In London, the public relation Helen is fired from her position in a PR company. While returning home, she does not catch the train in the subway. But in another possibility of her life, she catches the train in the subway. The story shows two parallel lives of Helen: in one life, she stays with her boyfriend Gerry, and in the other life, she finds that Gerry cheats her with Lydia and falls in love with James Hammerton.Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Rowers from the Cygnet Rowing Club portrayed James' crewmates. Alan Cox, one of said rowers, recounted Cygnet's final day of filming online prior to the film's release.
"And so to the post-race celebration, which was held in the bar of the Blue Anchor at Hammersmith. Here, the hero mounts a table and leads the bibulous multitude in dancing "Father Abraham." It was at this stage that the director made his first big miscalculation. He must have known the old adage about never working with children or animals, but clearly did not understand how oarsmen can share the worst characteristics of both. Having rehearsed the crews in the dance, he departed saying "have a drink to get warmed up" and deposited £30 with the landlord. It took little guile to persuade the bemused bar staff that an open-ended tab was running and, about five rounds later, when the crews were asked to behave as a drunken rabble, no acting skill was required. A precious moment occurred later as an assistant director enquiring after change from the bar bung learned that the bill had run to over £90. To their credit, the management learnt fast; during further work on the bar scene on the third day, only alcohol-free beer was offered". See more »
At the beginning of the film when Helen walks in on Gerry and Lydia, the straps of Lydia's dress change from being on her shoulder to hanging off her arms between shots. See more »
So who are you on the rebound from?
A girl called Pamela. My whole life pivots around Pam and I breaking up.
When was that?
1973, we were eight. I bloody loved that woman! No warning just up, gone, left me for someone else.
Gary Glitter! Gary Glitter for cryin' out loud! I mean all my friends were being left for Donny Osmond or David Cassidy, I could have come to terms with that given time, but Gary oooooh she wanted to touch him there yeeaah...
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The film's copyright year in the credits is 1997. See more »
US version was cut for language by Miramax to secure a PG-13 rating. See more »
Coming Up for Air
Written by Patty Larkin
Performed by Patty Larkin
Courtesy of Windham Hill Group See more »
One life, two possibilities
One morning, on arrival at her PR company, Helen (Gwyneth Paltrow) finds out that she has just been sacked. She's on her way home and then she misses the tube train.
But what if she made it? She meets James (John Hannah) on the train, who's sitting right next to her and who's a friendly and witty man. When Helen gets home, she sees her boyfriend, Gerry (John Lynch) in bed with his ex-girlfriend, Lydia (Jeanne Tripplehorn) and Helen quickly ends her relationship with Gerry and forms a new, loving one with James.
The other possibility is that, Helen misses the train, gets robbed and a nasty cut, goes to hospital and by the time she arrives at home Gerry is already in the shower. Helen then gets a sandwich job and a waitressing job in order to support her loser boyfriend who is supposed to be writing his first novel but in fact has been cheating on her.
As the ending approaches, the story becomes unpredictable and it leaves you wonder why it has to go this way. The ending is likewise enigmatic. Heartily recommended.
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