Thursday, December 18, 2014

"While You Were Sleeping" (1995)


I saw this in the theater when I was fifteen, the first movie I'd seen in the theater since I was eight.  It ignited my passion for seeing movies on the big screen, and I've been seeing movies in the theater whenever I can ever since.  Until then, I just didn't realize what the difference would be like.  I thought it would be bigger, but I didn't realize that the combination of a massive picture with darkness and few distractions would create a magical realm, almost a different reality.

But anyway, if you haven't seen this movie, I'll tell you what it's about (some spoilage ahead, but not of how it all turns out).  Lucy (Sandra Bullock) works for Chicago's elevated train system.  Her dad died a year ago, her mom died when she was really little, and she has no siblings.  She lives with her cat in a small apartment.  Her only friends are the person who works in the other half of her fee-collecting booth, her boss, her landlord, and her landlord's son who keeps hitting on her.  She is as lonely as possible.


A handsome guy named Peter (Peter Gallagher) starts going through her ticket booth every morning.  She imagines what it would be like if one day, he said 'hi' to her.  She imagines what it would be like if she said 'hi' back and they fell in love and got married.

Lucy works on Christmas because she has no family to spend Christmas with anyway.  Peter comes through her booth and says "Merry Christmas."  Then he gets mugged, falls on the train tracks, and is rendered unconscious.


Lucy rescues Peter.  She accompanies him to the hospital.  She says, "I was gonna marry him!" out loud.  A nurse hears that, thinks she's serious, and tells everyone Lucy is his fiancee.  His family believes this.  Peter is in a coma and can't straighten things out.  Before Lucy can figure out how to tell them the truth, the family invites her to their Christmas gathering and basically adopts her.  Suddenly she has a family, friends, people who care about her and who she cares about.


And she hasn't even met Jack (Bill Pullman) yet.  Jack, who alone of all the family is skeptical of her being Peter's fiancee.


And I'm totally not telling you any more about this movie because if you haven't seen it yet, what ARE you waiting for?  This is an adorable movie.  I love it.  My mom loves it.  My dad loves it.  YOU might as well love it!

(Also, my article in the last issue of Femnista was all about it.)


I realized a few months ago that of all the movie and book and TV show characters I have ever encountered, I identify with Lucy the most.  If I was in her situation, family-less, basically friend-less, I would behave the way she does.  I'd have a cat, I'd put up a Christmas tree just for me and the cat, I'd obligingly work on Christmas so people with families don't have to, I'd give a Christmas present to my landlord.  I'd even wear my dad's old coat and sweaters just to feel connected to him.


And if I ever met up with a guy like Jack... actually, I did meet up with a guy like Jack.  Solid, grounded, unselfish, kind, gentlemanly, funny, and thoughtful.  I just call him Cowboy instead of Jack.


So anyway, a lot of this movie takes place around Christmas, and I put it on my list of Ten Favorite Christmas Movies, and also my Ten Favorite Romantic Comedies.  In fact, this is probably one of my top twenty favorite movies ever.  Now would be a great time to watch or rewatch this!  I'm just sayin'.


Is this movie family-friendly?  It does have a couple of bad words, a couple instances of God's name taken in vain, a mention of 900 numbers, a short discussion of black underwear, and a misunderstanding where someone thinks Lucy is pregnant and she tells someone she's not because she hasn't had sex.  Only for little kids if they're with an adult who's seen it before who knows what they do and don't deem appropriate.

17 comments:

  1. I'm totally renting this tomorrow. I'm going to my SIL's for the weekend, and this looks like fun. Would two teenage boys find it funny?

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    1. My brother found it funny when he first saw it -- he would've been like 11 or 12 when it came to VHS and we first rented it. My dad finds it hilarious. It's not really mushy, if that helps.

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    2. Oh, they loved it! Or, rather, they loved Joe Jr. I thought it was perfect. :-) Lucy was absolutely wonderful, and Jack was great, too. "I like Mass better in Latin. You don't know what they're saying." I almost fell off the couch a couple times. :-D

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    3. And her face when she's watching them open presents........I felt so utterly happy for her.

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    4. Hurrah! Yes, good old Joe Jr. "Yeah, well, he also thinks he invented aluminum foil. He's delusional."

      This movie is so insanely quotable. "Argentina has good beef. Beef and Nazis." "These mashed potatoes are so creamy." "I'm sick? You're cheating on a vegetable!" "Who made you the pope?" "Do I like Jell-o?" I could go on and on and on :-D But I'll just say -- I'm so glad you've seen it and liked it!

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  2. I love this movie. It's so cute. Lucy is one of the most adorable, sweetest characters ever. Might have to watch this with my girl friend this weekend. And ... maybe my mom. ;)

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    1. Cute, effervescent, and heart-warming. Love it to pieces. Enjoy watching it this weekend!

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  3. A bit late for the party.... but I really enjoyed the review! :) It does look like a fun and sweet storyline. I'll put it on my "to-look-into" list. ;)

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    1. You're not late -- I just posted this 2 days ago. Sometimes I'm 2 weeks behind in my blog-reading. Anyway, 'tis a very sweet, gentle, funny movie.

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  4. Wow, this movie looks absolutely great! I normally don't like movies set in this era (modern-time-movies, that is) but I'd love to watch this one. Great review, Hamlette... and lovely header! :-)

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    1. Next year, this movie will be 20 years old. If it was a car, it would be considered a classic and an antique, then, so it's not exactly completely modern, lol. But it's very sweet, kind of a screwball comedy in many ways -- you could toss Cary Grant, Jimmy Stewart, and Ginger Rogers into the main roles and it would totally work, lol.

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  5. I like this movie -- a nice, classic, Christmas-y rom-com! Great review, Hamlette! :D

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    1. Isn't it delicious? Like a Christmas cookie for the whole world to enjoy. Glad you liked my review :-)

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  6. I adore this movie and Sandra in pretty much anything. This is the movie that I've probably seen the most times. I swa it at the theater with a friend and loved it so much that for the first time I went to the theater BY MYSELF and watched it again :)

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    1. And do you now go to the theater by yourself fairly often? I go to see probably 20 movies a year, and maybe 2 or 3 of those are with someone else.

      Sandra Bullock is one of my favorite actresses, but I've really only seen her in a handful of movies. Any recommendations?

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  7. YES to everything you said. And now I must be off for a rewatch because I haven't seen this in entirely too long. SO good! :D

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    1. I "had" to rewatch it to write about it for my Femnista article, and I was so happy with how much I still love it. I hadn't seen it in probably five years. Much too long!

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Agree or disagree? That is the question...

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