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While You Were Sleeping

Directed by John Turtletaub

Written by Frederic Lebow & Daniel G. Sullivan

Starring: Sandra Bullock, Peter Gallagher, Peter Boyle, Micole Mercurio, Monica Keena, Jack Warden, Glynis Johns, Michael Rispoli, Jason Bernard, and of course ....

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Available on vhs & DVD   &




If you know what is coming up in the story, there is something thrilling aobut seeing Jack Callaghan's delivery truck tire roll to a stop, hearing the door open and close, and watching his work books walk past. If you know what is coming up, you know that Jack has finally arrived, and the story can REALLY begin. And if you're like me, your video tape of this film is always set to begin at this point!

While You Were Sleeping is very much a light-hearted romantic fantasy chick flick, where an ideal Prince Charming (Jack Callaghan) is played exquistely by our man Bill. Although Bill had already been in 24 movies by the time WYWS was released, this is considered to be his breakout role, for he very much proves to be the perfect leading man. Bill and Sandra Bullock, who plays the adorable Lucy Moderatz, glow with the chemistry between them, making this romantic fantasy feel believable.

Lucy, a Chicago Transit Authority token worker, is in love with a handsome stranger (Peter Gallagher) who passes by her booth every day. On Christmas morning, the stranger is pushed onto the tracks and Lucy has that once in a lifetime chance to save someone's life--fortunately, it is the man she loves! Through several mishaps and misunderstandings, Lucy is introduced over Peter's comatose body in intensive care as his fiancee. Although she is uncomfortable with that erroneous designation, Lucy keeps up the farce as she becomes more involved with his family for, alone in the world, she finds herself suddenly a sister, daughter, granddaughter, fiancee, and friend.Bill_as_JackT.JPG (4620 bytes)

This is where Jack's truck tire rolls onto the screen, and we first meet him. Jack is the younger brother of the handsome Peter--the less refined, less educated, more gentlemanly, more sensitive, flannel-shirt-blue-jeans-clad younger brother. Lucy, much more Jack's type that Peter's, finds herself falling for Jack, and he for her. The romantic tension between Jack and Lucy sizzles, although neither can admit their feelings while poor Peter lies in a coma. Lucy calls Jack "a good friend," and he somewhat painfully and resignedly repeats "good friend" under his breath.

With Peter's sudden recovery and what "must" be his amnesia when he doesn't recognize Lucy, a turn of events finds Lucy truly engaged to the recovering Peter. The small hospital chapel wedding begins with Lucy's objection. "I object, too," states Jack, though his objection stems from knowing Peter doesn't really love her. Lucy's tearful confession and her declaration of love for the younger Jack turns the wedding upside down and chaotic. As Lucy slips away, Jack watches her leave with just a hint of a smile.

In the final scene, Lucy's last day at work, Jack confronts Lucy by tossing a diamond ring into the token slot. With his family behind him (minus Peter) he dreamily and softly asks Lucy to marry him. A perfectly happy ending to a perfect romantic comedy, with the perfect romantic leading man in Bill Pullman.HugT.jpg (7722 bytes)

There are many memorable scenes. Watch for:  slipping on the ice; Jack & Lucy's walk along the river; the "leaning" scene; Lucy and Jack's drive home in the truck; and of course, the anti-wedding. Watch also for the comedic turns of Michael Risposo as Joe Jr., the super's son who has the hots for Lucy, and Jason Bernard as Lucy's boss, Jerry. Sandra Bullock proves herself an able comedienne, especially during the scene where she pushes Joe Jr. into the closet to speak with Saul and then Jack.

If you haven't seen this film and are just learning about Bill, rent and/or purchase this movie IMMEDIATELY for a first-hand look at one of our generation's most natural romantic leading men. Then, join with many other fans who groan when they learn Bill doesn't like playing this kind of role and doesn't like romantic comedies in general, calling them "too precious."

comments by Lorraine Swapp

Photograph Gallery

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Jack meets Lucy for the first time, but he's unsure about her.

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Lucy runs into Jack at Peter's apartment.

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Jack still has his suspicions about her, but can't figure it out.

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Jack and Lucy play 20 questions, as his family looks on.

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Jack and Lucy get to know each other during a walk on a frosty night.

SlippingT.JPG (4183 bytes)        Jack and Lucy slip on the ice in front of her building.

slipping_on_the_iceT.JPG (2582 bytes)       Falling down on the ice proves to be more than just cold for Jack.

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After dinner with his family and Lucy and an encounter until the mistletoe, Jack watches Lucy depart                                     

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At the New Year's Eve party, where Jack asks Lucy about her condition.

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Jack confronts Lucy; and gets accused of "leaning".                   

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Jack shows up with a wedding present for Lucy.

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It's a snowglobe of the city of Florence (Firenze) and the heartbreaking moment of the story.

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In a subplot Jack and his dad (Peter Boyle) have a heart-to-heart talk about life, love and buying furniture from dead people.

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Jack shows up at Lucy's booth with family in tow to ask her a question.

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True love prevails; Jack asks Lucy that fateful question.

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The perfect ending to a perfectly romantic comedy.

More Photographs on Listserve WYWS Photos

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The story's universal themes of love, loneliness, and the need for family appealed to moviegoers all across the globe (film ad from Germany.)

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From the set of the film.  Director Jon Turteltaub confers with his leading actors.

Articles about While You Were Sleeping


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