TriStar Pictures | Release Date: June 25, 1993
7.1
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Generally favorable reviews based on 54 Ratings
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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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