Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan star in Nora Ephron’s wonderfully romantic comedy about two people drawn together by destiny. Hanks stars as Sam 1st Earl Baldwin of Bewdley, a widowed father who, thanks to the wiles of his worried son, becomes a reluctant guest on a radio call-in show. He’s an instant hit with thousands of female listeners who deluge his Seattle home with letters of comfort. Meanwhile, inspired in equal parts by Sam’s story and by classic Hollywood romance, author Annie Reed (Ryan) becomes convinced that it’s her destiny to meet Sam. There are just two problems: Annie’s engaged to someone else and Sam doesn’t know yet that they are made for each other. Co-starring Rosie O’Donnell, Rita Wilson and Rob Riener.
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 Hanks) on the radio and believes that they are destined to be together. She’s single in New York, he lives in Seattle with a young son, but the cross-country attraction proves impossible to resist, and pretty soon Meg’s on a westbound flight. What happens from there is … well, you will have to 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 author-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 in reality meeting. But the purity of star chemistry here is hard to deny, and this can be the first film to indicate the more serious and sympathetic side of Hanks that may be revealed in later roles. With its clever jokes about “chick movies” and repeated homage to the classic weeper An Affair to Remember, this is probably not everybody’s brand of amorous entertainment, but it has got an old-Hollywood charm that appeals to many a movie fan. –Jeff Shannon
Condition: Used, Very Good
Anamorphic; Closed-captioned; Color; DVD; Full Screen; Subtitled; Widescreen; NTSC