Don’t You Love New York in the Fall? – A You’ve Got Mail Review

Apart from Thanksgiving, I am posting this entry today in Honor of my late grandfather who would have been 89 today!

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Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks in You’ve Got Mail – Warner Bros.

Although When Harry Met Sally and Sleepless in Seattle are quite the cult classics, I can never ever discount this refreshingly romantic film starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan — You’ve Got Mail. This was released in December 1998 and was directed by Nora Ephron.

I still remember owning an original DVD in a world full of pirated copies.

I was excited seeing my father from afar holding a DVD case and later being disappointed after seeing that it starred older actors. I was only 16 and drooling over Devon Sawa, Skeet Ulrich and Leonardo Di Caprio. You have to forgive my Tiger Beat Days.

A quick background in case you’re wondering why the excitement over a simple DVD:

We are expatriates in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. We’ve been here since 1997. A little trivia — the first cinema in Saudi Arabia opened on 18 April 2018. Before that, we’ve only been dependent on VHS tapes, VCDs and DVDs. Now, thanks to Netflix & other streaming platforms, we can now enjoy these movies over and over again!

I am currently watching the movie just to have a recap because it’s been a year since I last saw it. You’ve Got Mail is about the lives of Joe Fox (played by Tom Hanks) and Kathleen Kelly (played by Meg Ryan). Joe is a businessman who is set to open a super bookstore at the Upper West Side, a neighborhood that’s fiercely protective of its small shops. One of the shops that he is eyeing to buy and put out of business is The Shop Around the Corner owned by Kathleen whom little did he know is the same woman he’s been emailing and IM-ing with via AOL, albeit both of them being in seemingly serious relationships,  since they were both living with their partners.

Internet is still relatively new at that time & people were just starting to get hooked on electronic mailing. Joe and Kathleen have started developing close friendship online however, their feelings have later evolved and started becoming drawn to each other. They eventually have broken up with their partners not because of the private chats alone but their partners have their own personal issues/affairs as well. They have decided to take their online relationship into the next level and agreed on finally meeting up.

Joe initially stood her up having realized that Shopgirl, his chatmate was in fact, Kathleen Kelly, the owner of The Shop Around the Corner. He saw her at the restaurant with a rose just as Shopgirl said she would. He tried annoying Kathleen as Joe Fox, the archnemesis, and not as NY152, her chatmate. He sat beside her and tried convincing her that NY152 is some kind of psycho but she won’t accept whatever Joe Fox says. Kathleen felt bad about being stood up but still hoped that there’s a valid reason for his doing so.

After that incident, Joe pursued befriending Kathleen even giving her advices with regard to her online friendship with NY152 who incidentally have later apologized to Shopgirl without elaborating his reasons. However at this time, Kathleen Kelly and Joe Fox had seen eye-to-eye and have grown to become friends.

The email buddies have finally set yet another date to meet up and Joe even walked with her that day prior to meeting NY152.

To her surprise, it was Joe Fox all along hence the quote:

Kathleen Kelly:

I wanted it to be you; I wanted it to be you so badly.

Things I liked:

The movie using the song, “Dreams” by The Cranberries. How many times can I say this, “Dolores O’Riordan (†) had the most attractive voice ever!” 

Starbucks. I love that it got featured there! At that time, I was still not addicted to commercial coffee, I was in High School and did not have money to spare for fancy coffee.

Bouquet of newly-sharpened pencils! This is something I would appreciate when I am being wooed over. I mean, instead of actual flowers.

And of course, Sara Ramirez being the lady at the counter.

Happy Thanksgiving, back!

Things I Didn’t Quite Like:

The fact the Joe Fox has known for some time already that Kathleen Kelly is Shopgirl: I feel that he’s used that to his advantage, being the person who knew the actual situation, being directly involved, and leading Kathleen Kelly on with a hint of subliminal manipulation, thus working on both Joe Fox’s and NY152’s favor! I hate that it was treated like it was not a big deal!

And I have an issue about how infidelity had been exploited on this film, I mean, for a romcom that’s supposed to be light and breezy, there’s too much infidelity going on without a hint of weight attached to it, like just brushing it off — JUST LIKE THAT! I mean, come on, the main characters were both living with their partners while doing their IM business (and developing certain feelings for each other) plus Joe’s stepmom ran away with the nanny & having also made a pass on Joe Fox on several occasions. Plus, the retrospective stories of Joe’s nannies being his father’s mistresses. Fidelity was quite understated in this movie.

Nevertheless, I still love this film. I did not realize the things I disliked until I had grown up. The issues I’ve enumerated did not quite matter to me when I was younger and probably gave this a 9/10 as a romantic comedy but now, I will have to give it a 7/10.

Happy thanksgiving!

32 thoughts on “Don’t You Love New York in the Fall? – A You’ve Got Mail Review

          1. I must admit I never listened to Tom Hanks, but his choice of subsequent projects seems to paint him as a thoughtful guy. I heard Meg Ryan speaking once and was very unimpressed. With these people, they can play whatever parts they want but it’s their value as human beings that interests me.

            Liked by 2 people

  1. My sister binged on old romantic movies like this a few months into the pandemic. She said they do not make films like this anymore. There is not enough magic or poetry. I remember watching a film with Devon Sawa as a child. The one with the dead thing happening? I cannot remember the title. And there was another one with a weird hand. I can imagine how streaming services have changed the game for you. Crazy how simple things are luxuries in some places.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Final Destination and Idle Hands? Devon is my teenage crush so I know of his movies since Little Giants…

      I say that too all the time about them not making movies like this anymore… even for Filipino films… 90s movies appeal different than movies these days…

      Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s not a movie I feel all that compelled to rewatch, although I have seen it twice. I was never much of a Meg Ryan fan (So, I never particular liked When Harry Met Sally), but Tom Hanks has certainly been a long time favourite. I did enjoy Sleepless in Seattle though!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I love Tom Hanks too. I got scared when they’ve contracted Corona virus while they were in Australia for Rita’s promo tour.

      I know what you mean about the movie. Perhaps it’s the sentimental value that makes it quite dear to me. Meg Ryan was a Hollywood sweetheart at that time, is there a particular reason why you weren’t so fond of her? Who are your favorites?

      Liked by 2 people

      1. It was fabulous that Tom was able to come back in September and complete the filming of his movie.

        I think with Meg Ryan I kept hoping for something better from her. My favourite movie of hers is IQ with Tim Robbins.

        My favourites actresses are: Cate Blanchett, Sandra Bullock, Julia Roberts, Anne Hathaway, Scarlet Johansen, Audrey Hepburn, Sophia Loren, Michelle Yeoh, Kate Winslet, to name a few 😊

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Oh he returned in September? Were they shooting near your place?

          I also love Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett and Kate Winslet… in that order.. I believe Sandra is my no. 1 hehe.

          My favorite movie of Meg’s is Kate and Leopold with Hugh Jackman. I think she’s typecast to romcoms…

          I have seen IQ, it was a nice movie! I liked their chemistry… but Meg only had one acting style, I guess that made you hope for something better 🙂

          Liked by 2 people

          1. No, they were filming across the other side of the country, up in Queensland.

            I will watch whatever movie these three ladies are in 😊

            I think Meg did try to vary her style along the way. I didn’t mind Kate and Leopold. I should track it down and have a rewatch.

            It would seem these days Meg is behind the camera working on a whole range of productions. I tracked down an interview by the NY Times Magazine with her from early last year. Makes you realise how complex it all is and her struggle with it all https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/02/15/magazine/meg-ryan-romantic-comedy.html

            Liked by 2 people

            1. Oh that’s a lot of new information on Meg Ryan. In depth interviews like this gives us a glimpse about their lives and their personal struggles.

              I do hope she’s got more happiness than how it appeared on the interview.

              Liked by 1 person

  3. Really good review! While I’ve never seen ‘You’ve Got Mail’, it does remind me of several Hallmark movies I’ve watched. Rom-coms may be not be found in theaters often, but they are common on Hallmark Channel, as of the past decade. Thanks for joining my blogathon! I added your review to the participant list!

    Liked by 1 person

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