While You Were Sleeping

Movie review by
Common Sense Media Editors, Common Sense Media
While You Were Sleeping Movie Poster Image
Popular with kidsParents recommend
Appealing family comedy with old-fashioned feel.
  • PG
  • 1995
  • 103 minutes

Parents say

age 10+
Based on 6 reviews

Kids say

age 10+
Based on 19 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Family love, loss, loneliness, honesty and romance are all in this story. While the main character, Lucy, lies in the beginning she redeems herself.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The main character lies to get what she wants, but realizes she must tell the truth.


A man is mugged and pushed onto train tracks.


Some sexual references and kissing.


Some mild cursing.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that While You Were Sleeping is basically a charming, old-fashioned comedy with a bit of cursing and some selfish behavior. There's also a bit of sexual innuendo.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byyankeepeg July 16, 2009

Definitely not appropriate for under 12 !

I really like this movie myself, but more conservative parents might object to the language and innuendo. One character lies to others that he's having a s... Continue reading
Parent of a 13, 17, and 18+-year-old Written byColourful Threads May 20, 2018

Sweet and funny

This was perfect for a girls-night-out with my 13 year old daughter. It was a great balance of humor and romance without being cheesy or sappy. Lucy is compete... Continue reading
Kid, 11 years old April 12, 2010

If your looking for another great perfomace by Sandra Bullock you found one!

Before I saw this movie I never heard of Sandra Bullock. Im glad I saw this movie. The first time I saw it I was probaly seven. I didnt pay any attention to the... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byObsessed_Airbender May 6, 2021

Really Funny

My mom and I watched this when I was 12, and I thought it was really funny.

What's the story?

In WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING, Lucy (Sandra Bullock) is a Chicago El train token collector who has a crush on a man (Peter Gallagher) who doesn't even know her. Then one day she sees him being mugged and pushed onto the El tracks -- she rescues him and goes with him to the hospital, where a nurse overhears her say to herself, "I was going to marry him." Soon everyone, including Peter's family, thinks she's Peter's fiancé, and Lucy soon finds herself too caught up in the affectionate madness to tell the truth. Even after Peter wakes up -- not remembering her but assuming it's amnesia -- and Lucy realizes she actually loves his brother, Jack (Bill Pullman), she still can't tell the truth. Will she end up marrying the right brother?

Is it any good?

This sweet, romantic fairy tale made a star out of Sandra Bullock, and gave Bill Pullman the chance to show off his softer side. Both give charming performances, and they're supported wonderfully by Peter Boyle, Jack Warden, and Glynis Johns. As Jack's eccentric family, these screen veterans provide a humorous backdrop for the story. Their good-natured warmth makes Lucy's pretense understandable, if not acceptable.

While You Were Sleeping has an old-fashioned feel. While it's patterned after the classic romantic comedies of the 1930s and 1940s (It Happened One Night, The Philadelphia Story), it's not up to the lofty standards of these predecessors. Still, the movie's clever writing, gentle humor, and strong performances make up for its shortcomings. It is a good choice for parents to watch with their older kids, because there's something here to appeal to both generations. A 14-year-old viewer identified with the main character's romantic longings, and her adult companion liked the movie's light humor and happy resolution.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the great tradition of romantic comedies. How does While You Were Sleeping fit in?

  • What makes them funny?

  • What's the tension that gets resolved?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love romance

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

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