A lonely doctor who once occupied an unusual lakeside home begins exchanging love letters with its former resident, a frustrated architect. They must try to unravel the mystery behind their extraordinary romance before it's too late.
Lucy's life consists of constant loneliness that is until she saves Peter's life. Now she is a part of his family, and with a strong heart and fate on her side, others begin to realize what a terrific person she is, especially Jack, Peter's brother. An extraordinarily true-to-life sequence of events begin to take place as Lucy and Jack become closer and learn more about each other and themselves than one would ever expect from such coincidental, yet believable events. Written by
Michael Lee Pollock <email@example.com>
Sandra Bullock is a working girl who wants to travel. She has no family, and is usually stuck doing holiday shifts in the Chicago transit system (as a toll booth clerk on the elevated railway). She has noted one man who uses the station all the time (Peter Gallagher), and rescues him when he is thrown onto the train tracks just before a train comes into the station. Gallagher is in a coma and (due to a well-intentioned nurse) Bullock is introduced to the family of Gallagher as his fiancé. She tries to tell them the truth, but when she learns his grandmother (Glynis Johns) has a heart problem she hesitates. Soon she is treated as a member of this nice family as a member (well, she did save Gallagher, and she is thought to be his fiancé). Only his brother (Bill Pullman) has real doubts, and keeps mentioning them (and keeps apologizing for them. Bullock and Pullman find that they are also growing more attracted to each other. The film shows how these problems are resolved. And it is all done in a most charming manner.
This is one of those films that would take only a few minutes to quickly resolve in the real world, where Bullock would have told the truth early on. But the audience is allowed to suspend it's disbelief because the characters are uniformly likable. Although Jack (Pullman) is constantly questioning Bullock's story, each time she gives a plausible explanation of what is going on, and Pullman likes her enough to accept these explanations. The only one who knows the truth is the family friend Sam (Jack Warden) and he too feels that the news has to be broken carefully (he loves the family and doesn't want them hurt). Oddly enough his one effort at meddling almost screws up the situation in the film for Bullock, Pullman, and Gallagher. Pullman also faces the truth and explains to his father (Peter Boyle) that he doesn't want to continue in the family business. Boyle's reaction becomes important too.
The performances are flawless, and one finds oneself rooting for most of the cast (the sole exception is the actress playing "Ashley", Peter Galagher's actual girl friend). Her opposite number, "Joe Jr." is too comic a figure to dislike (in fact, at one point he thinks Pullman is annoying Bullock and offers to take care of him - not the act of a rat at all). For a sweet, lovable love tale WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING is hard to top. In the last decade only WHEN HARRY MET SALLY, WORKING GIRL, PRETTY WOMAN, NOTTING HILL, SLEEPLESS IN SEATTLE, and YOU'VE GOT MAIL are on par with it, but the family becomes so important to Bullock in the plot this has a special warmth in it that is quite is different from most of the others.
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