While You Were Sleeping (1995) (PG)
There is something of a tradition surrounding "While You Were Sleeping" in my house. It's one of my dad's favorite movies, odd considering that sci-fi movies usually round out his usual picks...but that's beside that point. I've seen "While You Were Sleeping" so many times that I could probably recite it backwards while I am...um...sleeping.
The story surrounds Lucy (the charmingly adorkable Sandra Bullock) who works in Chicago for the transport system. A child raised by a single father who has recently died, Lucy's only consolation is the cat that she owns and the fact that she can always turn down the romantic moves of her landlord's loser son.
One day, everything changes.
While working—on Christmas Day of all days—Lucy's crush comes in and wishes her happy holidays. Peter (Peter Gallagher) has never spoken to Lucy nor her to him, but she just knows that they would be perfect together. So when Peter gets mugged and thrown into the train tracks, Lucy does the only natural thing: jumps onto the tracks to save his life...which she does.
Rushing to the hospital, she is denied access to see him—he is now in a coma—and one of the nurses mistakes something, the first in the longest sense of miscommunications ever: she thinks that Lucy is engaged to Peter.
Now enter the family.
Peter's family rolls in and the masquerade of Lucy being Peter's fiancee is still rearing its ugly and hilarious head. Mom and Pop (Micole Mercurio and Peter Boyle respectively) are the two forces of the family and they are just as odd as the rest of them. Then there's the next-door neighbor and Peter's godfather, Saul (Jack Warden) and finally the grandmother Elsie (Glynis Johns).
The family swoops down and scoops Lucy up in their arms and she is left speechless by their bizarre anecdotes.
But the plots twists some more before its all done. Peter's rugged brother Jack (Bill Pullman) arrives back in town for the holiday and when Lucy sees him it's all like whoa!
And there's the setup, fun isn't it?
What "While You Were Sleeping" manages to do is to not offend anyone involved. Unlike some crasser romantic comedies it doesn't tread on any toes with its characters. The solution leaves no one out in the cold, though it does seem to be unrealistically optimistic about the dichotomy of good and bad characters.
Yet it is funny and Sandra Bullock manages to do the "down on your luck/unsure" character to a tee. It's so funny, so amazing.
There are some minor faults that you can find with the direction; but all-in-all, it's effortlessly entertaining.
Sure, you could pick it apart; but why would you want to do that?
Posted by Micah Jones