While You Were Sleeping is a silly little movie but I love it. I think it’s a great combination of holiday movie, romantic and screwball comedies. In a way it reminds me of the cute, light comedies of Hollywood’s golden age and I make sure to watch the movie at least once every holiday season.
If you’ve never seen While You Were Sleeping the plot can be quite confusing on paper. Lucy works at the L and sees Jack every day when he commutes to work. On Christmas Day he is mugged and thrown on the train tracks unconscious, Lucy saves him from an incoming train and accompanies him to the hospital and he lapses into a coma; at the hospital a nurse makes the mistake of thinking she is Peter’s fiancée and informs Peter’s family of such. Having grown distant from Peter his family goes along with the assumption and welcomes Lucy into open arms giving Lucy a family for the first time in years, the only problem is though Peter is Lucy’s dream man his brother Jack is the man that Lucy is finding herself drawn to and she can’t do anything about it as she is supposedly Peter’s fiancée.
What I love most about this movie is Peter’s grandmother Elsie; the woman is opinionated, senile and quirky to the T. Elsie has some of the best lines in the film not only based on her delivery of these lines but on how she is randomly inserted into conversations with no idea what people are talking about. It really is just like that relative we all have that feels the need to be in everybody’s business. The fact that Glynis Johns who plays Elsie was also Mrs. Banks in Mary Poppins is another great bonus.
This film is airy and light but it is everything it advertises to be. Unlike the popcorn fluff that usually gets made now a days there is actually enough wit and grace to this film that it is safe for the whole family and can be enjoyed on multiple viewings.
Director: Jon Turteltaub
Writers: Daniel G. Sullivan & Fredric LeBow
Lucy Eleanor Moderatz: Sandra Bullock
Jack Callaghan: Bill Pullman
Peter Callaghan: Peter Gallagher
Ox Callaghan: Peter Boyle
Midge Callaghan: Micole Mercurio
Mary Callaghan: Monica Keena
Saul: Jack Warden
Elsie: Glynis Johns
Joe Fusco, Jr.: Michael Rispoli
Ashley Bartlett Bacon: Ally Walker
Jerry: Jason Bernard
Lucy: If I tell Jack I lied to his family he will *never* speak to me again. And Ox and Midge and Mary and Saul.
Jerry: Saul? Who's Saul?
Lucy: The next door neighbor. But you know what? Actually, he knows.
Jerry: Lucy, you are born into a family. You do not join them like you do the marines.
Lucy: So what should I do?
Jerry: Pull the plug.
Lucy: You're sick.
Jerry: I'm sick? You're cheating on a vegetable.