3166. You’ve Got Mail (1998)

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8.2 So charming
  • Acting 8.2
  • Directing 8.3
  • Story 8.2
  • User Ratings (0 Votes) 0

Starring: Tom Hanks, Meg Ryan, Greg Kinnear

Director: Nora Ephron

Running Time: 119 mins


You’ve Got Mail is an American film about a man and a woman who, despite being competitors in business in New York City, unknowingly develop a strong bond through a series of letters over the internet.

I absolutely loved this movie. Charming and funny, it’s the perfect romantic comedy which put a big smile on my face from beginning to end. Nora Ephron’s screenplay is sharp and genuine, while Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan give what might be both of their most enchanting performances, all coming together to make a movie that goes down oh so sweetly.

At the outset, You’ve Got Mail doesn’t seem like anything particularly special. You might first look at it as a spiritual sequel to Sleepless In Seattle, or you might not think much of its focus on a relationship over the internet – something not all too uncommon these days.

However, the film grabs you immediately with a charming blend of wit and innocence, with Ephron’s sharp screenplay working its magic almost immediately by swiftly introducing you to all of the characters and throwing in a few laughs about some of their aversion to this new-fangled e-mail technology.

It might not have been the original intention of the film, but the innocent way that You’ve Got Mail approaches online relationships and technology in general is an added bonus watching from the modern day, giving it a fluffier edge that many romantic comedies of today lack when dealing with digital romances.

Anyway, the story takes its course nicely, and manages to feel almost entirely fresh, even if it is following a fairly standard romantic comedy formula. Fun and light-hearted throughout, the movie focuses on the love-hate relationship between Hanks and Ryan as they meet in real life, unaware that they are each other’s online sweethearts.

It’s an enjoyable premise that could get messy very quickly, but the screenplay holds things together wonderfully, all the while retaining that light-hearted, pleasant atmosphere that makes You’ve Got Mail so charming.

The will-they-won’t-they romance between Hanks and Ryan is far more engaging than in Sleepless In Seattle, and although it arguably lacks the depth of When Harry Met Sally, it’s a lot more fun to watch, bolstered by the lead duo’s effortlessly lovable acting, and the sharp, funny dialogue throughout.

As I mentioned, both Hanks and Ryan are at their most charming in this movie, and the pair work fantastically together once again. Both characters are at heart a little generic, but both Hanks and Ryan play them with such charisma that they feel entirely genuine, which means it’s almost impossible to avoid falling in love with both of them.

Throughout, there’s barely a dull moment in You’ve Got Mail, with such bright romantic drama and enjoyable comedy that you’ll be smiling all the way through. At the beginning, it may just seem like another generic romantic comedy, but this is one of those romantic comedies that’s made really, really well.

With a wonderful screenplay, great directing and excellent performances, You’ve Got Mail never puts a foot wrong, delivering a sumptuous and enormously pleasant story with delightful humour and a sweet, cosy atmosphere. So, that’s why I’m giving the film an 8.2 overall.

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About Author

The Mad Movie Man, AKA Anthony Cullen, writes articles and reviews about movies and the world of cinema. Since January 1st, 2013, he has watched and reviewed a movie every day. This is the blog dedicated to the project: www.madmovieman.com