Sliding Doors (1998)
An awkward, unsexy romance comes seeping up from this pseudo-clever fiddling with existential questions and the power of coincidence and destiny. "What would happen if?" is writer/director Peter Howitt's pressing question as we follow two separate plot developments in the life of a young PR executive who has just been fired from her job: one in which she misses her train, and one in which she only just catches it. Although this basic premise is fascinating enough (and at first glance seems to be conceived as the non-annoying, serious version of Groundhog Day), it soon becomes clear that Howitt doesn't really have anywhere to go with his film, except down a very well-treaded rom-com road which in this case is populated with characters who are either klutzy, annoying or downright unsympathetic. John Hannah's part as Gwyneth Paltrow's love interest may well have been conceived as a representative for the everyday man, but that's of little use when he becomes so everyday that he's practically impotent. The best part here belongs to Jeannie Tripplehorn, who at least wants to do something with her role.