Poster image from here.
Gwyneth Paltrow * John Hannah
Written and directed by Peter Howitt
It's not at all astoundinglythoughtprovokinglyspectacular, but I kinda think Sliding Doors has been underrated (I mean at least here, where I'm from). I can easily imagine it to be some fatalist's favorite, or a romantic's reference, but it seems like no one even remembers it anymore (at least not here). It's not an intellectually challenging sort of movie, but it sparks viewers' thoughts about their own lives - questions about destiny, happy accidents, what ifs and the power of a seemingly insignificant moment in time.
What stands out about Sliding Doors isn't Gwyneth nor the atypical leading men, but the theme cleverly conveyed through parallel plots. The story of a woman named Helena is shown in two possible paths, diverged due to an event that took but a split second. We follow her through both, compare the severely different lives, and wonder if everything truly did come to the same end.
Well, I thought it was somewhat brilliant. Not outstanding, but at least moderately good. I just had to ignore Gwyneth's unconvincingly phony accent. I enjoyed the movie enough that after seeing it at the cinema, I recommended it to my mom and I agreed to watch it a second time with her (I hadn't exactly thought that through; witnessing an awkward howling orgasm scene within the first ten minutes with my mother right beside me was deathly uncomfortable). And I have to say, as much as I disliked Gwyneth - who in 1998 was the overexposed girlfriend of a certain Brad Pitt - I loved her short blonde haircut.