While You Were Sleeping

There seems to be a run on comedy romances about women who find the right man while chasing the wrong one. Up this time is Sandra Bullock, the bus-driving savior of Speed, who gives the role an ardent and hilarious spin. Bullock plays lonely Lucy, a Chicago transit worker with a secret crush on a stranger (Peter Gallagher). When muggers push him onto the train tracks, Lucy rescues him. At the hospital, where the hunk (he's lawyer Peter Callaghan) lies in a coma, his family mistakes Lucy for his fiancee. She lets the family comfort her and feels so accepted she can't bear to tell the truth. It's the first love story ever between a girl and a family.

Bullock makes you believe it. She is so beguiling, you wonder why director Jon Turteltaub keeps pushing so hard to persuade us with adoring close-ups. Bill Pullman brings a welcome edge as Peter's suspicious brother, Jack. He knows that nice-girl Lucy is hardly material for his conceited shit of a brother. If you can't guess what happens between Lucy and Jack while Peter is sleeping, you're in a pop-culture coma. For all the film's sugar stops, it's a comic and touching ride.

From The Archives Issue 708: May 18, 1995