Projections - Movie Reviews

Sliding Doors

Captain James Kirk and many other science fiction characters have faced the Sliding Doors.  They are the portholes through which Helen (Gwyneth Paltrow) passes into two futures.  This is not science fiction but a dual or parallel romance for Helen.

As a successful public relations star, Helen supports her live-in lover Gerry (John Lynch), a hopeful novelist. Chance changes the flow of her life on a fateful day.  She is fired from her job and on her way home she both catches and misses the London Tube (subway) by passing through the sliding doors.  Her life then flows in two directions: one places her at her flat before the other and she finds Gerry in bed with Lydia (Jeanne Tripplehorn), while the other arrives at a later time and is not aware of the affair.

Director Peter Howitt though of the idea when he was nearly struck by a passing car while walking along London's Charing Cross Road.  The thought that fate and chance, even the smallest happening, can change the entire direction of one's life, is the force driving the script.

In the life in which Helen discovers Gerry's tryst, she meets James (John Hannah) and begins to fall in love with him.  He encourages her and she starts up a new company and thrives.  In the other life, she works as a waitress supporting Gerry who continues to cheat with Lydia.

Even with the dual roles, the characters continue to act within their personality, only changed by the altered states in which they are placed.

Lynch is the most impressive as the slippery, cheating boyfriend who is not willing to give up either of his lovers until he is forced to.  Pattrow is delightful in each role as a young woman traveling through the modern courtship process.  Hannah provides a warm performance as the stable, cautious, reliable new lover and Tripplehom is a striking other woman who does not want to give up on Gerry.

The gimmick of two stories adds interest but each of the stories has the strength on its own to express the emotion, pain and hope of romance and love.  Together, even with some confusion, they are even more powerful.

Watching each of the main characters interact with each other displaying the caution and hesitation which occurs when one person is not sure if the other has comitment and emotional involvement is flawlessly delivered.

It is rated R for adult situations.

Sliding Doors


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