While You Were Sleeping Is About The Most Evil Woman In The World Getting Exactly What She Wants
While You Were Sleeping is a movie about Lucy -- a cute, plucky woman who works in the ticket booth for a train station. She crushes from afar on a guy named Peter, whom she's never actually met, when one day he gets pushed onto the tracks and falls into a coma. Lucy pretends to be his fiance so she can see him in the hospital room, since only family are allowed. Okay, already we're in restraining order territory, and this is just the setup.
Curiously, "horror" is not one of the listed genres for this film.
Peter's family eventually shows up, and Lucy continues the lie, even though deceiving a family about their comatose son goes well beyond "Soap Opera villain" shitty. Over the course of a few weeks, the family accepts her as one of their own (since that's what she claims to be), and right when we think it can't get worse, she then ends up falling in love with Peter's brother, Jack, forcing the guy into the greatest moral quandary of his life. She's seducing him while also manipulating him into thinking he's betraying his comatose brother. This is like the dark original version of some fairy tale that they had to clean up for a Disney movie that still wound up disturbing.
She's like if the "Every Breath You Take" lyrics magically came to life.
When Peter awakens from his coma, he naturally has no memory of Lucy, but he decides to do the "right thing" and propose to her "again." Despite now being in love with Jack, Lucy accepts. When her boss asks her why she's doing such an unspeakably shitty thing, she says it's because she's sad ... and they're rich. Look, this would be a great plot for an intensely black comedy, but that's not the atmosphere of this movie at all. It's a cute Sandra Bullock romantic romp. We're supposed to somehow be rooting for her through all this, despite the fact that she's one diaper and a Taser away from a gritty crime documentary.
Thankfully, Lucy doesn't go through with it. While literally at the altar, she admits she made the whole thing up. Aw, she's going with her heart after all! But wait, how mind-fucked is Peter right now? He fell into a coma and woke up, but now nothing is how he remembers it, he has a fiance he doesn't know, and he tries to carry on like normal, only she turns out to be a con artist / stalker in love with his brother.
We haven't seen this much psychotic manipulation since Beauty And The Beast.
What?! That should be the opening paragraph of Peter's reasonably justified suicide letter, but no. Lucy runs away in shame, yet Jack still shows up to propose to her, bringing the whole family, who all love and forgive her. They live happily ever after, and Peter goes off to join a cult. Probably. What the hell else can he do at that point?
Jordan Breeding is a part-time writer, full-time lover, and all-the-time guitarist. Check out his band at Skywardband.com or on Spotify here.
Behind every awful movie is the idea for a good one. Old man Indiana Jones discovers aliens. Good in theory, bad in practice. Batman fights Superman. So simple, but so bad. Are there good translations of these movies hidden within the stinking turds that saw the light of day? Jack O'Brien hosts Soren Bowie, Daniel O'Brien and Katie Willert of 'After Hours' on our next live podcast to find an answer as they discuss their ideal versions of flops, reboots, and remakes. Tickets are $7 and can be purchased here!
For more film couples who are pretty screwed, check out 5 Movie Romances That Won't Last (According To Science) and 15 Movie Romances That Are Actually Creepy As Hell.
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