As you can see, I’ve been reviewing quite a few romantic comedies available on video or DVD. I thought that would be appropriate as Valentine’s Day is just around the corner in February.
You've Got Mail is my favorite Nora Ephron movie. It is rated PG and is a delightful romantic comedy set in New York City. Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks star along with Greg Kinnear, Dabney Coleman, Steve Zahn, Heather Burns, Dave Chappelle, and Jean Stapleton.
Joe Fox (Tom Hanks) and Kathleen Kelly (Meg Ryan) have been emailing each other anonymously after a chance meeting in a online chat room. They have avoided revealing identifying details of their lives, yet have developed a strong friendship through their correspondence.
Joe owns Fox Books, which is a large chain of bookstores, and one is being built in the West side neighborhood where Kathleen’s children’s bookstore has existed for over 40 years. Joe and Kathleen meet and do not hit it off, as Fox Books is seen as being a blight to the quaint little neighborhood, and a threat to all independent booksellers.
Meanwhile, Kathleen is getting business advice from Joe via email, neither suspecting the other’s true identity. Neither of them are in satisfactory relationships, and they agree to meet at a café. Joe sees Kathleen waiting for him, and is faced with the realization that the woman of his dreams is Ms. Kelly. He knows she will not be happy to see him, so shows up as Joe Fox, not the man on the internet she’s been waiting to meet.
Kathleen’s bookstore eventually does have to close. While Joe is talking to his father (Dabney Coleman), he realizes that Kathleen is the one single person in the world who fills his heart with joy. So he sets out to win her over.
I appreciate the process of Joe and Kathleen realizing that the person they dislike for their many faults is also the person they are in love with for all the right reasons. The writing by Nora Ephron and Delia Ephron is superb, the acting inspired. Tom Hanks plays probably his best romantic role in this film. Meg Ryan is cute and spunky as always while giving depth to Kathleen’s situation and the challenges it brings. I won’t give away the ending, but it is just how a romantic comedy should end, very touching, maybe a few tears shed. You've Got Mail is a great film to watch for Valentine’s Day.