I was shocked and saddened when, during my morning IMDB perusal, I read that Nora Ephron, writer extraordinaire, has passed away. It doesn’t seem possible, because to me, Nora is the epitome of witty, charming, effervescent screenwriting.
You’ve Got Mail, as a matter of fact, is the first movie I remember calling my favorite. Since then I’ve tiptoed back towards the fulcrum, claiming to have multiple favorites, but the fact that You’ve Got Mail was first continues to resonate with me.
Oh for the good old days when a Friday night sometimes meant a trip down to Video Vault. Inside, where it smelled like stale popcorn and tanning lotion (from the bed they kept tucked behind a black door), I felt that I could go in a hundred different directions at once. Mary-Kate and Ashley movies were always good, but so were Rainbow Brite, Baby Geniuses, and The Babysitters’ Club. When it came down to the wire, though, and Mom was calling me from the register, I’d often snatch You’ve Got Mail.
It’s a romantic comedy that doesn’t require parents to cover their children’s eyes (a rarity nowadays), and what’s more, it’s a film with lightness that appeals to young’ins, and with cosmic messages and endearing characters that appeal to adults.
“Could it really happen?” We wonder. “Could two people, enemies in the real world, meet online and fall in love without being the wiser? And could those two people magically end up kissing at the end, dog leash wrapped around their legs? And could such a story actually interest people who are clearly grounded and wise to such idealism?”
But it does happen, and as it does, we to sigh and laugh (“Good thing it wasn’t the fish!”) with Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan, who were so young and lovely. And we get to forget, for a while, that Twilight exists, that Ghost Rider 2 exists, and that we’re watching a movie at all.