole film ended up rather pointless, it still is immensely watchable and enjoyable while it lasts. And any current film with no less than three funk jams on the soundtrack, including the opening song, can't be all bad in my book.
©1998 Vince Leo