TriStar Pictures | Release Date: June 25, 1993
7.1
USER SCORE
Generally favorable reviews based on 53 Ratings
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Positive:
36
Mixed:
15
Negative:
2
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5
SummersausageJan 13, 2013
This movie seems to just be a cute movie about love and Tom Hanks but realistically it is a horror story of people hunting down men with kids and stalking them to the beach.
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2
dierregiMar 16, 2014
Romantic comedies are very difficult to get right. This “old classic” signed Nora Ephron is a good example of everything that can go wrong.

Built on the success of “When Harry met Sally”, we have cute heroine Meg Ryan playing one of her
Romantic comedies are very difficult to get right. This “old classic” signed Nora Ephron is a good example of everything that can go wrong.

Built on the success of “When Harry met Sally”, we have cute heroine Meg Ryan playing one of her romantic leads roles, inclusive of tics and weirdness that were her trademark. She could easily be a slightly older version of Sally, with a worse haircut. This time, her character is called Annie and she lives in Baltimore.

Annie is engaged to Walter, whose main defect is being dull. This must be a terrible crime in Ephron’s book, since Walter is treated with zero respect. One night, Annie listens to Sam’s phone call to a radio station. Sam is a young widower, living in Seattle with his son Jonah. Just listening to his story Annie fells for him.

Many criticized this idea of falling in love, which however is not the worst point of the movie. People fall in love for lots of different reasons, so I could buy Annie falling for Sam and trying to meet him. What I do not buy is the artificiality of all the events presented after that.

Annie is a journalist and manages to be sent to Seattle to meet Sam, but somehow manages not to do so, even if she sees him twice (and he sees her too, managing to fell in love at “first sight”). They do not exchange words, even if she could have waited for him and introduced herself in a normal way. But that would have been way too dull for Ephron.

Then there is a letter which makes unbearable Jonah instantly like Annie. Jonah tries to push Sam to meet Annie on top of the Empire State Building on Valentine’s Day. This is contrivance at the highest level, built in the script together with many references to the movie “An affair to remember”. Since neither Sam nor Annie live in New York, this “romantic” meeting on Valentine’s is supposed to prove that “love at first sight” does exist and can even be the basis for a long lasting relationship….. or whatever.

What I got instead, is an overlong, unfunny movie where the two leads meet only at the end, which is certainly not the way I like onscreen romances to go.
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6
nutterjrNov 29, 2010
The movie feels cheesy at moments made from a well established recipe that aims to lure you in. But when it is a prefabricated as this then it is all anticipated and there is no suspense.
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8
MovieLonely94Nov 6, 2010
touching and lovely movie

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5
beingryanjudeAug 28, 2014
Sure, with the genius of Nora Ephron, Sleepless in Seattle is exactly what a romantic-comedy should be. For some reason, audiences always go back to this one. Perhaps, it is the strong connection it has to An Affair to Remember.
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7
JawsLaxerDramaJan 3, 2013
Besides being a romantic movie, it's actually quite good. The only problem was the pacing, as sometimes it was a little dull but it always picked up. It's not meant to have any suspence, violence, explosions or anything else, but it is one ofBesides being a romantic movie, it's actually quite good. The only problem was the pacing, as sometimes it was a little dull but it always picked up. It's not meant to have any suspence, violence, explosions or anything else, but it is one of the movies you're like 'Well, okay, not bad."
Tom Hanks is great as always. Diagnosis: See it with your boyfriend/girlfriend. Pros: Wonderful acting. Cons: Can be a bit too slow.
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7
Tomle1202Nov 30, 2016
Sleepless in Seattle has its problems, no doubt, but underneath them is a funny and lovable movie that shines with excellent performance from the main cast.
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7
FilmClubMar 27, 2016
In fact, Ephron and fellow writers Jeff Arch and David S. Ward have conspired to make “Sleepless in Seattle” as purposefully schmaltzy as one can imagine, in a manner that’s almost cynical — as if audiences can’t be trusted to buy into aIn fact, Ephron and fellow writers Jeff Arch and David S. Ward have conspired to make “Sleepless in Seattle” as purposefully schmaltzy as one can imagine, in a manner that’s almost cynical — as if audiences can’t be trusted to buy into a good, old-fashioned romance without trappings like skies replete with shooting stars.

That said, there’s inherent appeal in the set-up, Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan fare considerably better than their last pairing (for the record, the sputtering “Joe Versus the Volcano”), and young Ross Malinger is one of the most appealing and real moppets since Justin Henry — whom he resembles — in “Kramer vs. Kramer.” The biggest problem may be the leisurely pace Ephron pursues in getting to an outcome that’s such a foregone conclusion.

Sam (Hanks) is still grieving over the death of his wife (Carey Lowell, seen in flashback) when his son phones a late night radio call-in show saying he thinks the solution is for dad to remarry. Sam reluctantly gets on the line and ends up spilling his guts, showing such sensitivity that thousands of women write in offering to cure his sorrowful insomnia.

Among those listening is Annie (Ryan), a just-engaged newspaper reporter whose husband-to-be Walter (Bill Pullman) is sensible but not very exciting. She finds herself increasingly obsessed with “Sleepless in Seattle,” Sam’s on-air designation, fearing that she may be settling for “OK” on the romance scale instead of actually finding “magic.”

The movie pursues a parallel structure, with Sam’s friends and son Jonah (Malinger) pushing him toward opening up while Annie voices her own doubts only to her co-worker Becky (Rosie O’Donnell) and creating a strain on her relationship with her fiance.

There are some extremely amusing explorations of dating mores, plus more somber moments — providing Hanks an opportunity to strut his dramatic stuff — delving into Sam’s almost tangible grief.

Yet for all the enjoyable flourishes, and there are many, Ephron keeps pausing to remind us, through various contrivances, that this is a movie, making it hard for anyone to really get lost in the story. And since the big question isn’t “if,” but “when” and “how,” the film loses considerable momentum about two-thirds through before rallying for a heart-tugging finale.

More than anything else, “Sleepless” may be a boon to 20th Century Fox, spurring rentals of “An Affair to Remember,” which is used not only as a key plot device but as a running gag throughout — demonstrating a movie whose squishy romantic elements appeal to women more than men.

In fact, it’s precisely that emphasis here that may prevent “Sleepless” from being quite the sleeper it could have been.

Hanks certainly figures to increase his stock as a well-rounded actor and not just a comic, while Ryan essentially plays the same character as “Sally,” with pleasing if predictable results.

Other supporting roles are generally strong, though Pullman is a bit less annoying than he should have been to prevent audiences from feeling undue sympathy toward his character near the finish.

On the tech side, Sven Nykvist’s camerawork does the romance justice, while Marc Shaiman’s music and the carefully chosen song score evoke their share of laughs but at times prove overbearing.

Tuned-in viewers may also feel the editing by virtue of the truncated appearances by some supporting players, though it’s also clear “Sleepless” is as long as it needed to be.
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