on July 19, 2004
Here's the main and completely irrelevant reason to love this movie: New York City in the fall. Honestly, it should have no bearing whatsoever on the plot, but it does -- and it's impossible not to fall in love with the bright, sunshiny, orange-leaved sheer beauty of the city encapsulated in this movie. Without even resorting to shots of Central Park in all its glory (and really, who can resist that?), "You've Got Mail" takes you on a lovely scenic tour of the Upper West Side, Starbucks and all. Who can resist the street fairs, the parks, the stores, the dock? It's picture-perfect, and if it's a bit surreal, I won't admit it: New York really is rather lovely in the fall.
Aside from making me want to run away to the Big Apple and work in the children's section at Fox Books, "You've Got Mail" also features Meg Ryan at her most adorable ("Aren't daisies just the friendliest flower?"), Tom Hanks at his most charming, and a terrific supporting cast (Greg Kinnear and those typewriters!). The story, a modernized little "remake" of "The Shop Around The Corner", is more fairy tale than realism -- two people fall in love over email, in war in real life, and however can such a thing be solved -- but it's an enchanting story nonetheless. In a time when romance on the web seems all-too-seedy and in reality, sometimes frankly dangerous, this little tale of two people sharing their most intimate thoughts long before they share a single glance is like a breath of fresh air. Sure, the technology's a little faded, but the magic's still there.
on July 15, 2004
I know what you're thinking. Tom Hanks, Meg Ryan, Greg Kinnear. You think you're too good for this movie, don't you? It's the sappiest, dumpiest little half-a-flick ever reared by Nora Ephron. Romantic comedies suck. Do I paint a correct picture, or do I exagerate? Well I think you're just cinematically jaded.
Yeah, that's right! I said it!
A lifetime of Vietnam movies and tragic love stories has left you too cynical to enjoy a simple romance between two adults. Teenagers getting into car crashes, mothers being diagnosed with breast cancer, murderers who you like despite the fact that they're pure evil. These are the cinematic icons that appeal to you, yes? Well what about hard-edged bookstore manager and idealistic bookshop owner? What about oddly-principled boyfriend who owns two identical typewriters? What about...uh...Jean Stapleton? She was funny, right?
Look, the point is it doesn't suck and don't judge it just because it's a Hanks/Ryan romantic comedy on par with "Sleepless In Seattle" (Which was a good one too, by the way).
Although, I still prefer the original "Shop Around the Corner" with Jimmy "Not Bow-Legged" Stewart.
on March 20, 2000
Not so much a remake (or update) of the remarkable "The Shop Around The Corner" starring James Stewart, as a film that holds well on its own. The Ryan/Hanks chemistry is not quite so magical as in "Sleepless in Seattle", but it's there. Score and location a big boost, as well as the wonderful Jean Stapleton and the stand-out Greg Kinnear. It'll be ths sort of movie you'd fall in love in if you have seen "As Good As It Gets" or the James Stewart original. Except this time the big bad wolf wins (in spite of The Wicard Of Oz hints). 3.5 stars on my book, an extra half-star for Meg Ryan and the sheer fluffiness of it all...
on July 3, 1999
I just finsihed watching this movie and it *greatly* exceeded my expectations. I really didn't know what to expect, but since I am a Tom Hanks fan, I figured it couldn't be THAT bad. And to be honest I was pleasantly surprised! The reason I gave it four stars as opposed to five is because I felt the ending was rushed just a little bit too much compared to the rest of the movie and because of the few too many "product placements". Other than that I really enjoyed this movie. I would reccommend this movie to anybody who likes Meg Ryan or Tom Hanks or any body who wants to watch a 'cute' movie with a significant other on a rainy day!
on December 1, 1999
I really enjoyed You've Got Mail because it was good story combined with two great actors(Hanks and Ryan). I have now seen the movie many times, and I am still yet to tire of the film. This movie has a heartwarming plot with characters that you can really come to like. It is nice to see a film once in while that doesn't focus on extreme violence and other disheartening aspects. I recommend it highly for anyone interested in seeing a movie that makes you feel better and witness a good plot.
on April 10, 2004
Since Meg Ryan usually irritates the hell out of me, I didn't think I'd care for this movie. I finally sat down and watched it, though, and I'm glad I did! It's a very cute love story that I enjoy watching over and over again.
The reason I dislike Ryan so much is because she seems to always play the same type of character in every movie, but in this case it works really well. Ryan plays Kathleen Kelly, an independent bookstore owner who is being forced out of business by Fox Books, a large chain of stores (similar to Borders) owned by Joe Fox (Tom Hanks). Kathleen and Joe run into each other several times, and even though they are attracted to each other at first, those feeling turn to mutual disgust as they engage in the battle of the books. However, both Joe and Kathleen are in dead-end relationships, and they meet each other in a chat room and start communicating regularly via email, not knowing each other's true identity. Joe eventually figures out the truth, and he has to decide if he wants to pursue these feelings that he's developed for Kathleen online, even though they can't stand each other in real life.
At first it bugged me that Joe played around with Kathleen for the second half of the movie, witholding information from her about who he really was. However, there's really no other way he could have handled it: if he had told Kathleen the truth right away, she likely would have been disgusted by him and tossed him aside. Instead Joe decided to test the waters with her and see if they could spark any real chemisty in real life and not just over the Internet. The end result is pretty cliche, but the final scene will generate a lot of "Awwws!" from romantics in the audience.
on March 22, 2004
I can think of several reasons to dislike this movie, but in spite of those reasons, I keep watching this movie over and over again. My wife and daughter seem to like it even more than I do, so perhaps my dislikes come from my male viewpoint.
Meg Ryan plays third generation independent bookstore owner Kathleen Kelly. When a brand new Fox Bookstore opens around the corner, Kathleen's bookstore is doomed by high volume low cost books. Into Kathleen's bookstore comes none other than one of the owners of Fox Bookstore, Joe Fox (Tom Hanks). Through a coincidence Joe and Kathleen meet on the internet and are soon e-mailing and chatting with each other regularly. At first they do not know who each other is on the internet. Joe then finds out that Kathleen is the women with whom he has been conversing on the internet. Now the fun and silliness begins.
Joe talks in person with Kathleen, but in his early conversations Kathleen dislikes him for what he has done to her bookstore, which she regards as her heritage. But eventually the two start to become friendly. Joe teases Kathleen constantly about the person with whom she is communicating, and falling in love with, on the internet. Kathleen defends her internet partner and becomes more attracted to him daily. Joe gets to play both sides, and of course he then knows all the answers to the questions he asks each way.
My biggest dislike is that I thought Joe should have told Kathleen sooner that he was the person with whom she was communicating on the internet. I saw Joe's hiding of the truth as tormenting Kathleen, which I saw as a bit cruel and manipulative. Unfortunately, the premise of the movie, especially the ending, requires Kathleen not know it is Joe until the very end.
My other dislike is that Kathleen is obviously quite intelligent. Yet she ignores the fact that Joe seems to be so predictive of what Kathleen's internet partner is saying and vice versa. I would have thought that at least Kathleen should have been suspicious, but she does not seem to get suspicious until near the very end of the movie, when it was about time to resolve the deception anyway.
Of course, the whole point of the movie and the reason it works is that Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks have such likable honest charm and natural acting skill that they make you believe this situation could happen. Once you've seen the wonderful, romantic ending you are willing to forgive that the basic premise of the movie is unrealistic. It seems silly to me that there are parts of the movie that make me cringe, and yet I keep watching it over and over because I love the fun and happy with tears ending, which seems to make it all worthwhile. A sure hit with romantics everywhere.
on November 18, 2003
My wife didn;t like this (she LOVED sleepless in Seattle).My teenage daughter didn't think much of it either.
Even Tom Hanks went public saying he didn't like this. The old mantra "it's business" must have been hard for him - he is no fool, probably the most sensitive bloke in showbiz at the moment, and this stupid phrase must have been ringing all the time.
This movie may work if the fiction applied universally, but in fact you have got to be kidding. The behaviour shown by the Hanks character is the pretty awful, and the failure of the movie is the failure of the misrepresentation. Movies work well, even fairy stories work superbly well when there is something which "connects" to that which is inside all of us, or at least, some of us. But the world is littered with stories such as this, but where the ending is pretty short and nasty.
Movies like this fail so badly because the amount of sugar coating required to encapsulate the poison is distracting, children, animals, "cute" music thrown in, but with so much desparation, it ruins the whole effect.
on November 15, 2003
This was a GOOD movie, folks. get over yourselves! i read commentary after commentary from angry women b/c Tom Hanks' character "put" Meg's character's store out of business. Pul-lease. This is the nature of the business world. he didn't stand at her door and entice people NOT to enter and buy books! This is the way of free enterprise. He sold the same books CHEAPER. Her bookstore sold them for MUCHO DINERO. Hello??? Which one would you shop at??? There you go! He had no due loyalty to her. His job was to open bookstores. That's what he did. Besides, BEFORE his store came along, she was unhappy about her life's work. But she lacked conviction--and had too much nostalgia for her mother's dream--to close up shop and find something else to do.
Tom's character was not evil. He was not a bad man. He was a business man. And his store provides the masses with cheaper books. Why not fuss at Meg's character's overpriced bookstore??? Do you NOT shop at Wal-mart? Should the people who open Wal-mart stores be banned from romantic entanglements? Pah!
This was a charming story. Delightful and sweet. Enjoy!
on July 29, 2003
As far as I'm concerned, You've Got Mail deserves 2 different ratings: a rating for people who love sentimental re-hash pap, and a rating for people who like films that were not created with the sole intention of garnering money.
People who like sentimental pap, this movie is a 5 star classic.
People who partake in the latter, however, will find that this was made by a group of producers who besides planning to take over the world, made this movie to make money on the side. Of course you have seen Sleepless in Seattle, or you wouldn't be on Amazon.com looking at a review of the long-winded sequel. I call it a sequel because besides having different plot-lines, and other anti-subtlely placed superficial differences; the movies are the same.
I don't want to give away *spoilers*, because I bet you can't guess who wins the heart of Meg Ryan at the end. (Hint: He's on the cover and his name is Tom Hanks). That's NOT THE POINT. The point is how you get from point A to point B, point A being the begining, and point B being the honey sweetened ending.
And that journey which I briefly described is tumutulous, tripe, and lame. One good thing I actually can say about You've Got Mail, they certainly know yuppies as far as Hollywood sees them. They get Starbucks, walk dogs along their Park Ave. street, buy furniture from Ikea and Pottery Barn, partake in internet chats on AOL, and believe in true love.
Tom Hanks is pushing insanity, not to guarantee right off the bat that he hated the script, but look in his eyes, and without lying, tell me that he loved it. Meg Ryan acts a whole lot different than she did in Sleepless in Seattle, or in When Harry Met Sally. She is extremely over-reactive to everything. She walks across the room, and twirls. I'm not bashing her though, drinking 3 cups of espresso before rehearsal does take a toll that's quite cumbersome.
I like to describe the script within a parameter of 3 words. Here we go: Email Buddy Love. Ok. Then there is the sub-standard sub-plot about Meg Ryan owning a small bookstore and Tom Hanks owning the huge chain store that resides over it like a huge tower of destruction. Obviously the producers don't like discount stores, because they are posh to the max, but I found nothing wrong with this moral dilemma.
The end is lame. Not the romantic side of it, that ends up exactly how you know it will before you watch the movie, I'm talking about the sub-plot ending. You would think that maybe Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks would form a merger with their bookstores, or Meg Ryan would give in and go hardcore and sue Tom Hank's bookstore; but no. None of that. This thing was written by Nora Ephron.
I don't want to keep on ranting- hey, if you like trite romantic comedies to sit down on late nights watching; that's fine. It's a good movie for sheer entertainment, but it certainly was made as a money-horse for Warner Bros.