Do you ever watch a specific movie at a specific point in the year? The obvious example is to watch Christmas movies around Christmas. Regular every day movies can be connected with a season or event...Maybe the movie came out around a certain time of the year? Maybe annual events are connected with memories of a movie. Whatever the reason - I am totally programmed to watch certain movies at certain times of the year.
Today I watched You've Got Mail (1998) for the gazillionth time. Every time the weather starts to cool and I feel the beginnings of autumn, this movie calls to me. Perhaps it's because the movie begins in autumn? Or maybe it's the mention of a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils and school supplies? Or it could be the books and all around coziness of this movie that has permanently cemented itself in my mind as an 'autumn movie'.
If you've not seen this movie please do yourself a favor and watch it. I'm going to gush about it for a bit. I'll try not to include spoilers but, come one, it's a rom-com. It's not exactly shocking.
The movie You've Got Mail was written and directed by Nora Ephron (Delia Ephron helped write too) and is based on a play written by Miklós László called, Parfumerie. Another excellent movie called, Shop Around the Corner with James Stewart is also based on his play. Notice the name of the Jimmy Stewart movie? eh *nudges* eh?
Now, in no particular order, I present my favorite things about You've Got Mail:
1. The amazing sound track. The songs are fun and upbeat and a little cheesy. All perfect for a rom-com, right?
Especially this song:
You've Got Mail (1998) opening credits (youtube video)
2. You can indulge in some late 1990's internet nostalgia. Look at that AOL startup screen. Remember waiting for those people in the third window to appear? All while listening to some type of alien language? Good times.
3. I adore the decor that Kathleen Kelly (Meg Ryan's character) has going on in her apartment. She has a couple floor to ceiling bookshelves that I envy. There's a wall on the other side, just outside the screen shot that is another huge floor to ceiling book case! So many books. These shelves are some life goals for me.
4. The dialogue of this movie is top-notch. Especially the conversations between Joe Fox (Tom Hanks) and Kathleen Kelly as they get to know each other. It's quippy and fun and I adore the fact that they will talk about seemingly random things via their emails. There's something beautiful about sharing sort of "mundane" thoughts with a person. I think those thoughts, where a person's brain goes in quiet moments and what they notice, can tell a lot about a person. Joe and Kathleen swap emails about a butterfly on the subway and odd dust in the air not to mention more serious issues like business advice. They have an ability to act naturally with each other that is extremely important in a relationship.
I also enjoy the scenes as they get to know each other in person, or basically as Joe realizes he needs to help Kathleen see the real-email him and not the business-competitor him.
Also, it's Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan. They're adorable.
5. Speaking of the dialogue, I would be remiss if this quote, said by Kathleen, was not included somewhere in this post...
"When you read a book as a
child it becomes part of your identity in a way that no other reading in your
whole life does”
I don't think truer words about reading have ever been spoken. While I think that reading later in life can become part of your identity, it is true that in your formative years, the words you read and ideas you learn can be extremely important to you and shape you in ways you might not realize at the time.
6. I always found Kathleen and Joe to be completely relatable. Of course, having relatable characters pull the audience in and helps them identify.
For example: Kathleen wishes she could "zing" someone by coming up with the precise thing to say in the moment, but her "mind goes blank". While Joe feels the opposite. He knows he has been too cynical and mean. I know both of those feelings all to well, as do a lot of people.
Not only are the two main characters relatable and interesting. the cast of side characters is excellent. I love the way they interact, especially Kathleen's coworkers who are like a family.
7. The story takes place in New York City, as do a lot of movies. That's not really unique, but it is charming to us non-big-city-dwellers. I like the streets, especially with the fall colors, and I love the park scene that closes the movie. The flowers are beautiful.
Sometimes I end up watching You've Got Mail in the springtime as well. Especially if I have a cold. It just fits, okay?
Maybe this movie isn't your thing, and that's okay. There are some odd parts of this movie, I won't deny it.
However, for the reasons listed above, for some other reasons I don't really know, and because I grew up with it, this movie has wormed it's way into my heart and into my fall movie line-up. There it will remain as a movie that makes me smile and makes my heart feel cozy.
Any other You've Got Mail fans out there?
***all photos, except poster, are screen-shots that I made, but really belong to Warner Bros obviously***
***You've Got Mail poster, the first picture, I found via Wikipedia ***