That’s right I am talking about the 1998 romantic comedy starring Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks, which for as long as I can remember I have totally adored and loved. I think they are even better together in this one than Sleepless in Seattle. It’s one of those delightful little films that you can put on when your feeling a little bit low and feel so much better because of watching it. I even went through a phase many years ago of watching it over and over again, you know as soon as you’ve finished watching it putting it back on again!
So with plenty of passion and love for this pretty much perfect Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan collaboration, I have put together this gushing piece and hope that others feel the same way about You’ve Got Mail as surely it cannot actually be hated when it does so much good?
1. Tom Hanks
Let’s face it he is probably the best actor of his generation, I’m not even messing around by saying one of them. He can really do any possible role and his romantic comedy turns are always enjoyable. With Joe he is not particular likeable all of the time, which is a shame really but he is a Fox and must be ruthless in the business world. Got to love ‘The Godfather’ references and quotes, something Hanks himself loves a lot!
2. Meg Ryan
Throughout the 80s and 90s she really did have it made as one of the big stars of the romantic comedy world, everything about her performances were so relatable which I strongly believe help with the popularity. If you can watch something and really feel for the character that is on another level when it comes to engaging viewers.
3. The Internet
Totally ahead of its time in terms of people meeting on the internet. Yes, things have changed a lot since 1998 and many ways you can talk and meet people online. But the exchanges of emails after meeting on a forum is certainly something that doesn’t really happen anymore, I do miss Internet forums they were always a good place for fandoms to come together. The film also manages to highlight that along with online chatting it was also the start of cybersex and its perfectly fine to say no to that too! That little scene is probably not appreciated enough with its big meaning.
With a tiny bit of research and believe it or not in the UK the first Starbucks actually opened in London in 1998! Personally I didn’t go to a Starbucks until about 2005ish? But I did go through a very obsessed with the coffee (until it has now got so expensive and nearly £5 for a coffee). Anyway I digress, the quote that Joe says about Starbucks is incredible and still stands now with people trying to order, especially if they have never been in before (or any coffee place) “The whole purpose of places like Starbucks is for people with no decision-making ability whatsoever to make six decisions just to buy one cup of coffee. Short, tall, light, dark, caf, decaf, low-fat, non-fat, etc. So people who don’t know what the hell they’re doing or who on earth they are can, for only $2.95, get not just a cup of coffee but an absolutely defining sense of self: Tall. Decaf. Cappuccino.” Another thing it totally predicted, I know NYC has a standing joke about a Starbucks on every corner and I remember an episode of The Simpsons where all of the stores were Starbucks. The only thing we can see has changed by Joe’s quote is that coffee was still pretty expensive in the 90s!
5. New York City
It is one of many films to be a little love letter towards the city that never sleeps. Which is all understandable as NYC is one of the greatest places you will ever visit in your life time. Going through the different seasons within the film is one of the best things in terms of seeing New York in all its glory in those different times. It looks truly beautiful especially in the final scene. This was also the first film that was allowed to film inside classic grocery store Zabar’s (where Kathleen tries to hide from Joe and ends up in the wrong line). Not forgetting that they used a Barney’s store that had just closed to create Fox Books and it looked so good people were actually asking when it was going to be opening!
6. Nora Ephron
She directed and wrote the screenplay for the film and I adore so much of her work. I mean hello we all know that ‘When Harry Met Sally’ is one of my all time favourite films ever. I haven’t seen anything that she has written where I haven’t totally loved it. Her last film being the lovely ‘Julie & Julia’, so it turns out she really likes things linked to the internet as well given the blogger based for that film. I just personally feel she had the ability to write these screenplays which would stand the test of time. I truly believe that about ‘You’ve Got Mail’ I am aware the technology has dated but not much else has when you think about big companies and small local businesses that is still pretty much the same now in 2020.
7. The Cheesy (but lovely) Ending
If a romantic comedy does not have the most cheesy of all lines at the end they have certainly done it wrong. Come on we knew they were talking together and so it Joe for quite a while, which I suppose was a little bit cheeky especially when they became quite close friends. That did make for the final scene reveal even better to see Kathleen’s face, probably more relief than anything when she utters “I wanted it to be you. I wanted it to be you so badly.” After being told “Don’t cry shopgirl. Don’t cry” which was the utterly cheesy part. But seriously who even cares about that considering just how loveable this whole film was and still is?