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Sliding Doors

Sliding Doors

Image credit: Sliding Doors, 1998

On the cusp of a new year and a new decade, it’s natural to think about the choices we’ve made over the last twelve months. Did we pick the right mate or perhaps dodge a bullet? Are we where we expected to be in our careers, or could we have done something a little bit different to change the trajectory? In the film Sliding Doors (Disc/Download), Gwyneth Paltrow gets to experience both sides of life’s coin to see what a difference one tiny twist of fate can make.

When we meet Anna, she’s a successful PR exec with a boyfriend and very few cares in the world. But when she gets fired for “borrowing” vodka from the company stash, she retreats to the London Underground to catch a train home.  Here’s where the film splits- in one narrative she catches the train, and in the other she doesn’t. If she catches it, she arrives home in time to find her boyfriend cheating on her, setting off a domino effect of smart, brave career choices, a new Scottish love interest, and a fetching short haircut. If she doesn’t, she’s stuck with the philandering boyfriend, multiple crappy waitress jobs, and a long brunette ‘do that does absolutely nothing for her skin tone. But just when it seems like life is just a game of random luck and misfortune, the filmmakers throw us a curve ball and Anna finds herself in exactly the same situation in both narratives. You can miss the train, but you can’t escape fate.

I applaud Sliding Doors for giving us a lot of great alcohol moments. Getting fired will drive anybody to drink, bad boyfriend or not. But my favorite scene is when Gwyneth plays detective with a brandy glass she finds in the laundry basket. Let’s ring in the new year with a festive brandy cocktail, perfect for celebrations and sorrow-drowning alike. While watching Sliding Doors, I recommend drinking a classic Between the Sheets.

Between the Sheets

1 oz Brandy

1 oz Light Rum

1 oz Cointreau

1/2 oz Lemon Juice

Lemon Twist

Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice.  Shake until chilled, then strain into a coupe glass.  Garnish with a lemon twist.

Between the Sheets

No matter what your opinion is on Ms. Goop, you have to admit that she gives us one of the greatest hair moments since Audrey chopped her locks off in Roman Holiday. When her stylist spins the chair around and we see blonde, bright-eyed Gwyneth with the short cut, you instantly know this girl is going to pick herself up from whatever dragged her down. I’ve had two haircuts like this in my life (one just six months ago), and I’m sure I’ll have more in the future. But for right now, on the eve of 2020, my hair is short, and my gaze is hopeful. Cheers!