The director and stars of 1998's You've Got Mail scoreda breakthrough hit with this hugely popular romantic comedy from 1993, about a recently engaged woman (Meg Ryan) who hears the sad story of a grieving widower (Tom Han... more »ks) on the radio and believes that they're destined to be together. She's single in New York, he lives in Seattle with a young son, but the cross-country attraction proves irresistible, and pretty soon Meg's on a westbound flight. What happens from there is ... well, you must have been living in a cave to have let this sweet-hearted comedy slip below your pop-cultural radar. There's little complexity or depth to writer-director Nora Ephron's cheesy tale of a romantic fait accompli, and more than a little contrivance to the subplots that threaten to keep Hanks and Ryan from actually meeting. But the purity of star chemistry here is hard to deny, and this may be the first film to indicate the more serious and sympathetic side of Hanks that is revealed in later roles. With its clever jokes about "chick movies" and repeated homage to the classic weeper An Affair to Remember, this may not be everybody's brand of amorous entertainment, but it's got an old-Hollywood charm that appeals to many a movie fan. --Jeff Shannon« less
"Some people have songs, my husband and I have a movie. We not only met in Seattle, my husband lived next to Lake Union, very close to where this movie was made. He actually saw them filming scenes from the movie.
You could say the roles were a bit reversed, being I was the one getting over a relationship and he was not really looking at the time. Having lived in Seattle for many years, I especially enjoyed seeing scenes from Pike Place Market and West Seattle.
Rosie O'Donnell adds to the wit with lines like: "You want to be in love in a movie." Tom Hanks gives a sensitive performance as Sam who lost the love of his life. He and his son Jonah, live on Lake Union. Annie (Meg Ryan) is caught up with plans for her wedding. She is engaged and not looking for love. Yet, as it so often happens, love does appear when you are not looking.
One night Annie hears a radio show where Jonah has called in to ask how his father could find a new wife. The radio host invites Sam to reveal his heart and Annie literally cries when he says how his wife used to make everything in his life beautiful. She makes a connection and starts fantasizing about a man she has never met.
The songs are masterfully woven into the story and provides a feeling of old fashioned romance, where destiny draws two lovers to one another. There is also a sense of family and how everyone has needs and desires. Jonah especially wants a mother. Annie and Sam don't really know what they want, but they do get what they need. I found that very true to life.
Wit, chemistry, laugh-out-loud humor and romance, romance, romance! Worth watching at least once a year during the holiday season!
~The Rebecca Review"
Sleepless in Seattle
Kelly | Littleton, Colorado | 03/26/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a wonderful timeless romantic drama. Annie Reed is heading to see her family on Christmas Eve and is listening to a radio call in show. One of the callers is eight year old Jonah who tells the audience that his dad needs a new wife. After it comes out that Jonah's mom died, and dad Sam is put on the spot to talk to the radio shrink on air, women all over the country fall in love with this man that loved his deceased wife so passionately. Annie is determined to meet Sam because she feels a strong pull toward Sam and Jonah. When they meet, destiny is forged. This well acted film starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan closely follows another beloved classic An Affair to Remember. There are some funny moments, but it is the drama that captures the audience. It reiterates the old saying that love conquers all. "
My absolute favourite movie @}->---
Little Miss Cutey | Melbourne, Australia | 11/19/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Other than The Breakfast Club, Sleepless in Seattle is my all time favourite movie. I know it's older now, but to me I will always watch it over and over again. I like to watch it a couple of times a year because I always enjoy it and never tire of it. As everyone probably knows, Tom Hanks and his son move from Chicago to Seattle after Tom's wife dies and they need a new start. Hoping to find a new love for his father, Jonah calls a radio station to speak on a talk show to help his dad out. Their radio call name is Sleepless in Seattle. Listening to the conversation all the way in Washington DC is Meg Ryan who has just announced her engagement to Bill Pullman. She seems to fall in love with Sam (Tom Hanks) instantly as she finishes his sentances and is hooked by his story. Being a writer, she does a story on him and finds herself wanting to get in touch with him. She makes the journey over to Seattle and manages to say Hello to him (before almost getting hit by cars on a busy road). She backs off after thinking that he's in a relationship already and heads back home. All the while through the movie, these events parallel the movie An Affair To Remember, so eventually there is an arranged meeting for Annie and Sam on top of the Empire State Building on Valentines Day (Sam hasn't arranged any of this; Jonah has done all the correspondance without his knowledge). Long story short, you can gauge the rest of the story line. It's fun and enjoyable and yes it's a chick flick but there is nothing wrong with that. There is some great acting in it by Jonah (Ross Malinger) and the chemistry between Hanks and Ryan is always great to watch (although they don't have many scenes together). I really love this and I don't imagine there being another great love story like this one. Nora Ephron did a great job with the screenplay and I will never get sick of watching this movie. It really is fantastic."
Two guy heroes, only one girl does not a "chick flick" make.
William E. Adams | Midland, Texas USA | 11/10/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Most people think "Sleepless" is meant to please a female audience, but I think it is a dad/son bonding story all the way. I like it, I see parts of it as often as it shows up on cable, and it portrays man/woman love in a very good light. In this age of easy and too-often divorce, that's a positive. Yes, it is sentimental, but there is nothing wrong with provoking sentiment in an honest fashion. It is perfectly cast, competently written, directed and filmed, and only a Grinch could hate it."
Reviewer | 11/10/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Regardless of how cyberspace has seemingly diminished it's size, the world is still an awfully big place, and it's impossible for any one person to occupy more than a minuscule portion of it at any given time. So it's imperative that individuals find that special niche for themselves, that little piece of the world that becomes their own, where they can live and love and engage in the pursuit of happiness. And once that "perfect" world is created, it's devastating when something upsets the balance, as in the case of this film, the death of a spouse. When the love of a lifetime is abruptly taken away, how does one recover? Can one recover? How do you go on when your heart has been removed? All valid questions that are explored and addressed in Nora Ephron's touching and romantic "Sleepless In Seattle," starring Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks. The film begins on a somber note, with the funeral of Maggie Baldwin (Carey Lowell), respectively the wife and mother of Sam Baldwin (Hanks) and his son, Jonah (Ross Malinger). Maggie was the love of Sam's life, and inconsolable after her passing, he decides the best thing for himself and his son is to move to another city and try for a fresh start. So they head west as far as possible, to Seattle, where Sam remains unable to emerge from the funk of his loss.
Christmas and New Year's is especially tough on Sam and Jonah, and around this time Jonah happens to tune into a late night talk show featuring Dr. Marcia Fieldstone (Caroline Aaron), whose job is to help her listeners with their problems. Jonah calls her and tells their story, then takes the phone to his dad in the next room, and in deference to his son, Sam consents to talk about his situation on National radio. In the Baltimore area, writer Annie Reed (Ryan) is listening, and touched by the sincerity in Sam's voice, she cajoles an assignment that subsequently takes her to Seattle, where she attempts to hook up with Sam, a man she knows only as a needful, disembodied voice from the radio. So begins a romantic odyssey that probably could only happen in the movies, but it makes no difference because in Ephron's capable hands, this story works, and it works beautifully. There's a line in the movie, in fact, that kind of sums it all up: Becky (played by Rosie O'Donnell) says something to the effect to Annie that, "You don't want love, you want "movie" love. And maybe that's why this movie is so endearing and enduring; it's about the kind of love you find in a perfect world, the kind of love everybody wants and needs (though few will admit it, even to themselves) but rarely finds, and Ephron knows exactly how to make it connect with her audience. It has to do with understanding basic human needs and knowing how to translate it all into a cinematic art form that will effectively reach those who see it. And Nora Ephron does it as well-- or possibly better-- than any director before or since, and as she proved later with "You've Got Mail," this film was no fluke; she knows her stuff, and she knows how to deliver it. It's intentionally and shamelessly sentimental, but rather than maudlin, Ephron hits just the right emotional tone, and it's perfect, from the romance to the humor she injects at just the right moment to offset the drama, to the music-- using just the right song at just the right time-- that does so much to enhance the story. Having a great cast, of course, certainly helped her in her endeavor, beginning with Tom Hanks who, with his portrayal of Sam, demonstrates once again what a consummate actor he is. Few actors can step into any given genre of film and create a character that is so complete and believable every time out the way Hanks can. Some of his characters may share some traits and have similarities, but he manages to make each one unique, which is quite a feat. When you can watch Hanks and forget that you're watching "Hanks," you know he's accomplished something. As an actor he is remarkably giving, and so undaunted when it comes to using and exposing what he has inside. And his ability to circumvent any natural inhibitions makes him great at what he does, and it's what makes a character like Sam so memorable. Meg Ryan, as well, is an accomplished actor who can play drama as well as comedy (check out her performance in "When A Man Loves A Woman"), but she really sparkles in romantic comedies like this one, and she is absolutely perfect for the role of Annie (just as she was for her role in "You've Got Mail"). She makes Annie a very real person, and through her we can empathize with Sam's situation, as she enables and allows the audience to experience what she is feeling right along with her. Ryan, through her character, makes that emotional involvement possible, and it's one of the strengths of the film. And like Hanks with Sam, Ryan makes Annie a character you're going to remember. The exemplary supporting cast includes Bill Pullman (Walter), Rita Wilson (Suzy), Victor Gerber (Greg), Tom Riis Farrell (Rob), David Hyde Pierce (Dennis), Dana Ivey (Claire), Gaby Hoffman (Jessica) and Rob Reiner (Jay). Essentially a poignant and heart-felt treatise by Nora Ephron on life and love, "Sleepless In Seattle" is a film that offers a multitude of rewards if you are simply willing to reach out and open yourself up to it. All you have to do is let it in. Do it, and you'll be glad you did, guaranteed. It's the magic of the movies."