Friday, April 1, 2011

You’ve got m@il

Five years after Sleepless in Seattle, Nora Ephron reunites Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks again in You’ve you m@il (1998). These days I am more into light movies than into absolute classics! Maybe it’s the arrival of spring that is making me more sentimental, who knows.

Kathleen Kelly is the proud owner of the Shop around the Corner, a little bookstore she inherited from her mother. Joe Fox is the heir to the Fox empire, a chain of bookstores. When he sets up a giant shop close to Kathleen’s store, she engages in a war to save her business. Meanwhile, the two of them are corresponding on the internet without knowing who they are talking to, and their mutual affection grows. Will their professional enmity stand in the way?


No, do not answer that question…. As you could have guessed, the plot is fairly predictable. But it is played beautifully by Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks. I particularly like how these two are incredibly smart and witty, and of course this is the first time ever I heard about The Godfather, and realized I had to watch it.


Joe Fox: The Godfather is the I-ching. The Godfather is the sum of all wisdom. The Godfather is the answer to any question. What should I pack for my summer vacation? "Leave the gun, take the cannoli". What day of the week is it? "Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Wednesday"


Joe Fox: [to the grumpy cashier] Happy Thanksgiving... it's your turn to say Happy Thanksgiving back.

Cashier: Happy Thanksgiving back.


Joe Fox: I think you'd discover a lot of things if you really knew me.

Kathleen Kelly: If I really knew you, I know exactly what I'd find: instead of a brain a cash register, instead of a heart a bottom line.


Kathleen Kelly: Wow, I keep on bumping into you.

Joe Fox: Hey, you want to bump into me on, say, Saturday around lunchtime? Over there?


When the movie starts the two of them already know each other virtually – we do not find out how they met, and it is not very relevant to the story. But they are already fond of each other, and the two of them both share their lives with somebody: Kathleen with Franck, Joe with Patricia. Both are unsatisfied in their relationships, and what bothered me is that they do not have the guts to end it, but wait until circumstances force them to. Maybe I am reading too much into it.


Joe Fox: I like Patricia. I “love” Patricia. Patricia makes COFFEE nervous.


Kathleen Kelly: You don't love me.

[Frank shakes his head negatively]

Kathleen Kelly: Me, either.


Kathleen’s favourite book is Pride and Prejudice, which is a nice reference to her own story – Mr Darcy is rich and a bit snob, and gets on Elizabeth Bennet’s nerves. Then they find they care for each other but her pride gets in the way.

Joe Fox: Well, let me ask you something. How can you forgive this guy for standing you up and not forgive me for this tiny little thing of... of putting you out of business?


I loved many things about this movie. In the final scene they play Somewhere over the Rainbow, which is the first time I ever heard the song, and I loved it. Another thing I love is the image it paints of New York – in the fall, in the winter and in the spring, New York seems like a dream city, almost a village, and we see beautiful images and scenes – I wanted to jump on a plane and move there when I saw the movie!! The opening scene is fantastic in that sense:

The whole story seems completely out of times, since it happens at a time not so long ago, but when the internet was not completely a way of life. Meg Ryan is a brilliant and charlming as ever, Tom Hanks is perfect as the "it's not personnal it's business" man who just goes on to show he does have a heart. It is romantic, smart, colourful. Do not hesitate.

No comments:

Post a Comment