You’ve Got Mail

I got up and took a shower and watched “You’ve Got Mail.” It was from 1998, but if you were to judge from the stars, it would seem longer ago than that. Meg Ryan still had a youthful look about her, and Tom Hanks had a smooth face and dark hair. Meg was Kathleen Kelly, the owner of a little bookstore called The Shop Around the Corner, and Hanks was John Fox, the man bringing a chain bookstore into the neighborhood. Kathleen connected to the Internet through America Online. I’ll have to say that Nora Ephron was ahead of her time with the whole bit about relationships through computers. It’s kind of sad to see Jean Stapleton and John Randolph in this movie, knowing that they’ve died since this movie was first released. Kathleen’s mother handed down her quaint little bookstore to her, and they’ve kept it going for 42 years. Kathleen reads stories to children and gives personal service to her customers, but it’s not going to be enough. I hate it when directors say that New York City is a character in their movies, but there were moments when I did like looking at the city. The last scene had a beautiful setting. Writing and the importance of words are noticeable in this movie. The exchange of e-mails between Kathleen and John showed that they were both good spellers. I appreciated that, although I’m not sure that was realistic. Nobody knows how to spell anymore. These two get to spill out all their observations over the Internet, where most of what everyone writes is boring and lacking in any insight. The truth is slow to dawn on Kathleen. If she had any sense, she would have figured out what was going on much sooner. I’m not too sure that John would be the type who would come across as charming over the Internet. He starts to show that his philosophy of life comes from “The Godfather,” but he doesn’t follow this direction to the end of the movie. Otherwise, it would have been a tragedy instead of a romantic comedy. The really interesting thing about the plot is that the man discovers the truth sooner than the woman does. I found it rather hard to believe that John would visit Kathleen when she was sick. One of the moving moments was John trying to see if Kathleen would be willing to forgive him. I found it hard to believe that John would have a girlfriend like Parker Posey. Greg Kinnear has a part, too. It was hard to take his little column very seriously. He was still using a typewriter, and he said that he couldn’t be with a woman who didn’t take politics as seriously as he did. I also didn’t believe that the media would make a big deal about the little shop owner trying to battle it out with the superstore. I kept starting at Meg Ryan’s face, and I wondered exactly when she got her plastic surgery. Her face is still expressive at this point, although she was different from what she was in 1981. It was interesting to see her almost putting together all the pieces in a couple of scenes. Perhaps the audience could have used more of an indication of what was on her mind. We do see her go through a couple of tough moments in her life, so we sympathize with her. John is supposed to be the strong one. At least he’s in a better position to deal with the future. Some of the good songs on the soundtrack were Bobby Darin’s “Splish Splash,” Stevie Wonder’s “Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I’m Yours,” and Randy Newman’s “Lonely at the Top.” We hear Joni Mitchell’s lyrics from “River” and “Both Sides Now” quoted, and John does have a funny bit of criticism about some of the images. I figured that John could find another woman, but Kathleen was on the verge of going on a downward spiral of misery. I think I liked this movie more than “Sleepless in Seattle.” Both of the movies were predictable, but “You’ve Got Mail” was more involving. I kept wondering whether Nora Ephron had another good movie left in her when she died. It’s hard to believe that Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan could be in another movie together in the future, especially after the plastic surgery. The one image that would have been magical was the butterfly in the subway train, if it had looked real. I had to take a nap after I was done with this movie, and I watched two episodes of The Big Bang Theory afterwards. I could have done without seeing Raj’s sister again. The Twilight Zone episode of the night was “Mirror Image,” with Vera Miles and Martin Milner. Vera Miles was good in the Hitchcock movies “The Wrong Man” and “Psycho.” There was a bit of the Body Snatchers in this story. It’s rather creepy if you don’t reject it. I always liked that last part with Milner running down the street. I didn’t want to stay up for the late night talk shows. I wonder what happened to all the good celebrities who appeared on those shows. I didn’t want to see Steve Carell, Nick Frost, or Ryan Reynolds. Of all the foolish things that have come out of the Internet, last week’s so-called controversy about the color of the dress had to be one of the very dumbest. People have an endless capacity to waste time. I watched “Hogan’s Heroes.” The prisoners put on one of their shows. I wondered how they got Hilda to go along with their schemes. I heard the news about twenty tons of sand having to be removed from a park before of broken glass. None of our public parks is safe. Everything is being ruined because of vandals and everyone else who is stupid. I read the first few pages of a new novel and thought back on those days when I used to read all day long. Now my eyes get tired, and there is not as much that is good to read. Some of the people who died on March 3 include Johann Pachelbel (1706), Lou Costello (1959), William Frawley (1966), Hergé (1983), Danny Kaye (1987), and Arthur Murray (1991). Today is a birthday for Jackie Joyner-Kersee (53), Miranda Richardson (57), and George Miller (70). According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for March 3, Lou Costello died of a heart attack at Doctors’ Hospital in Beverly Hills in 1959, three days before his 53rd birthday. In 1975, the first Peoples’ Choice Awards were given, with “The Sting” named Favorite Motion Picture, and “All in the Family” the Favorite Television Comedy Program. In 1985, “Moonlighting” made its debut on ABC in 1985.

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