Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|You've Got Mail|
Director: Nora Ephron
Neigborhood bookstore rivals unwittingly become e-mail pen pals in Nora Ephron's charming remake of 'The Shop Around the Corner'.
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Ed Uyeshima | San Francisco, CA USA | 02/06/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"A 10th Anniversary DVD seems a bit vaunted for this familiar 1998 romantic comedy since it continues to play repeatedly on TBS and other cable outlets. It's no wonder since Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan have the kind of ingratiating rapport that makes it easy to slip into one of their movies no matter what part you find yourself watching. Directed by the acerbic Nora Ephron, who helmed 1993's Sleepless in Seattle with the same pair, this movie gleams with the same kind of good-natured, Hollywood-style gloss that made the previous outing a hit. However, the pieces fit a little too perfectly for me, so much so that it feels packaged for maximum audience appeal. It really takes the combined skills of Hanks and Ryan to make this palatable, even likable, but it's not without its challenges.
As with Sleepless in Seattle, Ephron, along with her sister Delia as co-screenwriter, attempts to update a tried-and-true film classic, this time Ernst Lubitsch's The Shop Around the Corner (1940), about two people who are concurrently in an antagonistic professional relationship and also anonymous pen-pals fantasizing who the other may be in real life. The novelty this time is that the story takes place at the dawn of the Internet age when people automatically set up AOL accounts with incognito screen names. E-mail and instant messaging have replaced the need for the postal system to exchange anticipated love letters. The story focuses on Joe Fox, one of the wealthy owners of a mega-bookstore chain called Fox Books, a doppelganger for Borders or Barnes & Noble. On Manhattan's Starbucks-saturated Upper West Side, he is opening one of his monstrous stores in the vicinity of The Shop Around the Corner, a specialty children's bookstore owned by Kathleen Kelly.
Much of the movie has to do with her attempts to defend her antiquated turf and ward off the inevitable cannibalization of her small business. I actually found this part of the movie entertaining with nice tweaks in the verbal interplay on corporate greed. I especially liked the sharply scripted scene in the coffeehouse when Kathleen succinctly puts down Joe's business intentions. The other side of the film is the burgeoning love story between Joe and Kathleen on AOL where under their screen names `NYC152' and `Shopgirl', they find themselves bonding and falling in love. Similar to what occurs in the original movie and the Judy Garland musical remake, In the Good Old Summertime, Joe finds out who `Shopgirl' is before Kathleen realizes that he is `NYC152', allowing for an extended courting sequence from Kathleen's sickbed through the Union Square Greenmarket and other locales.
Hanks is a more avuncular presence as Joe and not as manically funny as usual except for a funny scene where he attempts to hide his identity in her bookstore. As Kathleen, Ryan is sometimes on twinkle overdrive, but she manages to come back to her innate malleability as an actress, a quality not all that common among the subsequent generation of rom-com heroines (for example, Kate Hudson in How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days or Hilary Swank in P.S., I Love You). Most importantly, even when the material feels like retread, the pair has definite chemistry. The supporting cast is adept and filled with strong players - Parker Posey as Joe's self-obsessed book editor girlfriend Patricia, Greg Kinnear as Kathleen's intellectually pompous boyfriend Frank, a young Dave Chappelle as Joe's colleague Keith, Jean Stapleton as Kathleen's eccentric partner.
The 2008 Deluxe Edition DVD maintains all the features of the previous 1999 DVD, specifically an entertaining commentary track by Ephron and producer Lauren Shuler Donner, a brief HBO short with Ephron, a music video of Carole King's "Anything at All", a music-only audio track, and an interactive tour of the filming locations in New York's Upper East Side. Unfortunately, there are no deleted or expanded scenes offered in either the old or new DVD releases. The print transfer on the new DVD is clean and vibrant, and there are two new featurettes offered as part of the package. The first is "Delivering You've Got Mail" where Hanks and Ryan - both looking good but not overly engaged - reminisce about the filmmaking experience a decade later. The second, "You've Got Chemistry", is really more about romantic comedy as a genre rather than anything particular about this production."
Jessica Davis | Virginia | 03/09/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks shine in this romantic comedy. This is the second time this duo have performed together (Sleepless in Seattle). Perhaps that helps create the smooth natural tone of the interactions between the two. Ryan plays a bookstore shop owner...a tiny little store first run by her mother. Hanks company is building a huge bookstore chain in the same neighborhood. The two cannot stand each other. Besides their business lives, the two are both chatting with an interesting person through the internet and believe they are falling in love with the person. Little do they know, it is really each other! Will they meet? And if they do, will they fall in love or be shocked and disturbed? Watch the movie to find out what happens!"
Bouquets of sharpened pencils, indeed
Toniann Scime | Amherst, NY United States | 07/20/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Here's the main and completely irrelevant reason to love this movie: New York City in the fall. Honestly, it should have no bearing whatsoever on the plot, but it does -- and it's impossible not to fall in love with the bright, sunshiny, orange-leaved sheer beauty of the city encapsulated in this movie. Without even resorting to shots of Central Park in all its glory (and really, who can resist that?), "You've Got Mail" takes you on a lovely scenic tour of the Upper West Side, Starbucks and all. Who can resist the street fairs, the parks, the stores, the dock? It's picture-perfect, and if it's a bit surreal, I won't admit it: New York really is rather lovely in the fall.Aside from making me want to run away to the Big Apple and work in the children's section at Fox Books, "You've Got Mail" also features Meg Ryan at her most adorable ("Aren't daisies just the friendliest flower?"), Tom Hanks at his most charming, and a terrific supporting cast (Greg Kinnear and those typewriters!). The story, a modernized little "remake" of "The Shop Around The Corner", is more fairy tale than realism -- two people fall in love over email, in war in real life, and however can such a thing be solved -- but it's an enchanting story nonetheless. In a time when romance on the web seems all-too-seedy and in reality, sometimes frankly dangerous, this little tale of two people sharing their most intimate thoughts long before they share a single glance is like a breath of fresh air. Sure, the technology's a little faded, but the magic's still there."
A GREAT MOVIE
N.P | Fresno, CA United States | 12/10/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I LOVED THIS MOVIE!! I HAVE SEE IT ABOUT A MILLION TIMES AND YET WHEN I GET BORED I STILL PLOP IT IN TO THE DVD PLAYER. HANKS AND RYAN HAVE A SPECIAL RELATIONSHIP THAT DELIVERS AN EXCEPTIONAL PERFORMANCE IN THE MOVIE. IT IS ABOUT TWO PEOPLE THAT MEET ON-LINE AND BECOME FRIENDS, WHILE IN REAL LIFE THEY HATE EACH OTHER. RYAN RUNS A LITTLE BOOK STORE "JUST AROUND THE CORNER" AND HANKS IS PART OF A BIG BAD CHAIN/DISCOUNT "FOX BOOK STORE" (JUST LIKE BORDERS). HOWEVER NO MATTER HOW DIFFRENT THEY APPEAR TO BE THEY LEAD VERY SIMILAR LIVES AS FAR AS RELATIONSHIPS AND VALUES ARE CONCERNED. NEEDLESS TO SAY EVERYTHING WORKS OUT IN THE END. I WOULD HAVE TO SAY THAT THE FIRST TEN MINUTES AND THE LAST TWENTY ARE THE BEST, ALSO THE SOUND TRACK IS AMAZING."