Customer Review

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 3rd Time is a Charm, February 3, 2004
This review is from: You've Got Mail (DVD)
Sometimes Hollywood does something right in returning to the old fashion love story with layers of reference & meaning. Invite your special other, get the popcorn, & watch this well made chic flick.
This is Tom Hanks & Meg Ryan's third romantic comedy together. The first was "Joe Versus the Volcano (1990)" which was made before the duo were `Mega Stars' creating a mystical if not mythical movie about losing the American Dream with its dead end jobs & forced neurosis. Many people didn't understand that this movie was created as a farce, therefore it was not a box office hit. Then came "Sleepless in Seattle (1993)" with the ingenious writing & directing of Nora Ephron about a man who loses his loving wife to cancer promising he will never fall in love again while taking care of their only son, moving away from everything that reminds him of his lost. Until one night his son calls a talk radio station asking the radio host Dr Marcia Fieldstone to help his father get over his sleepless nights & find a new wife...this starts the whole story moving with references to an old Cary Grant movie "An Affair to Remember (1957)" creating layers of clever dialog & acting. This process of style is repeated with greater perfection on "You're Got Mail".
At first "Sleepless in Seattle" seems to be the better movie, because of its focused play out of "An Affair to Remember", but if you watch "You're Got Mail" several times, you will start to understand its more subtle & multi references, that it becomes a deeper film.
This time around the references are to the movies "The Godfather (1970)" & "Shop Around the Corner (1940)" intermixed with the newer upper social scene in New York City's `West Side' (another reference to `West Side Story'?). Tom Hanks plays Joe Fox (F-O-X) a multi millionaire businessman who views the movie "The Godfather" as the `I Ching' (a Chinese divination book of wisdom) as the business bible, overtaking his competition without being `Personal'. He is in a dead end relationship with the cruel, hurried, & self-focused book publisher Patricia Eden acted by Parker Posey. Meanwhile Meg Ryan plays Kathleen Kelly, a cute no-nonsense blonde who inherited her mother's children bookstore `A Shop Around the Corner'. She is also in a dead end relationship with the Heideggerian (a 20th century German Philosopher against technology) social commentator & typewriter lover Frank Navasky acted by Greg Kinnear. Now for the plot...
Both Joe Fox & Kathleen Kelly, one night on a fluke, met in an Internet chat room `Over 30' & become modern pen pals via the computer. Little do they realize that they live in the same neighborhood, sometimes walking by each other in the busy streets of New York City. Both are doing well in their business, but Joe Fox's fast growing large modern discount bookstore with cappuccino maker is building a new branch a few blocks away from Kathleen Kelly's small old fashion children's specialty bookstore. Joe Fox meets Kathleen Kelly in real life at her store when taking care of his younger stepbrother & his younger aged aunt. Joe Fox's stepbrother has just learned to spell his last name F-O-X, & Joe tries to hide the fact from Kathleen. Later they both meet at a book publishing party & Kathleen discovers `just call me Joe' is really Joe Fox (F-O-X). Lines are drawn & later war is declared as Kathleen's business fails. The developing plot & dialog become very humorous especially when Joe discovers his true love from the Internet is really Kathleen when they play out the movie "A Shop Around the Corner". All ends well when Kathleen puts it all together at the last touching scene.
There is more to this movie that makes it a repeatable watcher. If you become tried of it, put it away for a few months & return for added enjoyment.
From a statement from "Sleepless in Seattle": 'One of my wife's favorite.'
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