What do you get when you roll up parallel time lines, romantic comedy, chance destiny, and Gwyneth Paltrow? You get the 1998 film Sliding Doors. Not Sliding Doors like a patio door but like the sliding doors of a train in which the movie unfolds. The film opened fairly low at the box office but word of mouth helped it climb the charts and become successful. On top of that, due to the unique nature, it became a cult film of sorts. Now The good folks at Shout Factory are releasing this on a collector’s edition Blu-ray as part of their Shout Select Series.
Paltrow plays Helen. She’s an advertising executive who has just lost her job. As she doesn’t have to be at work she goes home, early. She barley makes it through the sliding doors of the train and meets a young man named James who strikes up a conversation with almost instantly. The two talk until she gets to her stop. She goes home and catches her boyfriend sleeping with another woman. She freaks out and leaves him, moving in with her friend. Over the course of this scenario she reconnect with James, falls in love, gets pregnant, and then has a great twist ending. Well not so much “Great”, but shocking to say the least. Then we get a flash and….
We See Helen just missing getting on a train, and getting mugged. She has to go to the hospital so when she gets home in the scenario she doesn’t catch her boyfriend, Garry, cheating on her. She ends up taking two jobs (she lost her ad job in both versions) and works so much she doesn’t find out about Garry’s cheating ways. She does however become pregnant. If that’s not enough Garry’s girlfriend want him to herself so she decides to help Helen figure it out. This also leads to a hell of a twist ending.
The film is good, although I don’t find as much humor in it as I think I’m supposed to. I find it a bit sad, and very ironic at times. Paltrow is amazing in it. I have always been a huge fan, and this is one of her best film roles. She is just a pleasure to watch on screen. John Hannah is fantastic as well as James, and the two have fantastic chemistry together. He’s incredibly charming and plays off of Paltrow perfectly.
Throwing in the time loop, or alternate version is a great touch. Not science fiction or anything, just a nice difference. It really goes to show you that things in your life can change in a split second. Out of the two scenarios I enjoy the second one better. Not saying there is anything wrong with the first, I just felt the later gave Paltrow a bigger chance to show her range and shine.
Shout Factory has done a remarkable job, as always with the transfer in terms of look and sound. This is a fantastic print. Everything is clear and sharp, and the soundtrack, which I thoroughly enjoy sounds great remastered and playing in surround sound. As its Shout Factory they even have a nice amount of special features to include as well.
NEW Audio Commentary with Writer/Director Peter Howitt
NEW “The Sliding Doors Moments” – A Feature-Length Documentary Looking Back At The Making Of The Film; Including Exclusive Home Movie Footage And Brand-New Interviews With Peter Howitt, Stars Gwyneth Paltrow And John Hannah, And More
NEW A Stroll Through Sliding Doors London With Peter Howitt
Fans of romantic comedies will really get a kick out of this one. It’s a great twist on an old theme to say the least. I enjoyed it, and that’s saying something as I am very hit or miss on these types of films. If you like Paltrow, romance, comedy, and something a bit different pick this one up.
Overall 3.5 out of 5 Stars!