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Film: While You Were Sleeping
A 1995 Romantic Comedy starring Sandra Bullock as a lonely singleton who by chance is mistaken for the fiancée of a rich bachelor as played by Peter Gallagher when the latter falls into a coma. His family are very welcoming to her and she finds herself slowly falling in love with the whole charade... when the fake fiancé's younger brother arrives, who suspects that not all is as it appears. Things then become even more complicated when she finds herself falling in love with him instead.

Bullock received a nomination for a Best Actress Golden Globe for this movie.


Provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Abhorrent Admirer: Joey is a rare male example of this trope, being not quite a Stalker with a Crush but still annoyingly fixated on Lucy.
    Joey: Okay, Lucy, it's either me or him!
    Lucy: [Nonchalantly, without missing a beat] Him.
    Joey: ...You don't have to answer right away.
  • A-Cup Angst: Played with in the scene where Lucy self-deprecatingly talks about the resemblance between herself and her late father.
  • Becoming the Mask: Used for the second half of the plot.
  • Betty and Veronica: Peter is the rich and handsome lawyer while Jack is the ruggedly handsome craftsman.
  • Big Eater: Lucy—just listen in on her Chinese takeout orders.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Peter appears to have been one of these.
  • Brick Joke: When Lucy and Jack deliver the couch to Peter's apartment, they knock over a vase with blue water and stain the floor. Later at the wedding, Lucy reveals all, ending with, "Sorry about your carpet." Peter nods and then realizes he has no idea what she's talking about and asks, "What about my carpet?"
  • Cannot Spit It Out: Things would be a lot easier if Lucy could just explain the situation from the start. To be fair, she does try a bunch of times, but inevitably gets cut-off or interrupted before she can, until the point arrives when revealing it would be even more awkward.
  • Chick Flick
  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Elsie.
  • Convenient Coma: Sets up the first half of the plot.
  • Cool Big Sis: Lucy becomes this for Mary, Peter's sister.
  • Crossdresser: Joey seems to dabble in this, being that he can't help trying on Lucy's shoes.
  • The Danza: Peter Gallagher as Peter Callahan.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Rather similar in plot to "Sabrina" in which a poor girl must impress a rich man's family then later finds herself in the middle of a Love Triangle.
  • Dueling Shows: Mrs. Winterbourne, a movie released around the same time with a similar plot (young woman is confused for the fiancée of a man she barely knows following an accident involving a train, and finds herself Becoming the Mask in the process as the man's family embrace her as one of their own).
  • The Dutiful Son/The Unfavourite: Jack is always being compared to Peter.
    • However, based on the family's reaction when when Ashley shows up at the wedding, it does appear that this isn't the first time Peter has caused an upheaval.
  • Follow in My Footsteps: Jack wants to start his own carpentry business, but his father is set on him inheriting the family business. When Jack finally works up the courage to admit to his father he doesn't want to do this, his father is upset... because if he'd known this sooner, he could have accepted a really good offer someone else had made on the business the previous year and retired. He accepts the fact that Jack doesn't want to follow in his footsteps quite well, however.
  • Foreshadowing: Ox asks Lucy what was the first thing she noticed about Peter. She says it was his teeth and Ox laughs and explains that they are very expensive caps. This foreshadows the fact that everything she admires about Peter is fake.
  • Free Prize at the Bottom: Apparently, this is why Jack likes to steal his sister's favorite breakfast cereal.
  • Hey, It's That Guy!:
  • If You Ever Do Anything To Hurt Them: It's very subtly done, but Saul's conversation with Lucy on the doorstep of Peter and Jack's parents house before they enter the Christmas celebration is essentially this; having secretly learnt the night before that Lucy isn't Peter's fiance, he's scoping out what her motives are and gently warning her that if she does have malicious intent she'll answer to him. She doesn't pick up on it and he ends up sufficiently convinced of her fundamental decency and sincerity to eventually persuade her to keep up the masquerade, at least temporarily, for everyone's good.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: What Peter turns out to be. Not a bad guy, just incredibly self-absorbed.
    • Joey also. As dumb as he is, he seems legitimately ready to protect Lucy when he thinks Jack is bothering her.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: When Peter wakes up and, understandably, doesn't remember Lucy being his fiancée, everyone assumes he's got a dose of this despite the fact that he remembers absolutely everything else about his life. He gets to the point where he's reciting locker combinations he had in grade school before throwing up his hands and going along with it.
  • Loving a Shadow: Lucy (Sandra Bullock) has been in love with Peter from afar but she is unaware of what he is really like.
  • Love Triangle: Lucy soon finds herself in the middle of a love triangle between Peter and his brother Jack.
  • Mistaken for Pregnant: Used as part of an introduction to guests that goes laughably wrong.
  • Oblivious to Love: Peter to Lucy at the start of the film.
  • One Drink Will Kill the Baby: Jack attempts to prevent Lucy from drinking booze when under the misconception that she's pregnant. In front of all her friends. It... doesn't go so well, largely because this occurs during the Seven Minute Lull.
  • Parental Abandonment: After her mother's death (which Lucy says was when she was very small) Lucy appears to have been raised solely by her father, who himself has passed away not long before the events of the movie. The fact that Peter and Jack's parents are warm, inviting and loving people is one of the reasons she finds it hard to give up the masquerade.
  • Pull the Thread: Jack attempts to do this initially with Lucy. However, owing to a series of humorous coincidences, Lucy somehow manages to be able to bluff her way past all of his questions.
  • Rich Bitch: Ashley Bartlett-Bacon, Peter's actual fiancee. Except not quite — she actually said no, but changed her mind.
  • Rich Idiot with No Day Job: Subverted in that we do see evidence that Peter is a lawyer.
  • Single Woman Seeks Good Man
  • Shrinking Violet/The Wallflower: Again Lucy.
  • Slapstick: An unexpected one on Christmas morning with the paper-boy on the bike.
  • Speak Now or Forever Hold Your Peace: About four people raise their objections to Lucy and Peter's wedding. Including Lucy herself and Jack, for obvious reasons. None of them waits until the right time to say it.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Lucy's infatuation with Peter initially borders on this, at least a little; although she's under no delusions about the exact nature of her relationship with Peter, she's nevertheless convinced she's in love with and has built up a fantasy scenario of a potential relationship with a man she knows solely a series of second-long interactions through a transit station token booth. She's a lot nicer and sweeter than the usual example, however, and eventually grows out of it over the course of the movie.
  • Title Drop: The very last line of the film.
  • Under The Mistletoe: Lucy and Jack at Christmas.
  • The Windy City: The movie's set in Chicago and the L-Train plays a significant role in the plot.


A Very Harold & Kumar 3D ChristmasChristmas Movies IndexWhite Christmas
When in RomeRomantic ComedyThe Woman In Red
Welcome To The DollhouseFilms of the 1990sWhisper of the Heart

alternative title(s): While You Were Sleeping
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