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Overall Rating
3.26

Awesome: 16.67%
Worth A Look: 26.19%
Average30.95%
Pretty Bad: 19.05%
Total Crap: 7.14%

2 reviews, 30 user ratings


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While You Were Sleeping
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by Charles Tatum

"Wake me when Peter Gallagher's eyebrows twitch"
3 stars

It's ironic that a romantic comedy about a woman in love with a man in a coma only comes to life after the guy wakes up.

Lucy (Sandra Bullock) is a lonely clerk for the Chicago Transit Authority. She pines after handsome Peter (Peter Gallagher), a train passenger she's never spoken with. Peter almost gets hit by a train after falling on the tracks, Lucy saves him, and follows him to the hospital. After Lucy professes her unrequited love, a nurse overhears her and assumes she is his fiancee. Peter's large family also believes the mistake, and Lucy follows along so as not to shock the weak heart of Peter's grandmother Elsie (the always wonderful Glynis Johns).

Lucy is accepted by Peter's parents (Micole Mercurio, and Peter Boyle- field testing his Frank character from "Everybody Loves Raymond"), little sister Mary (a barely noticeable Monica Keena), family friend Sol (Jack Warden), and overly skeptical brother Jack (Bill Pullman). Lucy joins the family for Christmas, lucking her way through her pretend relationship with Peter. She soon finds herself drawn to Jack; Sol and Lucy's boss Jerry (the underrated Jason Bernard) know the truth, and then one day Peter wakes up...and that's when the complications and laughs increase.

"While You Were Sleeping" drove me crazy, and not in a good way. Bullock is good, but she was a more effective ugly duckling in the otherwise laughless "Love Potion #9." She crinkles her nose and squints her eyes more than a Meg Ryan caught in headlights, but she's still good. Bill Pullman is so laid back as Jack, he elicits a yawn every time he appears onscreen. Ally Walkier isn't brought out until near the end as Peter's real girlfriend, and she's funny. Likewise with Gallagher. When Peter wakes up, he begins reevaluating his life with Lucy, a woman he's never met, and his self-observations are great.

Not funny is the hour or so of running time the viewer must suffer through waiting for Peter to wake up. The film is so bland! There is no edge, no screwball comedy, just Bullock crinkling and squinting, while Pullman squints and crinkles right back. They slip and fall in the snow while the non-stop Randy Edelman crappy jank musical score constantly reminds us how quirky and funny someone out there thought this was. There is a subplot about the family thinking Lucy is pregnant, but that is dropped faster than you can sneeze. Landlord's son Joe Jr.'s (Michael Rispoli) pursuit of Lucy is so badly written it had to have been lifted from an episode of ABC's old TGIF lineup. Even after Peter wakes, things are funnier, but not at their funniest. Lucky he did wake, or this would have been a one-star rating.

Sure, the title begs to be mocked, but this film did seal Bullock's megastar status, opening the door to such work as "Speed 2: Cruise Control" and "Premonition"...okay, now I'm just angry with this film.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=699&reviewer=325
originally posted: 08/19/08 05:17:21
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User Comments

5/23/13 Jamie loved it, loved the cast, warm, funny, sweet..great! 5 stars
12/07/11 Jeff Wilder Predictable and contrived as hell. Likability and heart save it. 3 stars
10/01/08 Shaun Wallner Great Movie!! 5 stars
8/19/08 Jack Sommersby Well-acted but it's so predictable without so much as a smidgen of flair. 2 stars
1/28/08 Pamela White romantic sweet , learn to pick carefully 5 stars
3/11/07 Roy F. Moore These hard-hearted cynics dissing this film should be ashamed of themselves. Great flick! 5 stars
9/29/05 Phil M. Aficionado Worth a look for Sandra; otherwise, well, pretty goofy and utterly predictable 4 stars
4/26/04 Janis Loved this movie 5 stars
12/28/03 Chris I loved this movie. Unrealstic but who cares. I had a million laughs. Terrfic. 5 stars
7/07/03 Kelli sweet, but unrealistic 4 stars
2/05/03 natasha_theobald sweet chemistry between Pullman and Bullock, great family stuff 4 stars
10/12/02 Nicole As far as romantic comedies go, this one is kind of "eh" 3 stars
8/05/02 KMG WHO MAKES THIS SHIT? 1 stars
2/09/02 Ashley Corpening Interesting only as early Sandra Bullock, before utterly convinced her shit dont stink. 3 stars
11/12/01 Gracy Lionheart One of the better Bullock movies. I actually didn't feel like I had wasted my money. 4 stars
8/17/01 hilary worth a look 4 stars
6/23/01 Justin Cheung Fun movie, heart warming to say the least =) 5 stars
6/15/01 Law Firm of Dewey, Cheatam & Howe I dislike movies where the entire plot is based on a stupid misunderstanding 3 stars
5/01/01 R.W. Welch Nothing special but has a certain dopey charm to it. 4 stars
3/23/01 Melissa Cute Feel-Good movie 4 stars
3/08/01 Sanja It's cute 4 stars
12/24/00 natasha Pullman and Bullock are immensely likable 4 stars
10/10/99 sara It was good but not excellent 4 stars
7/17/99 soccer_mum Best seen at home while asleep on the couch. Can you say BORING?!?! Skip this! 1 stars
12/08/98 sarah awesome, great romance,took too long to get to the point though 4 stars
10/28/98 Silent Rob Another film for people who love TV 3 stars
9/21/98 spork-girl ryan, you rock my world. bullock bites. this movie is pure formula, with a dumb premise. 2 stars
9/05/98 pooky the bald Sandra Bullock has this much talent -----> <----- Not a whole lot. 1 stars
9/04/98 Badass Fluff. 3 stars
9/01/98 MikeF this was ok cause you get to look at Sandra Bullock and their were a few laughs. 3 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  21-Apr-1994 (PG)

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