After Helen (Gywneth Paltrow) a london executive working in public relations finds out she’s been fired after running late for work, two scenarios take place showing parallel universes as she enters the train-station. The first of which turns to Helen getting on the train where she first meets James(John Hannah) and ends up coming home to find her boyfriend Gerry(John Lynch) cheating on her with his American ex-girlfriend Lydia(Jeanne Tripplehorn). The second scenario occurs as Helen narrowly misses the train and ends up missing out her cheating boyfriend after having to take a taxi to the hospital after being mugged, returning home to a nervous Gerry who had seemed to have gotten away with the act.
During the first scenario, the audience is brought up to date with how to establish between the two, largely due to Helens fresh new haircut in which we see a short cropped look to help guide the unaware watcher. What continues is that after establishing it’s best to move on, James continues to pop into her life, often cheering her up and slowly building a bond that brings the two closer together. As imagined, the two fall in love despite Helens ‘claim’ of being in a relationship so soon.
As the second scenario unfolds, James is not brought into Helens life as within the first but only an extra in the background. Popping up in the places we see the two together in the first scenario yet the relationship is completely different between the two by which I mean they are completely unaware of each other. Gerry is very much the key interest within this timeline as we follow his sly ways as he tries to figure out what he really wants, Lydia or Helen. While also noting that he has been attempting to write a novel which in reality would have been a more suitable idea to take up in the spare time rather than cheating. (He never does write the book) Since Helen struggles to find a job, she takes up a couple part time jobs to help keep with the rent while hoping Gerry can write the book. Lydia also becomes a more prominent character, taking up more aggressive ways of making Gerry walk out on Helen for her. Yet, does James eventually have a say in this?
Within both storylines, twists and turns occur, drawing parallel in multiple occasions, coming to an emotional final fifteen minutes in which both timelines are coming together to show a determinist viewpoint of everything being pre-determined from past upbringings.
Peter Howitt brilliantly puts together a masterpiece to be drawn into, throwing in all kinds of different directions to be guessed at where they will lead, coming to a close on an ending I couldn’t help but be grateful for.
Despite only reaching a 6.8 on IMDB, it reached a box office of 58 million USD and is easily a must watch for the endless desire to see what happens next.