While You Were Sleeping (1995) - Plot Summary Poster


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  • 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 begins 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.

  • Lonely Chicago "L" ticket seller Lucy has fallen in love with a commuter who passes her by every day. On Christmas day, the handsome commuter named Peter falls onto the rails and is saved from certain death by Lucy. Peter's family is mistaken into thinking Lucy is Peter's fiancée, Peter's brother, Jack, is skeptical, but very much attacted to Lucy. What will happen when Peter wakes up?

  • Lucy is a happy-go-lucky ticket seller, until one day she finds the man of her dreams and also sees him get mugged. After being mugged the man, known as Peter, goes into a coma. Lucy goes to visit him at the hospital and the nurse tells Peter's family that Lucy is his fiancée'. Lucy can not get the courage to tell them the truth and his family take her in as a member of their family. While with this family Lucy falls head over heels in love with Peter's brother, Jack. Lucy does not know what to do when Peter comes out of a coma and doesn't remember her.

  • Lucy has to work on Christmas at a Chicago train station as a token collector because she has no family to go to. When she spots her dream lover, Peter, getting mugged at the station, she rescues him and brings him to a hospital, but Peter goes into a coma. Peter's family thinks that Lucy is Peter's fiancee, and welcomes her into the family. Lucy feels the family love for the first time. During the time spent with Peter's family, Lucy falls in love with Peter's brother, Jack.

  • Lucy is a lonely Chicago subway employee whose life consists of living with her cat, avoiding her landlord's boorish son, and nursing a hopeless crush on a handsome commuter who passes her booth every day. Whilst working the Christmas shift, she witnesses him being mugged and pushed off the platform, and manages to save his life - and is mistaken for his fiancé at the hospital. She is duly embraced by the man's warm and welcoming family - except for his suspicious brother Jack, who is not convinced that she's the genuine article.

  • A hopeless romantic Chicago Transit Authority token collector is mistaken for the fiancée of a coma patient.


The synopsis below may give away important plot points.


  • Sandra Bullock plays Lucy Ellenore Moderatz, a lonely fare collector on the Chicago elevated railway. The highlight of her days is selling a token to a handsome commuter, Peter Callaghan (played by Peter Gallagher), on whom she has a secret crush. Working on Christmas, Lucy witnesses Peter being mugged and pushed onto the tracks, and she rescues him from an oncoming train. Peter falls into a coma and she accompanies him to the hospital, where she fantasizes aloud, "I was going to marry him". A nurse overhears her and, misinterpreting the situation, tells the head physician, a policeman and Callaghan's family that Lucy is his fiancée. At first Lucy is too caught up in the madness of everyone's panic to tell the truth, and after that she is too embarrassed to.

    An orphan with few friends, she becomes so captivated with the quirky Callaghans and their unconditional love for her, that she cannot bring herself to hurt them by revealing that Peter doesn't even know her. She spends a delayed Christmas with the family so "they can get to know each other". Lucy then meets Peter's younger brother Jack (Bill Pullman), who has taken over his father's business and is always working. Jack is very suspicious at first, saying Peter never mentioned Lucy or a marriage, which is not like him. Later on, after spending some time together to get acquainted, Jack starts to realize that he himself has feelings for Lucy.

    Then complications arise. Peter wakes up, not remembering Lucy at all, but by this time the rest of the Callaghan family has become so enamored with Lucy that they all naturally assume that Peter must have amnesia. Forced by his family, Peter and Lucy spend time together, while Lucy doesn't know how to tell them the truth, especially now that she has fallen in love with Jack. Peter is convinced by Saul (Peter and Jack's godfather, who knows about Lucy's secret) that Lucy must be his true love if he really proposed to her, so he does it "again". Lucy freaks out by the unexpected questions and agrees. Lucy confides in the kindly Saul, who believes that Lucy belongs in the family. Yet the elderly widower can't bring himself to tell the family about Lucy either. Lucy forces herself to be happy; she's with the man she wanted to be with her whole life.

    The day before the wedding, Jack visits her to give her a present - a snowglobe of Florence, Italy, the place that she has always wanted to go to. As he leaves, Lucy asks him if he could give her any reason why she shouldn't marry Peter. Jack hesitates before saying that he cannot give a reason, and angrily leaves.

    On the day of the wedding, Lucy starts to feel more and more guilty over her lie and her feelings for Jack, when it's actually Peter she's marrying. She walks down the aisle, where Peter is waiting with Jack, who is his best man. The priest begins, but during the words "Dearly beloveds, we're gather here today...", Lucy suddenly objects. Jack is surprised and objects too. She tells the family who she is and what went wrong in the hospital. She tells the parents she's fallen in love with their son, but points out that it's not Peter, but Jack. Also showing up to object to the union is Ashley, Peter's real fiancee, whom the family learns also happens to be married. As the family argues, Lucy leaves, unsure of her future.

    The final scene opens with Lucy on her last day of work at the station. As she accepts tokens from passengers, an engagement ring falls through the toll window. When Lucy looks up, she sees Jack and his family standing. Jack passes the token collection line and proposes to Lucy.

    The film ends with the two happily married in wedding attire, on the back of a train departing from the station, complete with a sign reading "Just Married".

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