You’ve Got Mail

Review Date:
Director: Nora Ephron
Writer: Nora Ephron, Delia Ephron
Producers: Nora Ephron, Lauren Shuler-Donner
Tom Hanks
Meg Ryan
Man and woman meet on an Internet chat line and begin a cyber-relationship via emails back and forth. Eventually, both of them decide that it’s time to actually meet each other face to face, without the knowledge that they are, in fact, bookstore competitors in real-life.
Boring, unoriginal, long-winded rehash of two of this writer’s earlier scripts, based on the 1940 film entitled THE SHOP AROUND THE CORNER, this movie is a perfect example of what Hollywood knows to have worked in the past, and believes will keep working in the future (i.e. will keep making money). Take two cute and personable stars of the day, add a fabricated smidgen of romance, a contrived tinge of comedy, a slew of wise-cracking and one-dimensional costars, a script comprised of lines that would only be found in a script, various beautiful shots of NY during all four seasons, and a baby-boomer soundtrack that will just have the audience’s hair standing up in recognition factor alone, and you’ve got yourself a perfect recipe for the lowest-common-denominator type films that Hollywood keeps cranking out from year to year, without a hint of originality or enthusiasm.

This movie is not funny, barely romantic (the last 15 minutes are okay, but only if you want to sit through the first 105 minutes of people typing, a lot of scripted narration and a grand sub-plot about the corporate giant stores getting rid of the mom & pops nowadays) and not at all inspirational or creative. Does this mean that you won’t like this movie? I don’t know. All I know is that if you’re at all like me, and you believe in the all-and-mighty theory that when a film’s trailer doesn’t seem “do it” for you, the film generally doesn’t do it either, then this film is not for you. Having said that, it was Mrs. JoBlo’s idea to see this movie in the first place, she who actually found this movie’s trailer to be appealing, and she was also quite bored and uninspired with anything this film had to offer.

The actors are okay, with Meg Ryan shining once more as the cute-as-a-button store owner, who makes you smile when she smiles, and ache when heart aches. Tom Hanks, on the other hand, does a decent job, but between you and me, seems to have put on quite a few pounds of late, and doesn’t project much of a leading man role anymore (Remember Brando, Tom? Put the desserts down from time to time, buddy. Trust me on this one.) All of the secondary players are screenplay-generated fluff parts that seem to want to be clever in every scene, and who are generically divided into the “good clan” and the “bad clan”. Nothing of three-dimensions here, folks. The soundtrack was nice and the cinematography beautiful at times, but these are supposed to be layers of cream added to a solid script, not a replacement thereof. Both elements seemed to be used in abundance whenever the script needed some “stalling time”, along various montage sequences of Hanks and Ryan bouncing around.

This is not a good movie. It offers no originality, very little real humour, and even less tangible romance. One kick that I did get out of this film, was the fact that it majestically announced the “selling out” of yet another independent film actor, in Parker Posey, who plays the role of one of the most one-dimensional characters that I have ever seen on film. Congratulations Parker, you are now part of the Hollywood mold. This film may appeal to some of you who go in with extremely low expectations, but either way, I suggest you go out and rent WHEN HARRY MET SALLY instead, and thank me in the morning.

(c) 2021 Berge Garabedian

You've Got Mail