While You Were Sleeping

1995, PG, 103 min. Directed by Jon Turtletaub. Starring Sandra Bullock, Bill Pullman, Peter Gallagher, Peter Boyle, Jack Warden, Glynis Johns, Micole Mercurio.

REVIEWED By Marc Savlov, Fri., April 21, 1995

From the man who brought us the bizarre Disney hit Cool Runnings and -- ouch! -- 3 Ninjas, comes this love story: lite, a frothy bit of fluff that goes down as easily as cotton candy and almost as nutritiously. Perpetually cute Sandra Bullock is Lucy, a lonely Chicago Transit Authority token-taker who pines for the attentions of a handsome, moneyed stranger (Gallagher) who walks through her turnstile “between 8:01 and 8:15” every day. When her fantasy man is knocked unconscious and falls atop the El tracks one day, she comes to his rescue, saving his life and rushing with him to the hospital, where, through a seemingly innocuous mistake, she is mistaken for the man's fiancée by his large, loving family. Alone at Christmas and wowed by all the kind attention she's getting from the man's relatives, she plays along with the ruse, her conscience fighting it out with her natural instinct to tell the truth. Along with the sudden abundance of Christmas cheer that comes her way is Gallagher's brother Jack (Pullman), a blue-collar version of his comatose sibling who eventually falls in love with Lucy and leads her to question her feeling toward his brother. Something tells me that While You Were Sleeping was slated for a Christmas release but for some reason was held back. It's charming, in its own little way, but really, this film has as much substance as a Cirrus cloud, despite fine turns from Boyle as the family patriarch and Warden as Godfather Saul. Bullock, as always, is so goonily charming it's all you can do not to leap up and try to hug her. In essence, While You Were Sleeping is a swell date movie: romantic, sweet without being cloying, and light on its feet. But that's all it is.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Jon Turtletaub Films
The Meg
This giant shark tale simply lacks bite

Marc Savlov, Aug. 10, 2018

More by Marc Savlov
The Twentieth Century
Suitably bonkers Canadian surrealist comedy rewrites history

Nov. 27, 2020

Jiu Jitsu
No jiu jitsu, and not enough Nic Cage in this Predator rip-off

Nov. 20, 2020

KEYWORDS FOR THIS FILM

While You Were Sleeping, Jon Turtletaub, Sandra Bullock, Bill Pullman, Peter Gallagher, Peter Boyle, Jack Warden, Glynis Johns, Micole Mercurio

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle