Movie Report: Sleepless in Seattle (1993)

Book coverYou know, it was easy for me to think this was the first of the Tom Hanks/Meg Ryan movies, but actually, Joe Vs. The Volcano was first in 1990. I don’t think I’ve seen that one all the way through, but I have seen this one and You’ve Got Mail (1998) before. I might have seen the latter in the theater, of all things, as I was dating a girl whose first introduction to me announced by the America Online “You’ve got mail!” voice. As it happens, that girl, now my beautiful wife, joined me in watching this film, surprised that I was watching a romantic comedy instead of some old movie or foreign film of dubious merit.

So: A young widower and his son move from Chicago to Seattle to start anew. Worried about his father, the boy (8 years old) calls into a nationwide radio program hosted by a therapist and explains that his father is lonely. Which leads to the father getting onto the phone and talking for a while about his love for his dead wife. Women across the country write in to learn more about the father, including a journalist from Baltimore, Annie (Ryan).

So the film details how the father deals with the attention and then finally tries to move on by dating a local woman he’s met through work whilst Annie deals with the doubts in her relationship/engagement with a Bill Pullman character. A Rosie O’Donnell character connives to get Annie to reach out, and the son connives with the help of a friend, to get the two together, and the film alludes to An Affair to Remember (which I just watched last September), including plans to meet atop the Empire State Building at midnight on a holiday.

So fluff and fantasy. Not funny-funny, but not dramatic. So a romantic comedy? Eh, not so much. But you know what you’re going to get by now.

And it stars a pre-work-done Meg Ryan.

I think she is (or was) one of the few women who can really pull off a short pixie haircut.

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