Sleepless in Seattle
Directed by Nora Ephron
Netflix says… Fate and a tenacious 8-year-old boy conspire to unite lovelorn widower Sam Baldwin and unhappily engaged journalist Annie Reed in this Oscar-nominated romantic comedy inspired by the 1957 classic An Affair to Remember.
- Last week, I snarkily stated that You’ve Got Mail and Sleepless in Seattle are back to back on my Top 100 list because they’re the same movie.
- They’re not.
- They’re both love stories and they both star Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan.
- But last week, their characters knew each other pretty much the whole movie.
- I mean, they didn’t know the whole truth about each other, but they were fully aware of one another.
- This time around, they don’t really meet until the final scene.
- Where You’ve Got Mail was pretty much a remake of The Shop Around the Corner, Sleepless in Seattle draws its inspiration from An Affair to Remember.
- With the movie beginning at a funeral, it’s clear that Tom Hanks’ character is in a dark place.
- Sam Baldwin’s wife died of cancer and now he’s a widower with a young son who is ready to get out of Chicago.
- He moves to Seattle, where every time he turns the corner he doesn’t have an excuse to think of his wife.
- We jump ahead a year and a half. It’s Christmas Eve (coincidence) in Baltimore and we’re introduced to Meg Ryan’s Annie who is engaged to Walter (Bill Pullman).
- At dinner with Annie’s family, she announces their engagement.
- Uh… Annie… your family lives in the same area as you and this is the first time they’re meeting this guy? And you’re announcing your engagement?
- I thought it was still a thing for the guy to ask for the father’s blessing before popping the question. Is that a rarity now?
- Harold! No one cares that you’re allergic to bees!
- Annie’s mom conveniently sets up the idea of destiny playing a role in how two people fall in love.
- For Annie, her love with Walter is… well… I mean, it makes sense on paper.
- But her mom describes a certain magic that sparked between her and Annie’s father. From the look on Annie’s face, it’s clear that’s not a thing she has with Walter.
- But it seems to be there when she’s listening to Sam’s heartbreak story on the Dr. Marsha Fieldstone show.
- Way over in Seattle, Jonah (Sam’s son) calls Dr. Marsha because his Christmas wish is for his dad to find a wife. Because he’s been miserable ever since his mom died.
- On New Year’s Eve, Annie makes plans to meet Walter in New York on Valentine’s Day, since he’s going up there for business.
- And that’s how quickly this all happens.
- Annie becomes mildly obsessed with this guy she heard on the radio and, taking a page from the An Affair to Remember playbook, offers to meet Sam and Jonah at the top of the Empire State Building on Valentine’s Day.
- She figures, she’ll be there with Walter so she can squeeze it in.
- But Annie’s not the only woman who’s trying to meet Sam. Thousands of women across the country begin sending him mail.
- But Jonah likes Annie’s letter. Because it’s addressed to both of them.
- There are shenanigans, hijinks, and some light stalking that all end up with everyone living happily ever after.
- Well, we assume. Annie and Sam leave the Empire State Building together with Jonah.
- And they’re never heard from again.
- Say what you will about Walter and his neurotic tendencies. Dude takes getting dumped by Meg Ryan like a champ.
- I mean, it’s gotta hurt. Because he clearly loves her. Even says so once she’s done revealing the plot of the movie he’s in.
- But then you just know that he’s going back to the room that he was sharing with Annie at The Plaza to lick his wounds.
- And then you just know that Annie’s gonna show up there to pick up her luggage with the Baldwins in tow.
- Poor Walter.
- By the way, the soundtrack to this movie is one of my favorites. It’s got a lot of great old classics on it with the updated cover of “When I Fall in Love” by Celine Dion and Clive Griffin.
Next week, in sticking with the Tom Hanks/Meg Ryan team-ups, I’ll be watching Joe Versus the Volcano, in which Meg actually gets to play three different roles! Just kidding. We’ll continue down the list with #69 – The Breakfast Club.