Sleepless in Seattle (1993)


As I’ve looked over the last few reviews, I realize they’ve been rather lengthy.  I’ll work on that and try to get more to the point rather than babble on and on as I’ve tended to do.

I feel as though I needed to watch Sleepless in Seattle with my wife.  It screams chick flick, and yet, I enjoyed it.  The premise is basic: fate and love, and Nora Ephron makes it work with two actors at the height of their craft.

In 1993, both Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks were in what I’d consider the most successful time of their careers.  This film and When Harry Met Sally are probably Ryan’s two most well-known movies, and Hanks won his first of two Best Actor Oscars in 1994 for Philadelphia, and then the next year for Forrest Gump.  Ross Malinger nails the performance of Jonah.  He fits the part and keeps things interesting.  He represents a childlike innocence and hope in the power of love and fate.  I feel like Bill Pullman, especially in the 90s, played the guy who was a road block for a romantic pairing.  Hank Azaria has taken over that role more recently, but I think Pullman is likable enough without necessarily being lovable as a character.

Sleepless in Seattle makes numerous references to An Affair to Remember, and I get a feeling that this is a modern, at least for the time, version of that film.  It was unnecessary but I felt You’ve Got Mail (1998) was just a remake of Sleepless, but I digress.  When Sam (Hanks), Suzy (Rita Wilson), and Greg (Victor Garber) talk about An Affair to Remember, Sam and Greg make a mockery of how sentimental Suzy is about the romance that takes place.  The gender differences definitely show through, contrasting somewhat to the conversations Harry and Sally have in When Harry Met Sally…

Visually this film has become very dated, but the visuals aren’t what makes this movie relate-able and in some ways timeless.  The explosion of social networks and the internet since this film came out have made the world a much smaller place.  However, there are still some aspects of love, dating, and getting married.  The conversation Sam I believe has with Jay (Rob Reiner) shows this.  They compare inviting a girl out for dinner or for a drink, and the implications of each.  In most instances, going out in the conventional sense is still central to the dating process.  Guys and girls approach it differently, which Ephron demonstrates this quite well.


In conclusion I enjoyed Sleepless in Seattle, and will probably watch it a few more times sometime in the future.  It’s not filled with layers upon layers of stories and subplots, but holds its own with the help of two strong  lead performances and a likable and relate-able supporting cast.  I really don’t have any complaints about this one.

My rating: 4 out of 5 stars


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