And while I was watching, I was wondering why this was such a
popular movie. Sure, it's a good date movie, but I saw this movie on
residence hall cable with my militant "Wings"-obsessed roommate (the
one I've been berating mercilessly in my comedy diary "Another Year in
the Life of a Nerd." Check it out sometime.), so I think we can throw
the romantic element right out the window, just like I'd love to toss
that damn hat he always wears right out the window. But that's not
something I should go into in this separate manuscript.
Even without the romantic element, I still expected to like WHILE
YOU WERE SLEEPING for its comedic element and the element of
tungsten.... Sorry, we nerds know the Periodic Table like the back of
our hands. You can't even call yourself a nerd if you don't know the
atomic mass of Ytterbium (163.0, of course). And before that pitiful
digression, I was going to list Sandra Bullock, the movie's glamorous
yet seemingly down-to-earth star, as the movie's other major element of
appeal. As always, Bullock's charm and beauty remains intact, but her
performance, like everything else in the movie, seems lackluster.
Maybe it proves Bullock should stick to action movies like The Net and
Speed rather than cutesy comedy.
Bullock plays a lonely subway employee (that's half her problem
right there--what guy's going to date someone that works for the
transit system?) who has a classic case of unrequited love (you think I
don't know what that's like?!) for a man that comes by every morning.
One of those mornings he happens to fall on the subway track and
Bullock is the one to come to the rescue and save his life. The poor
guy's in a coma, yes, and when she visits him at the hospital, a little
misunderstanding ensues, with the nurse blurting out to the guy's
family that Bullock is his fiance.
And as you know, you can't have one misunderstanding in a movie
without several hundred others ensuing, so Bullock plays along with the
masquerade for whatever reason. The guy stays in his coma while
Bullock wins over the family, while slowly finding herself in a
dilemma--she now loves the unconscious one's brother. But she can't
make a move because she's engaged to a guy she's never spoken to. If I
had a dime for every time that's happened to me....
WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING is a pretty good movie, but not nearly as
good as I was expecting. That may have to do with the lack of romantic
atmosphere during my screening (watching a romance movie with the one
person you'd most like to stick red hot pokers in the eyes of probably
has that effect) but it also has to do with Bullock's half-hearted
performance and lack of quality writing. The movie is too predictable
in plot and humor. About halfway through, I started finishing all the
character's jokes before they did based on the setups. Of course I did
have a copy of the script sitting in front of me....
Copyright © 1995 Andrew Hicks