One of these days, these painfully cute romantic comedies will drive me up the wall. You've Got Mail is particularly egregious with Joe Fox (Tom Hanks) lying to Kathleen Kelly (Meg Ryan) throughout the film. I should hate this. I know that. It is really stupid and cheesy, but I cannot helpOne of these days, these painfully cute romantic comedies will drive me up the wall. You've Got Mail is particularly egregious with Joe Fox (Tom Hanks) lying to Kathleen Kelly (Meg Ryan) throughout the film. I should hate this. I know that. It is really stupid and cheesy, but I cannot help myself. I keep watching these mushy and cute romantic comedies and I keep loving the blasted things. Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan have insatiable chemistry and my heart is broken, ok not broken, but disheartened when I realize they stopped making movies together after this. I need more dammit. This is a tough film to review because it is so non-descript that there is really nothing to chew on. There is no meat here, as it is just cliched and capitalizing on the chemistry between the two and on Hanks' rising star power.
That said, the real highlight here is the chemistry. Hanks and Ryan are tremendous together. Their banter, negative encounters, and positive encounters, always feel authentic. They feel like real people and always feel connected to one another. Both turn in great performances as well, really displaying their respective charisma and maximizing on its potential in romantic comedies. Though Joe Fox is a jerk for lying, Hanks is such a charismatic actor, it is not hard to still want Kathleen to see past his awfulness.
Additionally, the film is a bit ahead of its time. Yes, the AOL dial-up is from the past and glorious, but meeting people online is more common nowadays and this film really captured that anxiety. Will they like me? What do they look like? There are ways to avoid it now, but some still do find themselves in this situation. Somehow, Nora Ephron captured this brilliantly with both characters being terrific in displaying the anxiety and, of course, Joe's reaction with his friend Kevin (Dave Chappelle) to seeing Kathleen waiting for him.
Interestingly, the film is also a compelling look at business. Book store rivals, Joe Fox is heir to the throne of a large company. Kathleen is heir to the wooden chair of a small storefront. The two are combative in business, hence why their meeting was so truly awkward and unlikely. Ephron plays on that angle a bit too much in the romance, hence the lying. But, in its portrayal of a big business steam rolling a small one, it shows both sides incredibly well. Yes, it is tragic to lose that small store that was always on the street and connected with the local people. However, the big store is not all bad. The employees may be less knowledgeable and management more disconnected, but it has larger reach and is more affordable. For books, this is a great thing as it allows reading to reach more people and the extra amenities in the store do foster community and establish the store as one that people would like to be in with a good book in front of them. Yet, it attracts incredibly negative attention for derailing popular local stores, even though they too provide a valuable service.
Impeccably cute, but a little grating at times, You've Got Mail is simply an excuse to watch Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan hang out for two hours. It may be surprising, but this has a lot of entertainment value on its own. Plus, did I mention how cute this film is? Ugh is it ever cute.…Expand
On the surface, the film is a typical romantic comedy, based on the premise that two business enemies begin anonymously chatting to each other online, and fall in love with each other's nameless identities through the internet. For me, this was the least interesting part of the film. WhatOn the surface, the film is a typical romantic comedy, based on the premise that two business enemies begin anonymously chatting to each other online, and fall in love with each other's nameless identities through the internet. For me, this was the least interesting part of the film. What interested me more was its exploration of the business world, and the moral grey area of huge business chains and franchises sweeping through society, forcing the closure of smaller, family-run businesses that haven't a snowball's chance in hell of competing.
Nonetheless, it is clear that this was not the main point that the filmmakers were trying to show, and what results is a slow romantic comedy, and the romance that ever-so-slowly blossoms between Hanks and Ryan feels all the more forced. Hanks gives a typically great performance, and Ryan isn't too shabby either. It's a shame that they are surrounded by a chorus of one-dimensional characters who really offer nothing of true value to the story, and the plot itself is strained to the point of implausibility. But for most of its runtime, it will keep you entertained.…Expand
Something came in the mail today... I wonder what is it. It's..... YOU'VE GOT MAIL!!!! Sorry, even the joke's stupid, but I made it a lot better to fit in this movie. If I ever see this movie in my inbox, you should know what I'm going to do with it.
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Feb 1, 2006
Truly painful cinematic experience. How can accompolished actors like Hanks and Ryan involve themselves in such tripe? And Alice Z...oh my god, you cannot be serious?