Warner Bros. Pictures | Release Date: December 18, 1998
7.3
USER SCORE
Generally favorable reviews based on 80 Ratings
USER RATING DISTRIBUTION
Positive:
51
Mixed:
23
Negative:
6
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10
davecFeb 14, 2007
I loved this movie. Meg Ryan was adorable!
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10
AliceZOct 20, 2005
This is still my favorite romantic comedy of all time! So cute and funny. I love it!
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7
SpangleFeb 8, 2017
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.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 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.
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10
hankwmardukasNov 28, 2018
For my inaugural review for The Puritan Post, my boss told me I was could write about any movie I wanted, since he doesn’t have money to actually pay for me to go to the movies. “You’ve Got Mail” is my favorite romantic comedy. I actually ownFor my inaugural review for The Puritan Post, my boss told me I was could write about any movie I wanted, since he doesn’t have money to actually pay for me to go to the movies. “You’ve Got Mail” is my favorite romantic comedy. I actually own three copies of the 1998 Tom Hanks/Meg Ryan classic on VHS (I don’t use DVDs or Blu Rays). The truth is that I adore this movie. I love “You’ve Got Mail”. I probably love “You’ve Got Mail” more than Seth Rogen’s character in “Undeclared”. Also, props if you got that reference. In all seriousness though, “You’ve Got Mail” is the perfect rom-com and a perfect love story. Here’s why.
“You’ve Got Mail” takes the best parts of “Sleepless in Seattle” and fixes the flaws of the second in the Tom Hanks/Meg Ryan Rom-Com trilogy. You might be asking “Hank, I thought ‘You’ve Got Mail’ was the second Hanks/Ryan rom-com”. Wrong, friendo. People always forget “Joe Versus The Volcano". The main reason “You’ve Got Mail” is better than “Sleepless in Seattle” is the plot. There is no real conflict in the latter film. Whereas in “You’ve Got Mail”, there’s an inherently compelling conflict: the two protagonists who are in love with each other are business rivals, but they don’t know it yet. This brilliant device could be attributed to the fact that “You’ve Got Mail” is a remake of the 1940 Jimmy Stewart film “The Shop Around the Corner”, but nevertheless, “You’ve Got Mail” takes this familiar concept and modernizes it in an original way that was incredibly ahead of its time.
Another area S.I.S. falls drastically short of Y.G.M. is in the characters. In “Sleepless in Seattle”, Meg Ryan is engaged to a super cool dude in Bill Pullman, whom she sneaks around on for some guy she’s “in love with” that she’s literally only ever heard on the radio. Whereas in the modern masterpiece, “You’ve Got Mail”, our heroine is dating a horribly self-involved, obnoxious dude, who is addicted to buying vintage typewriters in Greg Kinnear (who kills it in this flick by the way). “You’ve Got Mail” doubles down by giving Tom Hanks a similarly horrible girlfriend as well played by Parker Posey (who also kills it), instead of being a widower who may or may not be ready to move on as he was in “Sleepless in Seattle”. By giving us characters with horrible love lives, it is a lot easier to root for said characters to fall in love. The reality is, both movies are still classic romantic comedies. However, it is incredibly impressive that the writer and director who made both flicks was able to make such vast improvements the second time around. Well played, Nora Ephron, well played.
All “Sleepless in Seattle” comparisons aside, “You’ve Got Mail” was years ahead of its time in telling a technology-centric love story. And unlike most tech-centric rom-coms since then, it still holds up (looking at you ‘Must Love Dogs’). The bottom line is that if you haven’t seen “You’ve Got Mail”, you’re not only doing yourself a disservice as a moviegoer, but also as an American. “You’ve Got Mail” is a beautiful story about how two people with two totally different ideological viewpoints can fall in love because of who they are inside. If that isn’t a love story with relevance today, I don’t know what is. Oh, and Tom Hanks’ best friend in the movie is Dave Chappelle. How many other rom-coms have Dave Chappelle in them? Not enough, sadly. None, actually.
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