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4.4 out of 5 stars188
4.4 out of 5 stars
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 10 February 2011
Sliding Doors is written and directed by Peter Howitt. It stars Gwyneth Paltrow and John Hannah, and features John Lynch, Jeanne Tripplehorn and Virginia McKenna. The music was composed by David Hirschfelder and Remi Adefarasin photographs it on location in Londion. The film follows Helen Quilley (Paltrow), who has just been fired from her public relations job. The plot then splits into two parallel universes based on if she either did or did not get onto the London tube train to get home.

Peter Howitt is more known to the British for his portrayal of Joey in the hugely popular sit-com, Bread. Here for his first full length directing assignment he tackles the romantic comedy genre and gives it an intelligent and witty kick up the backside. Howitt apparently had the idea for the film when he was almost run over by a car, the whole "what if?" situation worked around his mind and ended up being Sliding Doors. The premise is tricky but executed with skill, two dovetailing stories featuring the same people. To expand on each story would to my mind be unfair on any prospective newcomers to the film, it's just safe to say that infidelity features prominently and that as funny as it is at times, it's also an often sombre and cautionary piece as well.

The cast are a mixed bunch. Hannah and Paltrow are superb, he is funny, charming and utterly beguiling, yet a world away from the normal pretty boy types so favoured by film makers. She is, on both fronts, engaging, infuriating and commanding the utmost attention from the viewers. You will find yourself shouting at her sometimes, yet at others you may find your heart sinking such is the conflicted emotional depth that Paltrow gives Helen. And this is done not by bursting into tears or any sort of "the world is against me" histrionics, it's played very straight because her Helen is no lame dame. Credit too must go to Howitt who chooses not to go down the safe route of playing the tears to get tears rom-com card. Sadly the two other main players are a big let down, Lynch just never convinces as boyfriend Gerry, while Tripplehorn as the ex stirring up a hornets nest is whiny and Persona Non Grata. The big winner here tho is Howitt's writing, his directing is raw and often too in your face, but the script breaks away from formula and constantly nudges the audience into asking pertinent "what if?" questions. There's nothing complex about it, just slices of destiny and fate that can alter within seconds. For better or worse.

No smugness here, and this is better than the average rom-coms that seem to be put out by cash hungry studios on a monthly basis. Is it just a rom-com with a gimmick? Yes it is, but what a gimmick! And come the end as the two stories bang together you hopefully should feel all the better for it. Hope springs eternal my friends. 7.5/10
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VINE VOICEon 13 May 2010
I'm sure that at some time or other everybody thinks that if I had only done something different from a different decision what would life have been and where would I be now. There've been several movies like this with what ifs sometimes people see the future and come back and correct it; some people never see the future. If you enjoy movies like "Happy Accidents" (2000) that you know the premise of this movie and will enjoy it also. There have been better and worse presentations. This presentation hits the mark.

Helen Quilley (Gwyneth Paltrow) makes it and doesn't make it to the sliding door of the subway. This is where the story split into two parts and we follow each Helen as she is the victim and the master of her fate. Luckily the producers of this film split it into nearly 2 completely different stories so we don't keep seen two versions of the same thing like in the movie "Run Lola Run." Notice also that Jeanne Tripplehorn plays an excellent antagonist.

I am sure that you will enjoy this movie. You will find yourself kibitzing. And wondering what would I have done.

Happy Accidents
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on 9 July 2014
I did not buy this film from amazon but after recently rewatching it I wanted to share my thoughts. I will always freely admit to being a rom com fan and also a fan of Ms. Paltrows. The trailer looked good, don't they always? After seeing Gwyneth in Emma (1996) I was interested in seeing her as a modern woman. Her accent is passable but it's John Hannah who makes this film. His gorgeous, to die for accent is like musical honey for the ears. Aside from him there's the always lovely Jeanne Tripplehorn who here proves she can do comedy and do it well too. John Lynch as the guy who does the dirty on Helen is also watchable. This film made me cry at one point. But it's a very nicely acted rom com with some drama too. I think that I prefer Gwyneth with the brunette wig. There's the obligatory kiss in the rain scene towards the close of the film. John and Gwyneth have some genuine chemistry. The other John and Jeanne have fun.
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on 3 February 2014
Historians, economists and many others keep asking this question. Most of the time no one really has an answer. A good degree of serendipity in life is unavoidable. And yet in this film, in the end, man reaps what man saws. This seems to be the moral of the story here. So when something goes wrong don't whine about "what if" and try and build a future instead! It is a fun story, unpredictable and a very original debut behind the camera for the director. Acting is great. This is as good as a rom-com can get, lots of fun and feel-good with much added suspense.
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on 17 January 2002
I am 15 and male and all my friends are into actions movies. Stereotypically, I am not supposed to enjoy this sort of film, but I think it is really great. It is a nice romantic comedy with an interesting storyline and plenty of British style and wit, without the pathetic, corny, sentimental mush contained in many American films of the same genre. Definitely worth buying.
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Deliberated about watching this film, but I wanted something light. This film is light, but boring. I had to fast forward several times, because I knew the plot line and the ending, I was right.

Helen played by Gwyneth Paltrow, is in PR in a firm in the UK. She gets to work to find she has been fired by the big boys for taking 4 bottles of vodka home the previous Friday. As she starts home, she is faced with two diverging doors. One train door will take her home to find her lover, Gerry, getting it on with his ex- girlfriend. The other train door she misses, and arrives home after the girlfriend has left. The path follows each door, and the rest of the story.

Gwyneth is much younger, the film is 18 years old. The plot is easy to follow and predict. The acting is okay, but do not waste your time and effort.

Not Recommended For Me. prisrob 05-31-16
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on 10 September 2015
Sliding Doors is just as good as it was the first time I saw it several years ago. Gwyneth Paltrow and John Hannah are great in the lead roles and I love the story parallell story. In one story we get to know what would have happen if Paltrows character whould have found out that her boyfriend is cheating on her and follow her life and in the other version we get to see what happens if she didn't find it out. It's a great an original story and i like this movie very much,
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on 28 March 2005
The theme of the film is well covered below, so I have no intention of revisiting that - however -
If you think it is going to be an easy watch, think on!
Sure, it can be an easy watch, but a lapse in concentration will lead to you losing the plot so to speak.
Just remember one Helen has a Band Aid on her head and long brown hair, then just long brown hair.
The other Helen has long brown hair (no Band Aid) and then short blonde hair.
Confused already?
Anyway just try and get into it at an early stage and you will not regret it.
This is a film which is funny, thought provoking to the extent that almost everyone will have had a 'what if' encounter like this, and the ending is very clever, and unexpected.
Sure, you will probably find bits to criticise, but it is the little things, like the Band Aid and hair clues, the music in the pub playing at exactly the same point through the two storylines, Russell the friend in the pub and the mix of sadness and humour which makes this a very very enjoyable watch.
By the way there are many sets of Sliding Doors throughout this film, not just the important ones at the start and end of the film.
If I ever buy an anorak, I might count them one day!!!
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on 7 August 2013
Great film - I've watched it many times and still love it! You wonder in your own life what would have happened differently if you had caught the train that day. You get to see this unfold, watching Helen's life (Gwenyth Paltrow)The idea that a slight change of your life has such huge consequences. I enjoyed the film on DVD but going to Blu Ray and getting the extra clarity is important for me.
Would you prefer to catch or miss the train that day???
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on 29 April 2013
Bought it as I had seen it when it came out and wanted to see it again. Very good second time round with a tremendous cast and an interesting pair of plots which did not suggest supernatural involvement for which I was grateful. It was just two possible outcomes, suggesting the concept of parallel universes

Not dated in my opinion with engaging cast members who are still prominent talents today
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