While You Were Sleeping

Details At A Glance

Category Romantic Comedy Theatrical Trailer(s) None
Other Trailer(s) None
Year Released 1995 Commentary Tracks None
Running Time 99:00 minutes Other Extras None
RSDL/Flipper No, No
Cast & Crew
Start Up Movie
Region 2,4 Director Jon Turteltaub

Warner Home Video
Starring Sandra Bullock
Bill Pullman
Peter Gallagher
Peter Boyle
Glynis Johns
Jack Warden
RRP $34.95 Music Randy Edelman

Pan & Scan/Full Frame No MPEG None
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1 Dolby Digital 2.0
16x9 Enhancement Yes Soundtrack Languages English (Dolby Digital 2.0 , 192 Kb/s)
French (Dolby Digital 2.0 , 192 Kb/s)
Italian (Dolby Digital 2.0 , 192 Kb/s)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
Macrovision Yes Smoking No
Subtitles English
English for the Hearing Impaired
Annoying Product Placement Yes, mildly
Action In or After Credits No

Plot Synopsis

    The world of the not so romantically fortunate brought to the big screen, and now the smaller screen courtesy of DVD. I guess at some stage, all of us less romantically fortunate people have dreamt of meeting that special person who will sweep us off our feet and make our life full of joy and love. Well in the movies it really happens! Pity about real life though, where most of us have to live.

    That really is the story on offer here. Lucy Moderatz (Sandra Bullock) works as a token collector for the Chicago Transportation Authority, and every day this wonderfully handsome man, Peter Callaghan (Peter Gallagher) descends upon her booth in order to catch the train. Lucy is all alone in the world and longs to meet the man of her dreams and be swept off her feet - and Peter is the embodiment of that dream. An unexpected turn of events on Christmas Day sees Lucy rescue Peter from certain death under the wheels of a train after he has been accosted, whereupon Peter is taken to hospital in a coma. In order to get into the ICU to see Peter, Lucy is "mistakenly" looked upon as his fiancee, which is fine until Peter's family rocks up and things start getting complicated. Things get even more complicated when Lucy meets Peter's brother Jack (Bill Pullman) and falls in love with him. But how do you get everything straight without upsetting the family that in a few short days you have become very attached to?

    Since this is a romantic comedy, obviously everything works out in the end, but not without some entertaining episodes along the way.

    This is really a nice little film despite the somewhat limited story line. Sandra Bullock is refreshing as Lucy, although I doubt whether she has ever had any experience of being unable to find someone to share her life; it is the freshness she brings to the screen that has made her such a big star over the last six years or so. Bill Pullman is an effective partner here and they have some nice chemistry judging by the resulting film. Peter Gallagher is not one of my favourite actors but this role is so limited that even he would have trouble stuffing it up. Jack Warden almost steals the show with his performance as Peter's godfather, Saul.

    Jon Turteltaub has done a good job of pulling the whole story together and the result is an enjoyable film that gets a regular view in our household. I must have seen this a couple of dozen times and it still puts a smile on my face - and that is the highest commendation you could give a film of this nature in my view.

Transfer Quality


    Well, the variability in Buena Vista's transfers continues and this is a pretty good one.

    The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and is 16x9 enhanced.

    The transfer is quite sharp, but does have an overall slight softness to it, no doubt to emphasize the romantic nature of the film. A little clichéd and corny maybe, but it is still an effective enough technique when done right - and this is done right. Shadow detail is very good throughout.

    The colours were uniformly rendered, although this is not an especially vibrant palette. However the slightly muted look suits the location of Chicago very well indeed, as anyone who has been there in winter will attest to. The opening sequence, which is done with an orange tint, comes across very well, with nice detail, unlike the old worn out VHS tape. That is the only oversaturation of colour in the film.

    There were no MPEG artefacts nor video artefacts noted. Film artefacts were present but they were not especially noticeable and did not detract from the film.


    This is not an audio demonstration film but overall there is little to complain about regarding the audio transfer.

    There are three audio tracks on the DVD, all being Dolby Digital 2.0 surround-encoded: the default English, French and Italian. I listened to the English default.

    The dialogue was clear and easy to understand at all times.

    Audio sync did not appear to be a problem with the transfer at all.

    The music score is from Randy Edelman, and a quirky score it is at times. However, it is a very complementary score that supports and contributes to the film very well.

    The surround channels were not especially well balanced and there was no action from the rear channels - but this is very much a dialogue film and this was well handled by the mix. A pity that we did not get a Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack as they could have done some nice stuff with the background ambience in most scenes.

    The subwoofer got nothing sent its way during this film.


    Buena Vista = no extras: haven't you worked that out yet???.


    A very plain looking menu, totally lacking in any enhancement.

R4 vs R1

    Region 4 misses out on:     Region 1 misses out on:     With Buena Vista being so consistently poor with extras across both regions (but especially Region 4), there is no compelling reason to prefer one version to the other.
[Ed: I disagree - I would prefer the 16x9 enhanced R4 version over the non-enhanced R1 version any day.]


    While You Were Sleeping is one of my favourite films and it is great that it has arrived on DVD, as I do not have to worry about wearing it out.   One of the better romantic comedies to emerge during the last five years and worthy of a place in every collection.

    The overall video quality is very good.

    The audio quality is pretty good, although a 5.1 soundtrack would have been nice.

    Extras ............................yeah, right.

Ratings (out of 5)

Extras what?

© Ian Morris
14th September 1999

Review Equipment
DVD Pioneer DV-515; S-video output
Display Sony Trinitron Wega 84cm
Audio Decoder Built in
Amplification Yamaha RXV-795
Speakers Energy Speakers: centre EXLC; left and right EXLR; and subwoofer ES-12XL