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Sleepless in Seattle  (1993)

Written by Nora & Delia Ephron, David Ward & Jeff Arch

Original story by Jeff Arch

Directed by Nora Ephron

Starring:  Meg Ryan, Tom Hanks, Ross Malinger, Rosie O'Donnell, Rob Reiner, Rita Wilson, Victor Garber, and of course.............

Available on vhs & DVD at the usual places:   amazon.com , bigstar.com, & reel.com.  And anywhere videos are sold in your hometown.

Don't forget the soundtrack!

 

It has been called the perfect romantic comedy, a film with a timeless quality that mirrors  the romantic films of the 1940s: longing glances, magical connections across time and space, ships passing in the night, lonely walks along the waterfront, running in the misty New York night, and the Empire State Building.  Indeed, "Sleepless" compares itself to "An Affair to Remember" with Cary Grant & Deborah Kerr, the film that "men just don't get."    The themes of love and destiny and magic blend perfectly.

The film opens with a graveside scene set against the magnificent Chicago skyline.  Sam Baldwin (Tom Hanks) has lost his beloved wife Maggie  (Carey Lowell).  Sam's 8 year old son, Jonah (Ross Malinger) is having as tough a time as his dad.  So, they move to Seattle to escape the memories.   Jonah calls a radio-talk show psychologist one Christmas Eve to tell everyone about how much they miss her.  Sam becomes "Sleepless in Seattle" and touches the hearts of every woman who hears him.

One of those who hears Sam's mournful voice is Annie Reed (Meg Ryan), a Baltimore newspaper reporter.  She has just become engaged to Walter Jackson (our man Bill), and they are announcing it to their families this Christmas Eve.  But even so, Annie has her doubts.  She becomes obsessed with Sleepless in Seattle.  Then, all that destiny stuff comes into play, and Sam & Annie are brought together by Jonah.

The film has everything: love lost, love found, love unrequited, love so fragile & transparent that it hurts; the beautiful Seattle coast and the awesome New York skyline.  The most excellent soundtrack of love standards sung by the greats : Jimmy Durante, Nat King Cole,    Dr. John, Harry Connick, Jr.  The soundtrack did about as well as the film.

Bill's Walter Jackson is well-to-do, mild mannered, and allergic to most everything.  He endows Walter with an every-man quality that is appealing; it makes you go "Hmmmm....why is she dropping him for that whining Sam guy?"  And so, so handsome....sigh.    Nora Epron comments that Bill was perfect for the role.  He also brought ideas for Walter, including the allergic stuff, the tissue in the face, and the sense of humor.  She makes it very clear that she greatly admires Bill's comedic timing as an actor.  Bill has often said in interviews that he didn't like the part of Walter and felt that he didn't get everything he was promised during the rewrites of the screenplay. 

This would be one of the last third-wheel films before busting out as "The Guy Who Finally Gets the Girl" in WYWS.  The rest, of course, is destiny.

comments by dlrs

Want to add your comments, thoughts, editorial remarks about the movie? Send them to dlrs@rmh.com with "Sleepless comments" in the subject line.

Sleepless in Seattle

Walter1T.JPG (20470 bytes)

Walter & Annie's announcement

 

Toasting the happy couple

 

Meet me at The PlazaT.JPG (25310 bytes)

New Year's Eve

Decisions

Ready for beddy

deep in dreamland

Welcome to NY Sweetie

 

Register!

It was my mother's ring

 

We'll have Dom DeLuise

Don't settle for me

Marriage is hard enough

I'm worth it

Good luck

 

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12.28.00