Sandra Bullock Lesson #1

Everything I need to know I learned from Sandra Bullock.

As you may or may not have heard on the podcast, I had a weird dream a few weeks ago that Sandra Bullock was following me around telling me what to do.

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Mostly she was telling me things from Miss Congeniality (that film is full of life lessons!) But, it got me thinking about all of her films. I’ve been a fan of her work for a long time, and I think part of that is because I never know what she’s going to turn up in next. Chick flick? Many. Action film? Several. Crime investigation? Been there, done that. Time travel? Sort of. Science fiction? Hells yes.

I realised there are many lessons to be had from all of her films. I set myself a challenge to watch ALL (or as many as I can track down) of her films and report back on the useful things I learned from them.

To kick things off, we’re stating with While You Were Sleeping. Probably not what you’d expect to kick off this extravaganza, but it’s what LoveFilm sent to me in the post first, so there we go.

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Lesson Learned: In cases of mistaken identity, clear that shit up early.

Lucy (Sandra Bullock) leads a lonely life in Chicago, working at the rail station. For months she’s had a secret crush on one of her commuters, Peter, but she’s never worked up the nerve to say anything to him. Fate intervenes on Christmas when Peter is mugged and knocked on to the tracks. Lucy saves him from being smooshed, and escorts him to the hospital. The doctor won’t let her into the room, as she isn’t family, but one of the nurses mistakes her for his fiance and tells the whole family that’s who she is. Peter is in a coma and can’t contradict this. Family takes her in and she doesn’t correct them because she’s too happy being a part of their lives. Peter’s brother Jack (Bill Pullman) is suspicious, and starts investigating her, and falling in love with her. Awwwww. You’ll have to watch the rest to see what happens.

This is a cute film. Very contrived, but the grandparents are great, Bill Pullman is adorkable and he and Sandra Bullock have good chemistry.

If you followed the lesson I learned, Sandra and Bill probably wouldn’t have fallen in love. However, in reality, if someone posed as your brother’s fiance for several weeks, you aren’t likely to be very trusting of them after the truth comes out. So, I say err on the side of caution and just tell the truth. Makes things much less stressful.

One interesting note, on the IMDB trivia page, it says the original concept had the gender roles reversed. Peter was a woman and Lucy was a guy. However, a guy pretending to be a fiance was deemed too predatory. I find this fascinating. Isn’t it interesting that a sad cat lady saving a manly man is acceptable, but a sad cat guy saving some good looking commuter woman isn’t? I think this says loads about our gender stereotypes and what is deemed acceptable romance film material.

Would I have been ok with Bill Pullman as train ticket guy, gawking after Sandra Bullock, high powered commuter? I think so. Posing as her fiance? For an extended period of time? To what end exactly? Eeeeeh, suddenly we veer into creepy. And yet, I never felt completely creeped out during the film, roles reversed. Sometimes, a little bit, but not to the point of turning it off. Is that because I know she’ll end up with Bill Pullman and it will be Happily Ever After and it was Meant To Be? Or is it just societal brainwashing that tells me it’s ok for sad cat ladies to insert themselves into stranger’s family’s lives? Food for thought!

What do you think? Did you learn different lessons?

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