AppsScraps Movie Reviews

Jun 5, 2008

Sliding Doors

Release date: 24 January 1998 (Sundance Film Festival)

She, who can’t act, the paltry Gwyneth Paltrow, stars in this time-shifting romantic-drama directed by Peter Howitt. Howitt’s premise in this film is interesting: what would happen if we just missed the sliding doors of that subway train? Enter Helen (Paltrow) a PR guru who is unceremoniously fired from her London ad agency. Returning home we see her catch (and not catch) an Underground tube train and thereby start two parallel stories. In one, where she catches the train, she arrives home to find her boyfriend, Gerry (played by John Lynch) cheating on her with his ex-girlfriend, Lydia (Jeanne Tripplehorn). In the other, where she misses the train, she ends up mugged and in hospital and arrives home to find Gerry alone in the shower. In both realities she meets James (John Hannah) who becomes both a lover and friend, respectively. The film then bounces back and forth and forth and back playing out these two realities to much drama and woe, and a fair bit of sad overarching music. It’s all a little too much I thought and surely must prove I’m no romantic. Many of my friends who watched this film loved it (caveat: all were female). So, Sliding Doors must be a chick-flick and I only really watched with idle interest waiting to see how Howitt ends the adventure.

My rating for the premise, and the sturdy English acting of both Hannah and Tripplehorn, is 5 out of 10.

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