You've Got Mail

I would've cynically dismissed You've Got Mail as a fluffy mushy "chick flick" at any point in life where I was in a relationship or in loner mode. However, given my present situation (which I won't elaborate further, except to say that the Vancouver reference had a special (weird) meaning to me) it is hard to be objective about a movie that gives hope from a romantic perspective (which I think is necessary), but from a cynical perspective shows how unrealistic the portrayal of the world is in movies, even when it comes to relationship plots.

You've Got Mail is an adaptation of The Shop Around the Corner for the 90s. Kathleen Kelly aka Shopgirl (Meg Ryan) is the owner of a little children's bookstore infatuated with Joe Fox aka NY152 (Tom Hanks) a book-chain mogul, both online and offline. The twist here is that at least for a while the two don't realise that the person they're attracted to online is the same as the person they're attracted to offline, even though they run into each other and even have real-world conflicts with each other having to do with their respective businesses.

Up to this point, the movie works fairly well and even builds up a certain amount of suspense as to how the two lovebirds (who are also involved in semi-serious relationships) will resolve their conflicting feelings. But Joe Fox finds out first who his online partner is and then proceeds unnecessarily to, putting it charitably, "play mind games" with Kelly's feelings for him and for her online mate (who happen to be the same person except that Kelly doesn't know yet). In the end however, when Kelly finds out Fox and NY152 is the same person she just accepts it without a murmur. I think an added twist, where Kelly gets upset with Fox for playing these games and then reunites, would've worked better.

The humour is fairly decent and I found myself laughing a few times. Ryan and Hanks obviously have a great deal of chemistry together and it comes across well on the screen this time also, as it has in the past. Ryan's acting ability is showcased during the last scene where she goes through a series of emotions as she discovers the truth, and she pulls it off admirably. The dialogue, like the basic plot, is unrealistic, but all in all, You've Got Mail is a good date movie.

Movie ram-blings || Ram Samudrala ||