Sliding Doors

January 28, 2008 - Gwyneth Paltrow lives something of a double life in this 1998 romantic drama set in London. John Hannah (from Four Weddings and a Funeral) co-stars along with Jeanne Tripplehorn.

Paltrow puts on her British accent to play Helen, who works at a PR firm. But, the film opens with our Helen having a tough day. She gets fired from her job, drops her earring (which is picked up by Hannah's character, named James), misses her tube train, and gets mugged while waiting for a taxi.

Or, does she? That's one scenario. The film quickly presents an alternate version in which Helen still gets fired and drops her earring, but she makes the train, sits next to James, talks to him, and arrives home in time to find her boyfriend in bed with another woman (Tripplehorn).

Up until the very end, the film continues to alternate between the separate paths. In one, Helen gets a sassy haircut, begins dating James, and opens her own PR firm. In the other, Helen works two jobs and takes a long time to catch on to her cheating boyfriend.

Overall review: *** Not much to dislike here. It's not too difficult to keep the two Helens separate. It's also not difficult to like both of them, though I suppose one may generate a sense of admiration while the other is more a figure to be pitied. Overall, an entertaining movie that makes you think about the road not taken - and whether it really matters.