17 February 2014

Sliding Doors

Sliding Doors 1998
  • Director: Peter Howitt
  • Based on book: No
  • Cast: Gwyneth Paltrow, John Hannah, John Lynch, Jeanne Trippelhorn, Zara Turner, Douglas McFerran
  • Personal “oh yeah him/her” reaction, i.e. have seen this actor in:
    • Gwyneth Paltrow  Proof, Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, The Royal Tenenbaums, Shakespeare in Love, A Perfect Murder, Moonlight and Valentino, Seven, Hook
    • John Hannah – Four Weddings and a Funeral
    • John Lynch  Merlin (Merlin’s father Balinor), Some Mother’s Son, Moll Flanders
  • Why? Liked it the first time
  • Seen: Twice.  Now: February 15, 2014

       Helen loses her job and takes the London underground home.  In one universe, in which she just barely makes it through the sliding doors and meets the lovely Scottish James, she gets home to find her boyfriend Gerry in bed with his old girlfriend Lydia.  In a parallel universe, in which the sliding doors of the underground close in her face, she gets home much later, after the old girlfriend Lydia has left.
       The film flips back and forth between the two stories. In the one in which she catches and ditches Gerry, she falls in love with her underground friend James. In the other one she suspects Gerry of infidelity. In both Gerry is desperate to break with Lydia because he really truly loves Helen.  But we know better. James is so much nicer…
       It’s a confusing but very likeable film.  Gwyneth Paltrow and John Hannah are utterly charming together. John Lynch is very earnest but Gerry is essentially a jerk. Lydia is simply awful.
       It’s a comedy, but quite sad as good comedies are.  It takes an unexpected grim turn at the end but sliding doors do their thing again…
       It’s a nice film.  It would have been nicer if Gerry wasn’t so dumb and Lydia so obnoxious.  A pity. Still…

3 * of 5

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