It’s Christmas-time in Chicago, and Lucy has no one to share it with. She works the tollbooth in a train station and has a crush on a handsome commuter named Peter who walks past her every day. When he is mugged and thrown off the platform, Lucy jumps down onto the tracks to save him from an oncoming train.
You’ve probably seen the movie a hundred times like I have and know what happens next, right? In the hospital, Peter’s in a coma, and a nurse thinks Lucy is his fiancee (she overhears Lucy sighing and saying to herself, “Oh, I was going to marry him!”). The family believes the nurse and embraces Lucy into their brood. She’s so lonely, that she lets them. They invite her to spend Christmas with them, and she can’t resist.
When Lucy pulls up to the Callahan family’s house for the first time, she smiles:
Then we see the house and smile, too:
Don’t we all wish we had a home like this to go back to for Christmas?
The look on Lucy’s face as she watches the Callahan family open their presents says it all.
She spends the night on the sofa in the living room. Peter’s brother Jack, who hasn’t met her yet, comes in and sees her first time.
I love how the set was designed to look like a real home. Very lived in and comfortable. It’s easy to believe that Peter’s parents have lived here for decades:
Lucy meets Jack for the first time:
Jack says, “Welcome to the family.”
The exterior of Lucy’s apartment:
Lucy goes through Peter’s bag of belongings that was given to her at the hospital and finds keys to his apartment and a can of cat food.
Lucy goes to Peter’s high-rise apartment with the amazing view of downtown Chicago. It has no sign of life. No Christmas decorations. No color. We knew very little about Peter before this point. Now we realize that he’s probably not a good match for Lucy. She doesn’t belong here:
Peter has a photo of himself on the bar (his wallet was filled with photos of him, too):
Peter’s brother Jack shows up as she’s feeding the cat:
Producers used Lake Point Tower in Chicago as the setting for Peter’s apartment. Here’s what it looks like from the outside (courtesy Wikipedia):
Other movies shot in this building include “Meet the Parents” and “The Lake House.” Famous people who have lived here over the years include Goldie Hawn, Mickey Rooney, and Sammy Sosa.
A side view of the Callahan house at night:
Dinner with the Callahans:
Jack watches Lucy leave:
Here’s another shot of the house from the corner, without the Christmas lights:
And the front of the house, without all the lights on:
Ox (played by Peter Boyle) in the dining room:
Jack walks Lucy back to her apartment:
After Lucy leaves Peter at the altar, explaining that she can’t marry him after all, Jack and his family show up at Lucy’s tollbooth to propose to her:
The outdoor train scenes were filmed at State/Lake Station:
A little “While You Were Sleeping” trivia: did you know the role was originally written for Demi Moore? Sandra Bullock had just come off the blockbuster “Speed” and was ready to try something different. This was the beginning of her romantic comedy career when it premiered in 1995.