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?