Sleepless in Seattle (1993)
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Starts off well with some good acting and funny lines, though this was balanced out by my eyes rolling a lot at the hackneyed moments. As the film went on, it became a rather creepy study of obsession, stalking and manipulation. Characters continually debate the existence of destiny, which is personified as Tom Hanks' loathsome little kid who's pulling all the strings.
"You don't want to fall in love, you want to fall in love in a movie." Nora Ephron's Sleepless in Seattle is one of the grande dames of '90s romcoms, despite the fact that the leads really don't meet until the end. That the romance works as well as it does speaks to the immense chemistry Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks have together, but also to Ephron's writing and direction. If we pay attention, we'll understand how Annie is perfect for Sam and vice-versa without being told, what seems like a throwaway bit about an apple, cementing the viability of the love affair after the credits have rolled, even if we're not witness to a specific moment. And it's a throwback to the Golden Age of Hollywood, playing as a romantic comedy version of Scream. The characters have seen these great romance movies, they admit it's screwed with their heads, and that real life isn't like that, but then movie magic happens anyway. They ARE in a grand old romantic movie where such things as destiny, and "the one", and precocious kids steering a parent in the right direction, can and does happen. The characters are aware of An Affair to Remember specifically, and try to play out one of its scenes, but you could name half a dozen more, I'm sure, including The Courtship of Eddie's Father. And it's filled with amusing and touching human moments. Way better than I remembered, but that might be because I've grown from a "ugh, chick flicks" kind of guy (the kind the movie is full of) into a weepy fan of cinema in all its forms.
Oh the oversized clothes. Why.
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In 7 official lists
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This movie ranks #45 in AFI's 100 Years...100 Passions
This movie ranks #50 in Paste's The 100 Best Romantic Comedies of All Time
This movie ranks #84 in BBC's The 100 Greatest Films Directed by Women
This movie ranks #281 in Geoff King's Film Comedy
This movie ranks #293 in Emma Beare's 501 Must-See Movies
This movie ranks #320 in Box Office Mojo's All Time Adjusted Box Office
This movie ranks #699 in Box Office Mojo's All Time Worldwide Box Office