Funny how no one talks on the Tube. It's hard to know what you would do if a man you had never met before sat down and started explaining that The Beatles should have been called The "Foetles" (as in foetals) because everyone is born knowing their lyrics.

Perhaps it is easier to know what would happen if you returned early from work to find your boyfriend busy in bed with his ex-girlfriend.

Sliding Doors revolves around such imponderables by tracking the parallel lives of the same woman depending on whether she catches or misses a tube train.

Writer and director Peter Howitt (formerly Joey in Bread) had the idea for the film five years ago when he nearly got run over in Charing Cross Road and got thinking about life's `what ifs'.

Against the odds he has managed to produce this superior romantic comedy starring Gwyneth Paltrow, who again displays an impeccable English accent, though abandoning the plummy tones of Emma for something sounding suspiciously like Helen Baxendale.

John Hannah follows his acclaimed poetry reading in Four Weddings and a Funeral with a charming performance as James, who manages to summon enough nauseating charm to woo Helen in one of her lives.

A sassy performance from Jeanne Triplehorn as the other woman complements John Lynch's portrayal of the indecisive and frankly baffling Gerry whom both women seem dead set on pursuing.

Witty, engaging and glamorous, Sliding Doors makes for the perfect relaxing night at the cinema. We might have known it would take two Americans, two Irish and a Scot to make a great English movie.

Converted for the new archive on 30 June 2000.Some images and formatting may have been lost in the conversion.