You've Got Mail is a surprisingly clever movie. The reviewer, "GA", does the movie a disservice by his/her characterisation of its key elements and characters. Kathleen Kelly (Meg Ryan) is a very sweet and honest individual who has lived a sheltered existence in the bookstore that she inherited from her mother. True cutthroat business tactics have never been part of her reality. Joe Fox (Tom Hanks) has also led a sheltered existence of a different kind. Born into wealth and privilege, he works for his father's superchain book store and has never had to deal with the harsh reality for those his company sends out of business. And so we have the situation arise where Kathleen and Joe meet anonymously on an Internet chat room and develop a relationship based on heartfelt emails. When Fox Books comes to the neighbourhood, both Kathleen and Joe have to deal with the things they were sheltered from - cutthroat business and the realities of small business destruction, respectively. The movie is full of clever dialogue and amusing observational humor. In addition, the chemistry between Hanks and Ryan works really well. Finally, the New York setting is played to the max, creating enormous sentimentality for the Upper West Side, which adds to the overall enjoyment. If you like romantic comedies, this is a good one.
You've Got Mail
Time Out saysFew acquainted with the work of Nora Ephron and Ernst Lubitsch would expect her remake of his The Shop Around the Corner (1940) to be anything but inferior to one of the most delicate, poignant romantic comedies ever made. But in updating to the e-mail era the still potentially fertile story of anonymous pen pals who never knowingly meet but whose letters grow intimate in inverse proportion to their professional animosity, Ephron has produced a travesty, opting for every manipulative trick available. First, from her earlier Sleepless in Seattle, she reunites Ryan, sickeningly ditzy but earnest from her first appearance as the chintzy indie kids' bookseller, and Hanks, flabby and implausibly flexible as the superstore tycoon who threatens to put her out of business but finally does the right thing. Second, there's the ludicrously twee brownstone Manhattan setting. Third, the clumsily loaded characterisation not only treats almost every other figure as dispensable, but doesn't even bother to make Meg and Tom properly sympathetic.