best films: #44: WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING (1995)

Though Bullock backlash seems to be rampant of late thanks to her seemingly inevitable Oscar win, nothing will stop me from proclaiming my unending sentimental and well-deserving love for her true best film – While You Were Sleeping. Though it was a virtually forgotten romantic comedy from the mid-’90s (other than a pleasing Golden Globe nod for star Sandra Bullock), it features some killer chemistry (something that comes at a premium in romantic comedies of this past decade) between Bullock and Bill Pullman (whatever happened to him?), and it has a slew of supporting turns from some of Hollywood’s finest – namely Peter Boyle as the curmudgeonly (of course!) father Ox, Glynis Johns as the delightful lush grandmother Elsie, and Micole Mercurio (great character actress) as the bubbly mother Midge. And really, what is a romantic comedy if it doesn’t have a parade of fun side characters to play along in the background? Honestly, Bullock has never been more honest and relatable in any other role of her career. And though it seems she’ll be most remembered for The Blind Side and even Speed, it feels like While You Were Sleeping is Bullock in her true comfort zone. Aside from the characters and performances, the script is quite funny, despite what you may preconceive, and this flick has truly endless rewatchability. And here’s something refreshing – the heroine is not a high-powered attorney or an uber-successful journalist (a new mainstay that tends to take away the realism of this genre); she’s a toll booth operator in the Chicago transit system. Who better to root for than the ultimate girl next door?


Stand-Out Performance: Bullock has this one in the bag as the completely likable Lucy Moderatz. But let’s not forget about the Callahan family, with its cavalcade of character actors swilling egg-nog and having a general great time for the duration.
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8 responses to “best films: #44: WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING (1995)”

  1. Simon says :

    I humbly disagree. Anything from the nineties makes my skin crawl, especially this. But I wouldn't have minded one bit if this was Bullock's Oscar, because she is very good in it.

  2. Luke says :

    Oh no! Well, your opinion is duly noted. Like I said, perhaps you can chalk it up to my sentimental tendencies – it helps me to forgive flaws that others may not. 🙂

  3. Kelsy says :

    This may be my all-time favorite movie just from the sheer number of times I've watched. It's like movie comfort food that never gets old. And it's so quotable. Love.And I agree, Sandra Bullock was at her best here.

  4. DEZMOND says :

    I'm not a fan of Bullock, but this is one of her movies I've enjoyed, the plot is just very entertaining and original.

  5. Jose says :

    She's adorable in it.I'll watch it whenever I get pissed at her Oscar win to remember how much I can like her most of the time.You're right about Pullman, after Independence Day and this I truly expected a little more of him.

  6. Castor says :

    For some reason, I forgot that I saw this movie until you reminded me that she worked as a toll booth operator. She could definitely have done more "While you were Sleeping" and less "All about Steve"

  7. Luke says :

    @Kelsy Yes, I'm pretty sure I've probably seen it more than any other movie (except for maybe First Wives Club and I am Sam). 🙂@DEZMOND Thanks for at least conceding its originality… no typical story arcs here!@Jose On Pullman, it is amazing that he had a prominent role in one of the biggest movies of the decade, and the sudden late-in-career fame seemed to go to waste. What happened? Oh yeah… Mr. Wrong. 🙂@Castor I haven't seen All About Steve, but I'll avoid it all costs to keep my love of Sandra intact…

  8. Sara says :

    YES.That's all I can say.

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