“Sleepless in Seattle” VS. “You’ve Got Mail”

Here’s a comparison of movies that no one asked for!

So for Media, we’re doing reports on different directors and their directing styles. I am doing my report on Nora Ephron, the director and writer for the films “You’ve Got Mail” and “Sleepless In Seattle”. The reason I want to compare these two films is because they’re starring the same actors, they have similar settings, they’re the same genre, and I watched them both on the same day.

Obviously, there are a lot of similarities between the two, but my thoughts on them are veeeeery different. 


You’ve Got Mail

Starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan

So “You’ve Got Mail” follows the story of two competing booksellers as they fall in love. Joe Fox (Tom Hanks), the owner of a corporate chain bookstore, and Kathleen Kelly (Meg Ryan), the owner of a small, children’s oriented bookshop. The two met in a chatroom online and know nothing about each other, but have become good friends over email nonetheless. When the two meet in person, as Joe’s corporate store encroaches on Kathleen’s small shop, they are not very fond of one another at all.

Over the course of the film, Joe realizes that Kathleen is the person online that he’s been talking with online… only after he’s realized that he’s in love with her.  I don’t want to say anymore because this is an amazing movie and you should go watch it right now (it’s on Hulu!).

I just watched this movie for the first time on the 23rd and I already love it. I am not much of a romcom person, but this one ticks all my boxes. If you enjoy a good Enemies To Lovers story, then this one is a good one for you!

The only thing I dislike about this movie is the fact that (MAJOR SPOILERS UNTIL THE END OF THIS PARAGRAPH) Joe’s superstore eventually puts Kathleen’s shop out of business, as well as puts her and all of her employees out of a job. This happens AFTER Joe figures out that Kathleen is the person he’s been talking to online and after he admits to himself that he loves her. He then proceeds to befriend her as hisself and apologize to her. Only after a period of time has past and the two become friends in real life does Joe reveal himself to Kathleen has her internet penpal. She is shocked and confused at first, but ultimately goes with it and the two live happily ever after. I don’t really know how to feel about this ending. If it were me, I think I would be upset with Joe for not telling me that he was my internet penpal sooner… also I don’t think I would forgive him for putting me out of a job. But whatever I guess. I mean, I can respect that Joe tried to make it up to her by becoming her friend first before confessing to her… I guess it was kinda sweet. 

Anyway, overall, I really enjoyed this movie! Like I said, if you’re in the market for an Enemies to Lovers romcom, then “You’ve Got Mail” is for you!

I give it 4 stars out fo 5!

sleepless in seattle

Starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan

I’m just going to come right out and say it. I don’t get the hype around this movie. Especially after watching it directly after “You’ve Got Mail”, it just doesn’t do it for me.

The film follows Annie Reed (Meg Ryan), a reporter in Baltimore, as she tracks down and falls in love with a man that she’s only heard the voice of. The man, Sam Baldwin (Tom Hanks), was focused onto a radio talkshow after the death of his wife because his son thought that it was time for him to find love again. Annie hears Sam’s appearance on this show and decides t do a story about him. Even though they have never spoken or seen one another, Annie feels a connection between them and writes to Sam, asking him to meet her at the top of the Empire State building on Valentines Day.

OH YEAH, I forgot to mention that while she does this, she is engaged to another man. (BIG SPOILERS AHEAD, UNTIL THE END OF THE PARAGRAPH) She literally leaves a dinner date with her fiancé to go to the Empire State building to meet Sam. The only reason Sam is at the Empire State building is because it was his son that got the letter from Annie to meet there and he ran away from home (their home in Seattle!) to do so. So Sam isn’t even there to meet Annie when he gets there, but they meet anyway and fall in love and live happily ever after. Woo.

This movie follows the “love at first sight” trope perfectly… and I hate it. The two leads are only on screen together for less than 10% of the movie, and they only truly meet in the last 5 minutes of the film. Annie goes through unsettling lengths to track down Sam once she hears him on the radio, including hiring a detective to stalk him. And she does all this while engaged to another man.

I really do like Sam. He’s just a grieving father looking for love. But I really can’t stand “love at first sight”. A lot of reviews online say that you can feel the character’s love for one another throughout the movie, even though they never meet and aren’t on screen together, but I just don’t get it. The ending just doesn’t feel earned or as romantic as it’s trying to be.

I give the movie a 2.5 out of 5 stars. Just watch “You’ve Got Mail”.

On paper, these two movies can seem very similar. “Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks in a romcom and takes place in New York” could describe either of these movies. But the two are very different from one another. I thought for sure that I would get them confused after watching them back to back, but I have so far managed to keep them separate.

Obviously my personally favorite out fo the two is “You’ve Got Mail”. It’s not a perfect movie,  and comes with it’s own set of issues, but I much prefer it to “Sleepless In Seattle”. It’s on Hulu if you’re interested in watching it.

If you’ve made it this far, I hope you enjoyed reading all this! Also if you like either of these movies, go watch “Julie & Julia” on Netflix! It’s another Nora Ephron film and I’ve already written a blog about how good it is. 

Who knows, as I continue my Director’s Report, I may written another blog on a Nora Ephron film. Guess we’ll find out.

Author: Addison Laird

Just a Media trying her best