"You've Got Mail" (1998)
Genre: Comedy, Romance
Directed By: Nora Ephron
Written By: Nora Ephron, Delia Ephron, Miklós László
Released: December 18th, 1998
Runtime: 119 minutes
Studio: Warner Bros. Pictures
Struggling boutique bookseller Kathleen Kelly (Meg Ryan) hates Joe Fox (Tom Hanks), the owner of a corporate Foxbooks chain store that just moved in across the street. When they meet online, however, they begin an intense and anonymous Internet romance, oblivious of each other's true identity. Eventually Joe learns that the enchanting woman he's involved with is actually his business rival. He must now struggle to reconcile his real-life dislike for her with the cyber love he's come to feel.
This is a very predictable run of the mill sort of rom-com. The story is as old as time – boy meets girl, they don’t’ like each other and then fall in love. Except in this case they do like each other through their computer screens – they just don’t know who the other is that they’re actually chatting to. The big question is, what happens when the penny finally drops?
This is like the 90s answer to much of what goes on now with social media like tinder and other dating sites. You get to know someone without meeting them or knowing anything much about them, which makes this film both poignant and a little out-dated. What makes it poignant is in the realisation that such a plot could never be carried out in this day and age. The mystery couldn’t be upheld for very long with so many other social media profiles existing and being connected. Secondly there seems to be more romance in this way of doing things. I mean, it’s not exactly letting writing but it’s closer.
You’d be hard pressed not to enjoy a movie that starred Tom Hanks or Meg Ryan, and luckily for us this has the two of them at the helm in flying form. They starred in “Sleepless In Seattle” together which is undoubtedly a preferable collaboration, but they both work well together so there’s nothing to be said against this one either. Its their charm and likability that make the film enjoyable.
Otherwise there really wouldn’t be much to it. Sure, it’s a cute story and everything but that’s pretty much it. It loses a certain amount of the spark as the film goes on. I think perhaps this is simply because it’s a bit too long for what it is. After all, we’re given all the information pretty readily. There’s not a lot of guess work to be done.
Simple and effective. It does what it says on the tin. If you’re a fan of romantic-comedies this is one you’ll enjoy.