Sleepless in Seattle

Despite being a big fan of Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan and of the city of Seattle, somehow I had never seen this movie. It took me this long just to get myself a copy of the film and watch it at home. Sleepless in Seattle is a 1993 American romantic comedy-drama film directed and co-written by Nora Ephron, based on a story by Jeff Arch. It stars Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan, alongside a supporting cast featuring Bill Pullman, Ross Malinger, Rob Reiner, Rosie O’Donnell, Gaby Hoffmann, Victor Garber, and Hanks’ wife Rita Wilson.

Hanks plays Sam Baldwin, a Chicago architect who has just lost his wife, leaving him to take care of their young son Jonah alone. Looking for a fresh start, Sam moves with Jonah to Seattle. A year and a half later, on Christmas Eve 1992, Jonah—who wants his father to find a new wife—calls in to a radio talk show. Jonah persuades Sam to go on the air to talk about how much he misses Maggie. Hundreds of women from around the country who hear the program and are touched by the story write to Sam. Annie Reid, a Baltimore Sun reporter, is one of the women who hears the kid on the radio. Her heart goes out to Sam, and Jonah, despite the fact that she is engaged to marry amiable, suitable Walter.

Annie decides that she is curious enough to write to Jonah and try and meet Sam. She also feels that there is no spark of magic in her relationship with Walter. After watching the film An Affair to Remember, Annie impulsively writes a letter suggesting that Sam meet her on top of the Empire State Building on Valentine’s Day. She does not intend to mail it, but her friend and editor Becky does it for her and agrees to send Annie to Seattle to “look into doing a story on those radio shows”. Meanwhile, egged on by his best friends Greg & Suzy, Sam starts to date and get involved with a woman named Victoria, to whom Jonah has a dislike towards. He thinks that she is not right for his dad and on reading the letter from Annie decides she more than fits the bill. Sam won’t agree to  meet Annie on Valentine’s Day in NYC, so with help from his friend Jessica, Jonah books a plane ticket for him to New York and go to the Empire State Building.

Jonah goes to the observation deck and asks every unattached woman if she is Annie. Sam, distraught, follows Jonah and finds him on the observation deck. Meanwhile, Annie sees the skyscraper from the Rainbow Room where she is dining with Walter and confesses her doubts to him and they decide to break off their engagement. She decides to go to the Empire State building and, despite the fact that it is closing time, begs the guard to let her go to the observation deck. There she finds a backpack that Jonah has left behind. As she pulls out Jonah’s teddy bear from the backpack, Sam and Jonah emerge from the elevator, and the three meet for the first time. Sam recognizes Annie as the woman who he saw across the street and that they both had a moment of connection despite not knowing who she was. As the guard urges them on, Sam offers his hand to Annie and the three of them make their way out of the building with Jonah smiling knowing that his and Jessica’s plan to bring his dad & Annie together has worked.

Fun, sweet, charming, lovely and engaging. What a nice romantic film! Shame I waited so long to see this. 9 outta 10 for a 90s based romantic-comedy!

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