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— Oh and one of my favorite moments in the movie which goes a lot to describing its charm happens next: It’s early the next morning. A paper boy on his bike pedals towards the camera, throwing newspapers at each house. Jack keeps trying to talk to his father, in between “Lord hear our prayer”s – about Lucy, and Peter Boyle answers – never ever missing an ‘Amen”. He doesn’t take a moment to say “Amen” in a prayerful way, it’s completely rote – and it seems as though he’s not even listening to the mass being said, yet he chimes in with his “Amen”s right on cue. For example – he says to her, as they give blood: “We’ll need to get a picture of you and Peter for the mantel.” She hems and haws and says, “I’m really not that photogenic.” And he says, sort of to himself, “I doubt that.” He kind of loses his cool for a second – it’s a very funny moment – he’s not in control for a minute, and he lets his attraction for her come out. It’s pretty amazing to carry your passport around with you. he’s still holding onto her, and suddenly, when they’re both on their feet, holding onto each other, there’s a moment of … It’s like the moment in Bringing Up Baby when she trips over the log and falls on her face.
— Watch Peter Boyle during the next scene when the family is at mass. Pullman lets us know that there is an element of that going on. it’s the first moment you really see him want to make a move, because the rest of the movie he is running away from her at top speed, shouting, “LEAVE ME ALONE.” But something about that moment, the proximity, the fact that she has fallen, that he is now “taking care of her” – you watch him move in to kiss her. And Bullock – you can see her just double over in laughter.
This is basically a moment-to-moment analysis of the film.
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.
I chose as a focus the film While You Were Sleeping.
Pullman plays it casually, humorously, until the very end – when you see something ELSE go on on his face. Member in, like, 5th or 6th grade – I was starting to get really good at poker and going home with lots of lunch money – I got to know the principal’s office really well. suddenly the younger sister turns to Jack and says, “But you like brunettes! It’s that awkward goofy shyness that makes him so good as a male lead. Because most people in life do not TELL ALL, especially not when they’re falling in love. You get over-protective of yourself, you diffuse moments when you want them to linger, you lie about your true intentions so you won’t get hurt … It’s a nice moment – the sister busting him in a lie – showing that dynamic.
Something about the lighting in this scene makes Pullman look not just handsome … Nothing against Affleck – who I actually like – but the lines he was given were so sappy, so bat-you-about-the-head-and-neck with the message – that it would be very difficult to make that real at ALL. It’s hard to make that sound like normal conversation and not “Here Is the Beginning Of My Deep Monologue Where You Learn About My Tormented Issues”. Chubby ones.” The conversation goes on around the table, topics brought up, thrown away, argued … He glances up briefly at Lucy, who is grinning at him …
by Sandra Bullock is sepia-toned, and yet it maintains that witty energy. as something she notices that he does, habitually: let old people go first. She is looking for love – and so of course she is tuned in to the DETAILS of this guy. And instead of the voiceover just telling us: “I love this guy … And romantic comedies have to work even HARDER to be good because there are such old cliches everywhere … First of all – this is SUCH a Chicago movie, and that is SUCH a Chicago apartment. Also, he doesn’t really seem like a Chicago caricature … Also, he doesn’;t have the same accent as his father. talk like Tony Soprano while his father sounds like a Chicagoan? and so they WANT to believe that she is “the fiance” and … They are chaotic, annoyed with each other, they all talk at the same time, and they obviously love each other like crazy. and then suddenly there she sits, deciding whether or not to go join the family’s Christmas dinner … You can tell that she SO wants to go and spend time with them again … Did you know he fought in the Battle of the Bulge?? I don’t like sentimental, I don’t like it – it’s too easy a choice. But this scene with the family, and with Lucy looking on works. ” — Then we come to the big entrance of Bill Pullman – who plays Jack, the other son in the family. He’s certainly not like his brother who would never wear boots like that. it’s like we know that this brother is going to smell bullshit from a mile away. — Now a couple of words on Bill Pullman: Bill Pullman has gotten some cheesy jobs in his day … so he really does need to work for a living, he takes what he can gets – and for the most part it’s not too bad. He is very good at this stuff – this kind of comedic wry-faced stuff – the sort of guy who you might not THINK is sexy … They are just there to have this love affair unfold. But I would ask you to watch Bill Pullman’s face as Lucy goes ga-ga over the chair. So then we get a shot of the two of them walking, at night, along the Chicago River (gorgeous – although it makes very little sense geographically …
She works for the CTA in Chicago in a token booth – and every morning she watches him get on the train. We can see that Bullock is living in a fantasy world … And here’s a nice detail: Peter Gallagher is so bizarrely good-looking, kind of overblown, in the Billy Zane vein … Now – the moment is not a huge deal, it’s not filmed like he’s the reincarnation of Christ, but Bullock does mention it later … — The first real scene in the film we see Bullock hoisting a Christmas tree up to her apartment through the window. He’s actually a sweet guy, but Lucy is so not interested in him. Everyone else in the film is eccentric as well, quirky – but he seems like a caricature. and they are overwhelmed by the fact that she has saved his life … — It also works because the family is immediately lovable. — I love the little moment where Lucy sits at home with her frozen dinner and she put the cat’s food on the table – pours a bit of milk for the cat – calls out to the cat … A romantic leading man without some kind of edge is feckin’ boring. There’s something about him where you feel like he COULD be unlikable, or he could lose his temper … and yet who you just don’t feel romantic towards (Sleepless in Seattle being the prime example). He has a dream of breaking away from the family business and being a furniture maker – but it’s complicated – “rejecting” his father’s business, etc. George Cukor said about Cary Grant, “One of the reasons he was so successful as an actor was that he truly just behaved like he was a normal guy and like he didn’t look like that.” Bill Pullman, obviously, doesn’t have the glitter of Cary Grant, and his good looks are much more normal – like you could imagine knowing a guy like that in real life, whereas it’s hard to imagine ever meeting someone who looks like Cary Grant … But the essential quality: of a lack of ego, of a sort of shyness, of a “Oh, forget it, I’m not that great” energy – is the same. — He ends up having to walk her home because his truck is blocked in. This is about people who genuinely enjoy one another, and who are discovering that AS they talk.
And then he has what could be a very contrived moment, but in Pullman’s hands – it’s effective, and moving. This guy Jack is not a guy who’s comfortable with touchy-feely stuff, he’s more liable to crack a joke, make some snarky remark … The whole family banters at once – about a million different things – and eventually, Lucy and Jack meet eyes across the table – and there’s this shared moment of humorous eye contact – they both start to LOSE it across the table from one another.
It’s what needs to happen – and Pullman doesn’t push, doesn’t go overboard … The whole Callahan family and Lucy sit around at the dinner table.
and we can hear her insecurity in her voice, and also her … She goes off the deep end when talking about her “Prince” (played by Peter Gallagher) – a man she has never met. made for MORONS, like so many romantic comedies are. She has a fantasy that she will someday meet this “Prince”. and then holds them open for a little old woman who is right behind him – he lets her go in first. He wears tight T-shirts, his ass-crack hangs out, and he is hot on Lucy’s trail. Pullman hasn’t played that many romantic leads – he plays the boring clumsy boyfriend of the lead girl before she dumps his ass and goes and gets her REAL true love. He plays guys who mean well, who sneeze at unfortunate times, who trip over their own feet … The kind of night when you suddenly look at someone and you realize: “Wow. There’s a reason why smart movie stars (Cary Grant, Bogart, Cooper – but they all did it) sit down with scripts and cut out half of their lines. On stage, you need lines to do a lot of the work for you. She oohs and ahhs over the rocking chair which, of course, he made. but what gives the scene its charm, its goosebump-factor – is that the two of them actually crack each other up. It’s so hard to get that across, it’s so hard to write and perform witty dialogue – without being arch, or too clever …
he runs to get the train, the doors are closing, and he jams his way in … is a big-talkin’ buffoon who is the son of Lucy’s landlord. I have issues from past relationships that I bring to the present one. He totally gets SMASHED in the face – and you hear his big “OW” – and then Lucy, horrified, starts racing around the kitchen trying to get ice on his nose … he fumbles with them for a second, and then you can see him say to himself, “Oh fuck it” and he tosses the ice cubes in the sink. They’re both kind of bad liars – but they circle each other warily, trying to be “nice”, but … It feels like a real night that two people would have. In the movies, you really should say less and do more. If you can do it with a look on your face, then do it with a look on your face – and don’t describe WHY you have that look on your face. — The two of them open the back of the truck – and there is a love seat (garish) and a gorgeous Shaker-esque rocking chair. It has tenderness, too – quiet moments – they’re getting to know each other, they’re alone for really the first time … She, even though she’s supposed to be in love with her “Prince”, even though she’s got this dream of a “perfect guy”, starts responding, giggling … I admit it: I have rewound many times, so I can watch his reaction shot to her saying that.
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?Tags: Adult Dating, affair dating, sex dating