Run time: 103 mins
In Theaters: Friday 21st April 1995
Box Office Worldwide: $182.1M
Distributed by: Buena Vista Pictures
Production compaines: Caravan Pictures, Hollywood Pictures
Contactmusic.com: 2 / 5
Rotten Tomatoes: 80%
Fresh: 45 Rotten: 11
IMDB: 6.6 / 10
Director: Jon Turteltaub
Screenwriter: Daniel G. Sullivan, Fredric LeBow
Starring: Sandra Bullock as Lucy Eleanor Moderatz, Bill Pullman as Jack Callaghan, Peter Gallagher as Peter Callaghan, Peter Boyle as Ox Callaghan, Jack Warden as Saul, Glynis Johns as Elsie, Micole Mercurio as Midge Callaghan, Monica Keena as Mary Callaghan
As heavily promoted as it's been, you should know the plot by know. Sandra Bullock is Lucy, a goofy, salt-of-the-earth Chicago Transit Authority toll booth attendant who falls in love (at first sight) with Peter (Peter Gallagher), a yuppie lawyer. Almost immediately after Lucy swoons, Peter gets pushed onto the train tracks, whereupon Lucy comes to the rescue. Then the obligatory "misunderstanding" occurs: Peter's concerned parents think Lucy is Peter's fiancee, pulling Lucy into the family as a new member. But when Peter's brother Jack (Bill Pullman) arrives on the scene, Lucy and Jack begin to fall in love and, well...you get the picture.
Or maybe you don't. Most of the film is pretty nonsensical. It's predictable at best and just plain dull most of the time, focusing ad nauseam on Lucy's moral dilemma about whether or not to end her charade. Slapstick is the preferred method of making the audience laugh: there is a considerable amount of falling down and other humorous forms of injury. Peter's dysfunctional family is good for a few laughs, but otherwise I barely cracked a smile. In fact, the film's blatant product placement elicits groans. When asked what Peter's favorite ice cream is, Lucy's response isn't a flavor, but rather, "Baskin-Robbins."
The sad thing about While You Were Sleeping isn't just the lack of originality and humor, rather, it's the statement that the film ultimately makes. The movie's apparent bottom line is that people can be really shallow, but that's OK, because love will conquer everything, and it doesn't matter who gets trampled along the way. When you think about it, it's not just annoying, it's insulting.