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While You Were Sleeping (DVD) Review
One of the surprise films of 1995, While You Were Sleeping is one of the top romantic comedies of the decade. Sandra Bullock experiences her breakout role as the loveable lead character, and Bill Pullman makes a name for himself a year before the release of Independence Day (where he performed masterfully as the president). Overall, While You Were Sleeping is a classic feel-good love story with enough comedy and laughs to avoid earning the designation of a soppy chick flick.
Sandra Bullock plays the role of Lucy Eleanor Moderatz, a Chicago subway ticket-taker who whittles away the hours of her life trapped inside a ticket booth along the tracks. Each day, Peter Callaghan (Peter Gallagher) passes by in his daily commute to work. Lucy has managed to develop a crush on the man (whose name she doesn't even know), fantasizing about their life together, but she never says a word about it. When Christmas Eve arrives, she witnesses a gang of thugs beat up Peter and leave him on the tracks. Risking her own life, Lucy saves Peter from an oncoming train and summons medical help.
While in the hospital, she tells the nurse she's the man's fiancée, and when Peter's family shows up at the hospital, the nurse relays the same information to them. Shocked that Peter had a fiancée they knew nothing about, they nonetheless take Lucy under their wing. Afraid to reveal the truth, Lucy goes along with the lie while Peter remains in a coma. When Peter wakes up, he doesn't remember Lucy, and she continues the lie - telling him he suffers from amnesia. Meanwhile, Peter's brother Jack (Bill Pullman) comes to know Lucy intimately. He has his suspicions about her, but becomes attracted to her himself. When the truth comes out, Lucy will have to answer for her actions.
In While You Were Sleeping, a bona fide star is born in actress Sandra Bullock. Although her performance in Love Potion No. 9 is just as brilliant, the film itself didn't enjoy the commercial success necessary to propel her stardom. In While You Were Sleeping, Bullock gets the recognition she deserves. Her sweet, shy demeanor, coupled with a talent for slapstick comedy, makes her character quite relatable and easy to like. Bullock has a great feel for delivering her lines, and it's obvious in this picture.
With a classic 'character trapped in a lie' plotline, While You Were Sleeping relies upon the onscreen relationship between actress Sandra Bullock and actor Bill Pullman. The two pull it off well, and the audience takes an instant liking to all the characters involved. In the end, the viewer has to root for the two to get together, and when an audience becomes emotionally involved in the outcome of a film, then you've got a definite hit on your hands. While You Were Sleeping is one of those movies, and that's why it earns its designation as a must-see film.
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