Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan
Back in the 90s Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan starred in three iconic films together.
1990 – Joe Versus the Volcano
1993 – Sleepless in Seattle
1998 – You’ve Got Mail
I think that Sleepless in Seattle is the most memorable of the three. Who can forget that wonderful meeting on the top of the Empire State Building.
However, You’ve Got Mail is my favourite, mainly because it reminds me so much of my early computer days.
I’m not always a great lover of romantic comedies but there is something special about the relationship between Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks, they work perfectly together.
They did another film together in 2015, Ithaca, which I admit I haven’t seen yet. Apparently Meg and Tom are not the main stars in this film, but I may still get around to watching it, even if it’s just to see the gorgeous town of Ithaca, a Greek island off Kefalonia.
You’ve Got Mail
Kathleen Kelly: [in an email to Joe Fox] The odd thing about this form of communication is that you’re more likely to talk about nothing than something. But I just want to say that all this nothing has meant more to me than so many somethings.
Why do I love You’ve Got Mail? Well, it’s set around books for starters. I’d so like to visit The Shop Around the Corner, Kathleen’s (Meg Ryan) adorable little bookshop that was passed down from her Mother. However, I wouldn’t be able to resist a visit to Fox Books either. This is Joe Fox’s (Tom Hanks) book superstore which eventually puts Kathleen’s little shop out of business.
Kathleen Kelly: When you read a book as a child, it becomes a part of your identity in a way that no other reading in your whole life does.
Apart from the book theme, I also love the nostalgia of early computing. Back in 1998 I was the owner of a shiny new computer which cost me £999.99. Or almost month of my wages back then, and I had a pretty good job. The computer had a minute 3GB hard drive, which is not actually enough to run Windows these days. I had dial-up Internet, first from Free Serve, which was very hit and miss as to whether it would connect or stay connected. Then I moved to AOL, America Online. The Americans were way ahead of us back then and a visit online would connect you with mostly American sites. Most Brits were only online at work, so out of work hours were mostly for connecting with foreigners.
Kathleen and Joe are already e-mailing each other at the start of film although they don’t know each other. They both have partners which they are not entirely happy with so the e-mails they send to each other give them a little thrill. They don’t reveal any personal information, but talk about their lives and are always there for each other.
Eventually they split with their partners and agree to meet. But, they have already met and do not actually like each other. She’s angry with him for ruining her business, and he has been rude to her.
They go to meet and he realises that it’s Kathleen he’s been e-mailing, but he doesn’t let on. They argue and she ends up thinking that her e-mail fella has stood her up.
Now he knows who she he realises that he’s actually in love with her and so he sets out to win her heart. But it’s difficult when she has already given her heart to her unknown e-mail companion.
I won’t tell you the ending. You’ll probably guess anyway, even if you’ve never seen the film.
Kathleen Kelly: What will NY152 say today, I wonder. I turn on my computer. I wait impatiently as it connects. I go online, and my breath catches in my chest until I hear three little words: You’ve got mail. I hear nothing. Not even a sound on the streets of New York, just the beating of my own heart. I have mail. From you.
How Does the Film Translate today.
You’ve Got Mail is now 20 years old. Internet dating has moved on a lot, I mean, does anyone actually meet on e-mail anymore?
There are so many things that seem so wrong in this film when thought about in present day terms. He knows who she is and goes ahead and primes her to fall in love with him. He becomes very much like a stalker, following her around, accidentally bumping in to her, telling her things that she wants to hear because she’s already confessed to her e-mail friend. It just all seems so very wrong.
But they are two people in love with each other’s minds and eventually fall in love with each other.
If there is one thing you can learn from this movie, it’s that you can’t judge someone without getting to know them.
When they first meet in the movie, neither of them knowing they are each other’s e-mail friends, there is an obvious chemistry. The second meeting she realises that he is the owner of the huge book store and believes he has been spying on her and so the hatred begins. And he retaliates.
The film is a gentle romantic comedy with just enough intrigue to keep you guessing how it’s going to end. The relationship between the two main characters is fascinating to watch.
Today, meeting someone on the Internet is a different experience. Things move along so much quicker for one. Also, it’s not guaranteed that that person who seems so perfect online is even nice in real life, you have to be really careful. Back in 1989 things were much simpler, and romance online not so scary.
If you were to ask me what film genre was my favourite, I’d most likely not admit that it was romantic comedy. I’d usually go for something more gritty, like a thriller. Or I’d been keen to admit that I like Science Fiction. A list of my most watched films of all time would probably read; Star Wars, Back to the Future, Hunger Games, Lord of the Rings, The Terminator etc.
But in there are a few little surprising gems, like You’ve Got Mail and Mamma Mia. And one of my current favourites is The Greatest Showman.
What sort of films do you like to watch? Have you seen You’ve Got Mail?