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.