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SLEEPLESS IN SEATTLE (1993)
Finally ready to move beyond the pain of his wife's death, Sam resolves to start dating again. His eager son, Jonah, decides to help out his dad by putting him on a national radio show that leads to an overwhelming influx of mail from interested women, one of whom is Annie: a woman engaged to a precarious man by the name of Walter but is still determined to confirm whether or not Sam is the man for her after all. As she forges her way to Seattle, the brief interlude seems in vain, and Annie heads home to New York to live out her life in peace, that is, until her un-posted letter makes it way to Jonah's footsteps and once more brings the boy, his father, and Annie face to face. But is it love after all, or a final farewell that awaits the two...
Director Nora Ephron's "Sleepless in Seattle" is a delightful, romantic embrace.
Promotional Line: "What if someone you never met,
After hearing an unwilling guest, Sam Baldwin (Hanks) tell his story on Doctor Marcia Fieldstone's call-in psych. radio show, Annie Reed (Meg Ryan), falls in love with this lonely, grieving widower she's never met, and who lives in another state. Sam's worried little boy, Jonah (Ross Malinger), was the culprit who called into the radio station, because he was worried about his grieving Dad, who was having a tough time getting over the death of Mrs. Baldwin, Jonah's mom. Jonah thinks that his dad should start dating again, and thought a talk with Dr. Marcia might help him find another lady to marry. Annie Reed is an already engaged woman, about to be married to Walter (Bill Pullman), a man who adores her. After Sam's talk with Dr. Marcia, Sam receives stacks of mail from women who want to date him. However, Sam and Annie are drawn together by destiny, and the determined efforts of Jonah who refuses to give up his quest to get this particular Annie. Jonah personally picked her as the one to meet and marry his father after reading her letter, over his father's doubts, that such a match could be made through the mail.
Sam Baldwin reluctantly starts dating other women, and double dates with another couple. Humor is interjected into this film as well. Another favorite scene involves two couples, discussing films that really pull the heart strings, making you cry. The women discuss the classic weeper, "An Affair to Remember." The men respond by sharing their emotional response to the classic action flick ,"The Dirty Dozen," during which numerous of the dozen die, including singer/actor, Trini Lopez. It's a guy thing.
Sam Baldwin's dates don't always please Jonah. "Victoria! She laughs like a hyena!" Plus, Jonah isn't pleased with his father because he won't go to New York and meet Annie. Jonah had written a letter back to Annie, pretending to be his father, and had scheduled this date for his Dad, at the top of the Empire State Building.
Under the talented direction of Enora Ephron, who also helped write the screenplay, along with Jeff Arch and David Ward, this warm and romantic, well-done chick flick film shows, in an entertaining manner,how these two people, after near misses and plot twists, finally do meet, a heart-warming moment with is a favorite scene by this reviewer.
This screenplay had actors coming out of the woodwork, wanting to be a part of this film, as it has a positive outlook, that offers hope and encouragement to many looking for true love and happiness in relationships / marriage. The talented cast that was finally picked rose to the occasion, and brought life and vigor to this screenplay, individually and ensemble work as well.
This premise that everyone has a perfect partner waiting to be discovered, works, thanks in large part to the great charm of Hanks and the screen chemistry Hanks and Ryan create magically on the screen. . These two have starred together in other romantic movies, such as "You've Got Mail," and "Joe Verses the Volcano."
Young Ross Malinger, only 9 at the time, gives a heart-felt, convincing portrayal of young Jonah, showcasing his talent as an actor at an early age. Ross had no trouble finding work throughout his childhood and teen years as well. After "Sleepless in Seattle," he landed a role in the TV series, "Party of Five."
Rosie O'Donnell does a great job as Becky, Annie's understanding boss, who encourages her to follow up on her feelings, that this guy, Sam Baldwin is her perfect match.
Bill Pullman gives a convincing performance as Walter, Annie's devoted fiancee, who she leaves to meet with Sam Baldwin for the first time. Annie realized that she didn't love Walter enough to marry him, while Walter loved her dearly. Her character shows her sweet and sensitive nature as she finds a way to break up with him, that considers his feelings. He may have been a little too understanding about her choice to leave him, if one was to look at this realistically, but hey, this is a romantic comedy! . Walter does speak the truth; "Marriage is hard enough without bringing such low expectations into it."
The film's soundtrack is filled with great golden oldies. To add to the film's "ambience" Ephron wanted songs that were both romantic and nostalgic. Particularly entertaining is the late great Jimmy Durante singing, "As Time Goes By," the song made famous in "Casablanca."
Warm, literate romantic comedies never go out of style."Sleepless in Seattle" is a great dating film because it's about destiny, and longing, and finding that one right person for you. If your date doesn't enjoy "Sleepless in Seattle", you may be dating a rock.
Rated: PG - Film has absolutely no violence and no strong language. "People say they are clamoring for this kind of movie, and that just shows that if you put it out there, they will come." - Mike Medavoy.