17 March 2012

Film Review: You've Got Mail (1999), by Nora Ephron, ****


The stars (Tom Hanks, Meg Ryan) and director (Nora Ephron) of Sleepless in Seattle reteamed for this charming audience favorite. Greg Kinnear, Parker Posey, Jean Stapleton and more great co-stars add note-perfect support to this cinematic love letter in which superstore book chain magnate Hanks and cozy children’s bookshop owner Ryan are anonymous e-mail cyberpals who fall head-over-laptops in love, unaware they are combative business rivals. You’ve got rare Hollywood magic when You’ve Got Mail.

Sad to hear of Ephron death in June 2012.  


Hanks and Ryan are a perfect match for a deliberately  paced, if somewhat incredible, love story in New York. I found myself smiling thinking back to the dawn of internet chatrooms in the 1990s... I used them myself though of course I grew out of them and have since moved to dedicated forums for my various interests (travel, photography, music...) and dating websites for meeting potential partners. Listening again to the whirring and hissing of narrow-band dial-up connection had a nostalgic effect on me!

A wonderful feel-good story but much more. It is also the story of modern cities, where traditional family businesses are jeopardized by megastores which offer larger selections and lower prices. It is happening all over the world. Megastores in turn are threatened by e-commerce. I don't share the romantic view that it was better in the good old days of small stores, where one was forced to choose from a smaller selection of goods on offer (be it books or anything else) and had to pay higher prices. Old stores, like everybody else,  must adapt to the new world or they will inevitably disappear. Long live Amazon!

European DVD

European Blue-ray

Buy Amazon's instant video of this film:


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