Monday, May 7, 2007
movie review monday: sliding doors
British actor Peter Howitt wrote and directed this British romantic comedy-drama with a "road not taken" premise recalling the 1921 play If by Lord Dunsany (1878-1957), Frank Capra's It's a Wonderful Life (1946), and O.Henry's short story Roads of Destiny (1909). Howitt's storyline branches in two directions: Helen (Gwyneth Paltrow) loses her job at a classy London PR firm, has a run-in with a purse-snatcher, and finds her boyfriend Gerry (John Lynch) in bed with his former girlfriend Lydia (Jeanne Tripplehorn). But what if it were one of those days when everything goes right? As the sliding doors close while she stands on a subway platform in the London underground, Helen ponders the events in her alternate reality. The plot of Lord Dunsany's If also hinges on a future determined by catching or missing a train. Sliding Doors was shown at the 1998 Sundance Film Festival. ~ Bhob Stewart, All Movie Guide
I didn't get a chance to watch any movies last week, so I wanted to take the opportunity to tell everyone about my all time favorite movie. Sometimes when I am having a rough day and I have time, I will take a Sliding Doors nap. That means I put it on but fall asleep while watching. I can do this without fear of being so distracted that I don't nap at all because I think I know almost every single word of the entire movie. Waking up intermittantly doesn't leave me lost and confused because I've seen it so many times.
But when I watch it fully conscious, it makes me sigh with happiness at the end every single time. It's a difficult movie to explain but it isn't difficult to watch. There are basically two plotlines going at the same time. When the movie starts off, Helen is late to work because she bought vodka to replace what she had taken from her office over the weekend. She's actually fired for theft anyway and goes to take the train back home to regroup. In one scenario, she catches the train. In the other, she misses it and has to take a taxi. It's a movie of what-if's and handles that matter very well. I don't know that one scenario is particularly better than the other when it comes down to it, but both definitely have highs and lows.
James is my favorite character and it took a few viewings for me to catch how funny he is. Definitely pay attention to the things he says because it isn't often that the other characters even pick up on how funny he is so you can't count on cues from the rest of the conversation.
I love this movie because it is thought provoking but still a romantic comedy-ish movie. It's the perfect amount of mushiness mixed in with questions. Also, I thoroughly enjoy Gwenyth Paltrow. Please, let me know what you think if you happen to see it. I hope it will be a delight. :)
Rating: 4 of 4 stars