British actor Peter Howitt wrote and directed this British romantic comedy-drama with a "road not taken" premise recalling the 1921 play If
by Lord Dunsany (1878-1957), Frank Capra's It's a Wonderful Life
(1946), and O.Henry's short story Roads of Destiny
(1909). Howitt's storyline branches in two directions: Helen (Gwyneth Paltrow) loses her job at a classy London PR firm, has a run-in with a purse-snatcher, and just misses catching her boyfriend Gerry (John Lynch
) in bed with his former girlfriend Lydia (Jeanne Tripplehorn). But what if it were one of those days when everything goes right? As the sliding doors close while she stands on a subway platform in the London underground, Helen ponders the events in her alternate reality. The plot of Lord Dunsany's If
also hinges on a future determined by catching or missing a train. Sliding Doors
was shown at the 1998 Sundance Film Festival.