THREE STARS – Searching, Thoughtful

Dreams often come true, but only seldom in the way we dream them!

        Whether the dream is that of the Biblical Joseph who dreamed he would one day be a great ruler, or the dream is that of Lucy  (Sandra Bullock) to marry her handsome stranger and create a home and family in “While You Were Sleeping,”  both come true, but in completely unexpected ways.

        This experience in people’s lives from Biblical times to our own, reinforces  our hope in the  fulfillment of our dreams and our romantic approach to life.

        Dreams usually come from a place of unfulfilled needs.  Lucy’s need is to find love and people who care.

        Working in the token booth of the Chicago “L”, having been orphaned a year earlier leaving her without family, her holidays and her life have a painful emptiness.

        Into this need comes a dashing and inaccessible Peter Callahan (Peter Gallagher).  It is then that Lucy’s dreams begin.

        Through the events of a holiday accident, and the comic misunderstanding of her relationship with Peter, Lucy is adopted into the family of Peter who is  now comatose.

        It is there that she meets another person with unfulfilled needs and hampered dreams, Peter’s brother Jack (Bill Pullman).

        Jack is as warmhearted as Peter is unreachable and the romantic storyline is now complete.  While Peter is sleeping, Lucy and Jack fall in love.

        The underlying message of Jon Tureltaub’s film is a beautiful and endearing example of the classic comic tale.

        Unlike a tragedy in which the focus of the film is on the dignity of the characters in the face of unresolvable sorrow,  the comic tale takes us down a path full of quick turns and slippery falls, leading us all the time to the happy ending we know is coming.    The comic tale uplifts us.

        Deep within, we have a spiritual sense that through sweetness and good intentions,  everything, no matter how crazy it looks today, is going to work out in the end.

        We have a sense that happiness and joy are the future for the sweet and good people.

        Without a doubt, there is no one sweeter than Lucy.  You cannot help but reach out to her in her many innocent predicaments.

        There is also no one more vulnerable than Jack.  We are partnered with him in his longing to be united in marriage with Lucy.

        Through their weakness more than their strength, the situations of their lives weave together an endearing pattern of love, joy and fulfillment.

        Perhaps, in an ultimate spiritual sense, this is a tale that speaks hope to our spirits.

        Various spiritual leaders have long debated the meaning of life. 

        Some describe life as a tragedy to be endured.  Others describe life as an irony to be unraveled by the knowing.

        Still others describe life as a battle which must be fought.

        But this film expresses life as a comic tale in which dreams are fulfilled.

        The human soul senses that there is a serendipitous touch within the experiences of life.  Almost as though a master author has woven together forces of unexplained cause, hope shines into the darkest of places and love becomes possible for all.

        The Biblical account of the tragic experiences  of sin and the consequent sacrifice of Jesus Christ is the structure on which the ultimate happy ending of the resurrection is displayed.

        Although not all believe this to be true,  one cannot avoid the fact that it speaks deeply to the human soul.

        “While You Were Sleeping” is a romantic comedy of dreams and their fulfillment.   As a film it uplifts our souls and shadows a message of ultimate joy.