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4 stars: Sometimes all you need is love

  • Aug 2, 2010

Jon Turteltaub's "While you were sleeping" has all the trappings and familiar ingredients that make up a standard romantic dramedy it has the all too familiar set up. The girl is in love with the person but he does not notice her or she does not make herself know, something happens and she either is thrust into his life or ends up lying to be close to him. In this case, Lucy Moderatz (Sandra Bullock) lies to the object of her affection (Peter Gallagher) family in order to get close to him and be near when he wakes up. You see Lucy saved  Peter Callaghan(the first object of her affection)  after he fell on the tracks and is subsequently knocked into a coma  they take him to the hospital with her in tow and the case of mistaken identity ensues his family thinking he is Peter's fiancée. If you think this sounds conventional and familiar well then you are wrong the only thing conventional about this picture is the set up to this touching and very deep romance story. At the very center of this film  "While you were Sleeping" is the rare romantic dramedy that  takes you by surprises  not by the fact that you can see what's  coming a mile away but by the fact that you did not see it coming makes all the difference.



Jon Turtltaub's "While you Were Sleeping" is a film at first I did not expect to like at all it seemed like nothing more than a standard, run of the mill romantic dramedy that would do  nothing more than just provide the usual story of a lonely love struck girl getting the man of  her dreams. However, after seeing this picture my opinion of this film completely changed I started seeing it for what it is an extremely charming, touching, heartfelt and funny film that is far beyond the standards of Romantic comedy flair. "While you Were Sleeping" is intelligent and daring it is not afraid to show its human side to show how vulnerable its characters as regular people can be. How they easily are hurt, you see in a typical romantic comedy the characters insult each other like there is no tomorrow they hurt one another repeatedly until they finally concludes that this is not how love works in fact it is the exact opposite its called hatred. The characters in this film  do not overtly insult each other  sure there are moments where they tease one another but for the most part they   are  a caring bunch  of people the most caring would have to be 0x Callaghan(Peter Boyle) who is one of the few Callaghan's that embraces Lucy from the get go. Boyle's character is a sweet yet feisty fellow who is not afraid to defend the ones he loves when needed, that is the key to this films excellence that is what makes it so real, so human, so warm and loving it is the vibrant characters. Without theses colorful cast of characters this film would sink into the low standards the sub genre is recognized. "While You were Sleeping" is a film that can not be missed or ignored  it is just too good to be true and to funny and sweet to resist and even though I knew this film was going to have a happy ending, even though I saw where it was headed  I still found myself enjoying and loving every single minute of this beautifully drawn film.




This film is built from familiar ingredients   but  has such charm and such spirit that no matter how much this film comes off as another rom-com dished out. You will love every single frame and every single minute of this film, the only other thing that saves this film is the magnificent performance from the ever-lovely Sandra Bullock. It is her performance that elevates this film that and the skill of director Jon Turteltaub and his team together they create a film that works better than it should and plays out far better than you could ever expect. The filmmakers do what seldom few directors do in theses films they put a human soul into it, they put real emotions and real feelings into this film that not only affects the mood of the movie but also affects the mood of the audience. If the characters are, arguing and fighting all the time than the audience can become agitated by this and turn there backs on the film. That however, is not the case with this film   you feel for the characters you sympathize with the characters you  even grow with them   as they find there sense o belonging in this world , or in the case  of Lucy Moderatz, her sense of belonging. That is what makes a good romantic dramedy and that is why others fail they do not capture the heart and soul the trials ad tribulations that come with the feelings of love. "While you Were Sleeping" hits all the right notes.



I have been a Sandra Bullock fan since I was very young the first film of hers I saw would have to be Miss Congeniality and ever since then I have been a die hard Sandra Bullock fan. I have survived her lows("Premonition", "Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous",  "The Proposal" ," Speed 2:Cruise Control"  and "All about Steve") and I have enjoyed her highs.("The Lake House", "The Blind Side", "The Net", "Miss Congeniality", "A Time to Kill","28 days”, “The Prince of Egypt" and "Crash"). She is both an icon and a beloved figure of cinema. Sandra Bullock is one of the few actresses that have not fall from fame after the 90's like so many others most of whom either work on T.V. now or rarely do films anyone sees but Sandra has always hung in there and come out on top no matter what the obstacles. In "While you Were Sleeping"  Bullock turns in one of her finest performances as a lonely subway ticket seller who loves a man from afar, her performance is no based on her skills as a comedian but it is built on her ability to play off the other actors  she is working with. Bullock works hard in this film to be convincing as both funny and serious and she does it so beautifully. This is the kind of performance that any other actress had taken it I would have to say this film would not have worked as well as it did  this kind of film and this kind of performance  requires and actress that can be both humorous and commanding Bullock is both and then some. The rest of the cast including Bill Pullman, Peter Gallagher, Mike Bacarella, Jason Bernard, Glynis Johns,  Jack Warden and Peter Boyle all turn in fantastic supporting performances in this enchanting tale of mistaken identity and new found love.





I am a sentimental person and this film is the kind of film that I have a soft spot for but even though I may have a soft spot for a film, I can dislike it as much as I like it. That is not how I feel about "While you Were Sleeping" I loved this film I loved every single thing about it;  I loved the warm and charming atmosphere this film  produces, I love the funny witty characters(especially Ox and Lucy.) There are not enough words in the English dictionary that can describe my love for this film and if I tried, I think it would fall flat. So I am just going to say this "While you Were Sleeping" is a can't miss film that is not just a romance but an examination of family and how even though you may not have family you can find one in the oddest of places.

4 stars:

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August 10, 2010
Ah! I love love love this movie! It's an underrated Christmas classic.
August 02, 2010
Hey, Lopez, nice write up. Been like almost 10 years since I saw this last. By the way, you have a typo in your review's title....
August 02, 2010
Thank you. And also thank you for pointing that out I must have missed that last night much appreciated.
August 02, 2010
Been a while since I have seen this, excellent review.
August 02, 2010
Thank you very much.
More While You Were Sleeping reviews
Quick Tip by . May 23, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Through this movie I became a fan of Bill Pullman & Sandra Bullock. Simple storyline and an endearing film. Such an enjoyment to watch it.     
Quick Tip by . August 02, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
A fun, charming, sweet, touching, and heart-warming romantic dramedy that surpasses all expectations with its fun and lively spirit its grounded morals of family and love and even when it is headed towards a happy ending you you are in love with every single minute of this beautiful film.
Quick Tip by . August 03, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Wonderful Bullock popcorn film - stay away if you hate RomComs...
review by . April 24, 2009
This is one of the better movies of its genre. Sandra Bullock plays a likable girl whose main desire in life is to get a stamp in her passport from a foreign country. Having lost both parents, she lives with her cat in a small Chicago apartment with her cat and has to avoid the stereotypical Italian (a la Andrew Dice Clay) super's son's advances.     She works as a token booth clerk and fantasizes about a rich passenger that passes her booth daily. One day he is pushed to the …
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C.R. Lopez ()
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Member Since: Nov 6, 2009
Last Login: Jul 7, 2012 09:53 PM UTC
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While You Were Sleeping
is a 1995 romantic comedy film directed by Jon Turteltaub and written by Daniel G. Sullivan and Frederic Lebow. It stars Sandra Bullock as a Chicago railroad clerk and Bill Pullman as the brother of a man whose life she saves, along with Peter Gallagher as the brother who is saved, and Peter Boyle, Glynis Johns, Micole Mercurio, and Jack Warden as members of the brothers' family.
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