Film: You’ve Got Mail
Cast includes: Tom Hanks (Big), Meg Ryan (Sleepless in Seattle) Greg Kinnear (Sabrina), Parker Posey (A Mighty Wind), Dave Chappelle (Chappelle’s Show), Jean Stapleton (All in the Family)
Director: Nora Ephron (Julie & Julia)
Genre: Romance/comedy (1998), remake of The Shop Around the Corner, 1940
In brief: Kathleen has fallen in love with three magic words: “You’ve got mail.” Recently Kathleen (aka: shopgirl) met Joe (aka: ny152) on line, and lately it seems his emails have become the highlight of each day. She wonders if meeting someone on line is infidelity, as she thinks about her technophobic boyfriend, Frank. But it’s not really “a relationship” with ny152. They never talk about anything personal. He knows nothing about her, and she knows nothing about him. They enjoy sharing observations about life in general.
In the meantime Kathleen and Joe are on a collision course. Kathleen is the owner of The Shop Around the Corner, a wonderful independent bookstore specializing in children’s books. Joe is Joe Fox of Fox Books, which is opening almost across the street from Kathleen's shop. Will it run Kathleen out of business? Of course not! “The world isn’t driven by discounts,” Kathleen says. But in no time, sales begin to drop.
You know where this is going… Kathleen and Joe intensely dislike each other while shopgirl and ny152 have found soul mates. What starts out as a cute but predictable dilemma eventually changes into and endearing and sensitive romance. We’ve come to expect great storytelling from Nora Ephron… a masters of the “chick flick.” But that would be selling her short. Just because she’s a master doesn’t mean that her films are formulaic. This one, like many others, takes us on a very satisfying journey. Yet the email concept seems a bit dated in a world of twitter and facebook. That shouldn’t distract from the enjoyment of this tale… after all, romance itself is nothing if not dated.
4 popped kernels
Popped kernels for a romantic comedy that holds up beyond the first viewing. Great story, great acting and endearing characters.