Sliding Doors: A Romance with a Touch of Magic


Though rooted in some sense of “fantasy,” this 1998 drama stars a popular film star which gives it long standing credit. Without a title that tells you much about the film, Sliding Doors is an interesting if not totally satisfying romantic drama.

Sliding Doors (1998) Film Review

At the end of the daily drudgery, Helen Quilley (Gwyneth Paltrow) rushes to catch a train that will take her home. In one reality the Londoner catches the train and makes it home to her long-term live in boyfriend, Gerry (John Lynch). Gerry is the kind of guy who lets his hard-working girlfriend support him while he plays at writing a novel. What Helen doesn’t know is that Gerry is also stepping out on her. Because she catches the train, Helen discovers an unknowing Gerry and his mistress together.

In another reality, Helen does not catch her train, and instead must wait on the next one. While in this life, Helen remains blissfully unaware of Gerry’s habits, and she continues on in their life. In her parallel world, she meets James (John Hannah), who could be the right guy. In a short time, Helen finds she and James have far more in common than she and Gerry ever did. But in the other timeline, Helen discovers something that will forever change her relationship with Gerry.

FILM REVIEW | While You Were Sleeping: A RomCom Icon that Will Make You Smile

Reviewing a 90s romantic drama starring Gwyneth Paltrow! Sliding Doors: A Romance with a Touch of Magic Click To Tweet
Sliding Doors

Though it happens in rare fashion, on occasion, I watch an oldie romance drama. When I say oldie, I don’t mean a classic, but rather one that’s “old” by my generation’s movie-going standards. So many romances were among those I missed growing up because I was either too young to see them at the time, or they were inappropriate viewing. Sliding Doors is one of these dramas.

Given its age, I don’t have a clue if this film was received well or if it’s well liked, but it’s certainly something that entertains. For me, it doesn’t have the same romanticism as While You Were Sleeping or the charm of One Fine Day, but it does have its own attributes. I really like Paltrow in this role. She has to play two different roles for the same character, and she does both quite well. The bad guy is appropriately annoying, and someone we hope is caught red-handed. The good guy is considerate, but also, as we learn, deeply flawed.

If you’re nostalgic for the romantic films of the 90s, Sliding Doors is worth the risk of bittersweet moments.

Content note: there is some sexual content (scenes, and affairs) and innuendo. There’s also profanity. PG13 is the film’s rating.

Photos: Warner Bros.

About Rissi JC

amateur graphic designer. confirmed bookaholic. bubbl’r enthusiast. critical thinker. miswesterner. social media coordinator. writer.


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