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character – and I actually do like some of his scenes with Lucy – but to my mind, this is one of the few times that the film goes wrong. — Lucy’s CTA boss Jerry (played by Jason Bernard – wonderful actor – died in 1996) is a great character. It is set up that way to up the comedy and to make Cary Grant look as RIDICULOUS as possible. It is all just understood – because we all know families like that – and some of us (ahem) came from families like that. There’s too much to even list – you feel like you are looking at a slice of life. You hear them in snippets, overheard snippets – “Uncle Al … This is why I say he would make a great “hero” in a screwball comedy – like Dr. There’s a part of him that couldn’t smoulder with passion if he tried – he’s too serious, and distracted – and yet – there’s something there … he’s perfect …” we get to see a little subtle moment of his kindness which tells us WHY she thinks he’s perfect. although there is the whole “Da Bears” thing that he could fit into … Don’t get me wrong: there is sweetness in the Joe Jr. Through that first scene when the family rushes into the hospital, and through a series of accidents, they all believe that she is his fiance – and they never let Lucy finish the sentence that would EXPLAIN IT ALL … Yet they never say the words “I love you” or anything like that. and as she thinks, she takes an Oreo out of the package, dips it into the cat’s milk and eats it. — Watch the details in the scene where Lucy goes to spend Christmas night with the family. And many of the lines themselves are so amusing – but everyone’s talking at once so you can’t catch them sometimes … He, so far, is the big mystery – the guy everyone keeps talking about … The first glimpse we get of him in this film is a beat-up truck pulling up outside the family house – the door opening – and we see his feet, getting out of the truck. But in my opinion, what he does in While You Were Sleeping kind of stands alone, in terms of his career. but then he takes off his glasses, and women swoon. I love romantic comedies which let in the outside world, where the leads are rather complicated – with other stuff going on (Say Anything is a prime example – at least in my mind – We get to see what is going on in both their lives – which makes their sweet little romance that much more poignant – We can see that the love affair is a RESPITE, it is a BREAK from the sometimes harsh realities of their lives. The thing that makes him a good leading man is that he doesn’t really seem to think that he is that big a deal. I wanted to write a post about my love for Bill Pullman. I do a shot-by-shot breakdown of While You Were Feckin’ Sleeping, for God’s sake.
Because now he is not just the suspicious brother – but the romantic lead. We care about whether or not HE gets what he wants. We’ve been on board with what Lucy wants the whole time … It’s HARD to have a “private moment” on film – like these – and not have them come off as trite, obvious, or phony. during this one long take, he starts to talk: “Do you remember in 5th grade …” which – you know – it’s hard to make that real. And I was never envious of anything that you had.” Long pause. It’s stunning – you can see those words reverberate in his head, you can see him make the realization – he doesn’t overplay it. Then he says, admitting it – not just to his brother, but to himself, “Until now.” What he does in that long pan into the close-up is a phenomenal example of good film acting. Also, Jack’s mother at one point asks Jack, “What’s your type, Jack? Jack looks visibly uncomfortable and says bluntly, “Blondes.
Pullman plays cards – talking to his unresponsible brother: “He is staying in with a pair! There’s a long continuous shot of him – as he tells about one of his memories from childhood involving his brother – he’s opening up – we are finally seeing what this man is THINKING – again, it’s contrived: but it’s perfect. It would make sense that he would share his deepest feelings only to a person who is IN A COMA. Ben Affleck has a similar moment over his baby’s crib in Jersey Girl which was so embarrassing to watch that the audience started laughing the night I saw it. This is like his own private journal entry to himself. Everyone’s talking in the background about Cesar Romero, the mashes potatoes, whether or not actors have to be tall – all at once – it’s a cacophany – and Jack and Lucy, trying to keep up, both just start giggling to themselves, a beautiful moment of connection. Mother: Lucy, you think you could find me a nice girl for Jack?
Pullman has never before had the opportunity to show that many sides. He’s that kind of guy – he’s got a nose for bullshit. ” and you know she’s about to tell the truth, but of course – he cuts her off. It’s hard to describe what I see, but he’s left alone there – thinking about her – it’s a close-up. She walks around, tiptoeing really, saying, “Here, kitty kitty …” Meanwhile we see that Jack, who is obviously on some kind of warpath, is also coming to Peter’s apartment … and for a while the two of them are wandering around Peter’s apartment without knowing the other is there. It’s so well done, I never get tired of watching it. It’s a lovely scene – my favorite in the movie – because of their conversation, and how they talk to each other.) Sigh. and there’s that beautiful feeling, that shivery feeling … When you KNOW that a person is interested in you, and they are honing in on you … Also, another great thing about this film: many romantic comedies actually are populated by people who have no senses of humor. These two characters have great chemistry and tenderness between them – but they also laugh at the same things. okay, now I am totally thinking about your breasts right now …” He gets them off the topic as quickly as possible … and she keeps her passport up to date just in case. it’s very sensitive to the tiny changes going on in the film – the music here changes from a kind of melancholy nostalgic romantic tune – to the more witty tune, which punches up the absurd nature of the moment: the two of them tiptoeing across this blank sheet of ice). So she starts to laugh – he is heaving her up by her armpits – and she suddenly can’t stop laughing – and then that starts him laughing – and then of course, they both wipe OUT on the ice.
He’s sexy, kind of cranky, he also has a strange strain of shyness with women – which makes the whole combination totally attractive. He says, so simply, and with almost no inflection, “That’s not Peter’s fiance.” He just knows. “Lucy …” She thinks she’s about to be busted, so she decides to come clean: “Look … Lucy then hurries out of the house and we go back to Pullman’s face for just a second. There’s a certain amount of mystery maintained – and this is what keeps us hooked in to them. The hospital had given her his “personal effects” – which kind of doesn’t make sense – but whatever – it works. He just knows something isn’t right with this girl and now he “knows” that she is dating Joe Jr. — So now follows the long scene where – they basically fall in love. He’s asking her questions because he is interested in her. One of the best things about falling in love is finding someone who shares your wacky sense of humor. I submit that Notting Hill is a great example of one of the GOOD ones, and for this very reason. Like being in the presence of a make-out session makes him think: “Hm. She has never been anywhere, but she dreams of going to Florence … Jack looks at her passport, makes a snarky remark about her photograph (“Wow. You’re not photogenic.”) but you can tell that he … and as they come into view, they are still talking. He doesn’t want the evening to end.) So carefully they start across the ice … Like I said in the beginning, I love the soundtrack …
I’m telling you: everyone in this film has perfect pitch, when it comes to their characters, and the moments, and what needs to be happening in order to make this film work. Just think about how many “romantic comedies” absolutely SUCK. — Another detail that is great in this film: throughout the movie, Sandra Bullock, a big movie star, wears a billowing ugly black overcoat. They don’t make a big deal about it beforehand – it’s just the coat that she wears – but I admit that the first time I saw her in it, I thought: “Damn … ” and then, later, when a “reason” was given for it – I suddenly filled up with tears. They don’t make a fetish of the coat, they just let her walk around looking like crap for the first half of the film. It is completely contrived that the ONLY OUTFITS available in that house out in Connecticut is 1. families where it is understood that if you are INSULTED it means we LIKE you … I especially love them because the wonderful Glynis Johns plays the grandmother with the heart murmur. And Jack Warden plays Saul, the next-door neighbor and dear family friend. She is always present and something funny is ALWAYS going on. A young and gangly teenage Monica Keena plays Mary, the younger sister in the family – she plays the perfect baby sister. the reaction shots when everyone opens their presents – and we see Lucy staring at them – and then we go back to a slow pan across the family – and we see them as SHE sees them. Lucy lives in a stingy world, with few friends, a quiet life, and a rigid routine. If he could just FOCUS, if he could just let his “serious work” in the lab or in the classroom go for one second – he would be fully present, and it would be very very sexy.
He has some very funny moments – all perfectly played. So the first time we see Jerry is in the beginning of the film – Lucy and Jerry go and get hotdogs at a hotdog stand down in the freezing Loop – Jerry is obviously a nice guy, and they obviously are friends – this is established within 2 seconds of the scene – but he, as her boss, has to ask her to work on Christmas Day. It’s a lovely little scene that establishes Lucy not just as a sad sack who has “no family” but as a sweet woman who has good friends in her life, people who care about her. Later in the film it comes out that the jacket was her dad’s. Families where you have to SHOUT to get a word in edgewise … The jokes about Grandma’s awful eggnog, but how everyone drinks it so as not to hurt her feelings … you remember Uncle Al …” “Who the hell is Uncle Al? something that makes you feel like if he just took off his glasses, and – er – took off his clothes – he’d be an animal in the sack.
To the JOY that is the film While You Were Sleeping – one of my eternal favorites!!
There’s music playing beneath almost every single scene, and instead of being annoying, or too obvious, or … It’s a cliche now, but only because Cary Grant made it so. I think he could play the Howard Bannister-esque roles (which rarely come along – we don’t make good screwball comedies anymore) to perfection.
So often in romantic comedies, you get total over-kill with the soundtrack – they bash you over the head with their message (Hugh Grant strolling sadly thru the streets after breaking up with Julia Roberts in Notting Hill and what begins to play?
— For some reason, the soundtrack to this film strikes me as PERFECT. BAD.) While You Were Sleeping is a romantic comedy, sure – but it has that ever-elusive quality that so few filsm have: it has WIT.
This is all very real – and I love romantic comedies that ADMIT that.) So Bill Pullman’s Jack in While You Were Sleeping is a true leading man – in the true tradition of it. He’s got this kind of bemused smile as he watches her fumble around – he’s picking up on all of her cues … I don’t remember meeting you …” She goes to leave, and he stops her … You can always see them thinking, but it’s not always clear what they are thinking about. — Lucy goes to Peter’s palatial apartment to feed the cat. suggests that they bring the couch, together, to Peter’s apartment. He’s not asking her questions anymore to interrogate her, or to try to find out who this suspicious fiance is … So many films miss this important component – but the GOOD ones never do. (I love any chance I get to use the word “canoodling”.) Lucy is chatting on about something, Jack is asking her questions – and as they pass by, he glances at the canoodlers, looks away, and then … Very subtle – but it sort of ups the possibility for romance. — Sweet intimate moment when Lucy takes her passport out of her bag to show him. — They make it back to Lucy’s apartment (which, judging from the look of her neighborhood) is probably a 2 hour walk from the Loop – but again, who I am to judge their location choices … Jack, ever the gentleman, says – “I’ll walk you to your door …” (Ahem.Tags: Adult Dating, affair dating, sex dating