Thursday, April 05, 2007

Movie Review: You've Got Mail

I ordered this one from On Demand by accident. Fortunately, it was free. And I'd forgotten how much I enjoyed this piece of fluff.

Meg Ryan plays Kathleen Kelly, the owner of a children's bookstore, The Shop Around the Corner. Tom Hanks plays Joe Fox, whose family owns the big, evil, discount bookstore, Fox Books. So you already know that this is a David vs. Goliath story.

The twist is that Kathleen and Joe have met in a chat room and have established a relationship via e-mail messages they send to each other. Both Kathleen and Joe are also in serious relationships with People Who Are Obviously Not Right For Them.

Kathleen and Joe "meet cute" when Joe happens upon Kathleen's bookstore during a street fair where he is escorting his aunt (the child of his grandfather) who is about ten and his brother (the child of his father) who is about four or five. Joe is smitten but doesn't want to admit that he part of Fox Books.

They later meet at a party where the truth comes out. Kathleen is outraged that Joe lied to her. Joe is outraged that Kathleen liked him well enough until she discovered who he was. They each return home and e-mail their cyberpal about the disastrous evening.

Kathleen tries valiantly to keep A Shop Around the Corner open. During her struggles, she agrees to meet her cyberpal IRL (In Real Life). When Joe see who it is, he doesn't admit that he is NY155, but instead comes in to taunt her. For the first time, Kathleen is able to say what she feels about him, but it's a hollow victory.

Eventually, Kathleen faces the truth and sells A Shop Around the Corner. Joe faces the truth about his store--his employees really don't know much about the books they're selling.

Separately, Kathleen and Joe both realize their current partners are not The One.

Joe realizes Kathleen is and sets out to woo her.

Nora Ephron directed this movie and, like Sleepless in Seattle, much of it is based on an old standard; in this case, A Shop Around the Corner. And, much like Sleepless, references to the older movie are sprinkled throughout the film.

So why isn't You've Got Mail sold as a two-pack with A Shop Around the Corner? Or Sleepless in Seattle with An Affair to Remember?

Meg Ryan looks incredibly thin in this movie. DS#2 joined me for part of it. Although the movie is only nine years old, he didn't get the "You've Got Mail" references (and we still have AOL!).

"Why didn't they just IM each other?" he asked.

Chat rooms are not part of his experience.

On the March Hare scale: 3.5 out of 5 Golden Tickets. A pleasant piece of fluff, good with popcorn. Also good for indoctrinating 16-y.o. males into what women like. :)