While You Were Sleeping (1995) / Comedy-Romance
MPAA Rated: PG for some language
Running Time: 103 min.
Cast: Sandra Bullock, Bill Pullman, Peter Gallagher, Jack Warden, Peter Boyle
Director: Jon Turteltaub
Screenplay: Daniel G. Sullivan, Frederic LeBow
Review published January 10, 2001
Director Jon Turteltaub (Phenomenon, Instinct) has had a nice career for himself making sweet-natured films with heart, and While You Were Sleeping is a prime example. Of course, it's hard to go wrong with Sandra Bullock (Demolition Man, Love Potion No. 9) in a romantic comedy, and this marks her first among many such films to come. Like most romantic comedies, it's not hard to figure out what's going to happen, but the joys come in how it gets to its inevitable destination. As such, it's a mostly successful crowd-pleaser that only the crankiest of movie-goers would probably dislike.
Bullock stars as Lucy, a ticket-seller for the Chicago subway system who is working during the holidays, and one of her daily pleasures is selling a ticket to a handsome and rich man, Peter (Gallagher, The Underneath). Her dreams of becoming part of his life become a reality when Lucy sees Peter getting mugged and falling onto the tracks unconscious, whereupon she saves him from certain death by moving him out of harm's way just in the nick of time. Through a misunderstanding at the hospital, Lucy is introduced as the now comatose Peter's fiancée, which causes the family to readily adopt Lucy into part of their group. Lucy doesn't find an easy way to tell them the truth, so she goes along with it, but keeping the secret proves more and more difficult with Peter's recovery and the fact that she is beginning to have feeling's for Peter's brother, Jack (Pullman, Malice).
While You Were Sleeping breezes by with ease, and while it isn't the funniest film you may have seen, it is amiable and sweet enough to watch for a pleasant diversion. Bullock supplies all of the charm and likeability that the role requires, so this is a must watch for her fans. Although Bill Pullman seems an unlikely choice to play as a romantic lead, somehow he manages to fit into the part just fine. Turteltaub's direction is about as good as it can be, given the rather conventional screenplay. Good casting of the supporting roles as well.
While You Were Sleeping is recommended for fans of romantic comedies, and for those seeking mild holiday entertainment during the Winter season.
©2001 Vince Leo