After his wife Maggie passes away, Sam Baldwin and his 8-year-old son Jonah relocate from Chicago to Seattle to escape the grief associated with Maggie's death. Eighteen months later Sam is still grieving and can't sleep. Although Jonah misses his mother, he wants his father to get a new wife despite Sam having not even contemplated dating again. On Christmas Eve, Sam (on Jonah's initiative) ends up pouring his heart out on a national radio talk show about his magical and perfect marriage to Maggie, and how much he still misses her. Among the many women who hear Sam's story and fall in love with him solely because of it is Annie Reed, a Baltimore-based newspaper writer. Annie's infatuation with Sam's story and by association Sam himself is despite being already engaged. But Annie's relationship with her straight-laced fiancé Walter is unlike her dream love life in the movie An Affair to Remember (1957). She even writes to Sam proposing they meet atop the Empire State Building on ...Written by
When Annie is in the airplane to go to Seattle, the book in her lap is "Pride and Prejudice" See more »
Though it would have ruined the climactic end to the movie, it would have not been necessary for Sam (Tom Hanks to frantically hop the next plane to New York in an effort to find his son. Jonah's plane had just taken off from Seattle when Sam learned where his son had gone. Sam had hours to notify authorities concerning the safety of his son, a young child. A simple call to the airline and the pilot would have been notified that the Jonah was on board and the situation. Airport officials could have put him on a plane right back to Seattle upon arriving in New York or held him at the airport until Sam arrived to claim his match making son. Even if Jonah had already landed in New York and was patiently waiting at the Empire State Building, a phone call to the Manhattan Police or the security at the Empire State Building would also have gotten adult supervision for young Jonah instead of the little boy sitting alone at the top of the Empire State Building in the winter cold all day long. See more »
Mommy got sick. And it happened just like that. There's nothing anybody could do. It isn't fair. There's no reason. But if we start asking why, we'll go crazy.
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I enjoyed it for its characters and performances, and was thankful for what wasn't there.
This is a movie with characters and performances which are appealing, and it is an old-fashioned, feel-good love story. The film also has a bit of sadness in its early part, thankfully not overdone. The five lead characters and the performances by their actors (Hanks, Ryan, Malinger, Pullman and O'Donnell) are all engaging.
The primary members of the support cast are also excellent (David Pierce, Annie's brother; Garber and Wilson as Sam's brother-in-law and sister; Reiner as his colleague/friend; young Gaby Hoffman; and Barbara Garrick as Sam's brief girlfriend).
The story, juxtaposed with the classic Grant/Kerr predecessor, could have provided an excessive gimmick, but here it worked well. And I was grateful for some things I didn't find in this flick. Although I watched the program like everyone else, I found Rob Reiner's character, acting and presence in "All in the Family" to be obnoxious and annoying, ALL THE TIME, and watched the program in spite of his presence. And I have found Rosie O'Donnell's presence to be the epitomé of ANNOYING in every respect, every time I've observed her, previously. But in this film, I enjoyed both of their performances completely. Children in movies can also be an irritating presence, but Malinger and Hoffman were delightful as son Jonah, and his little neighbor/friend. Barbara Garrick, with a supporting role here (as in "The Firm") is an appealing actress, for whom one would wish more prominent roles.
Tom Hanks is one of the foremost actors of our time, but even he can go a smidgen too far in a characterization (I thought he did so in both "Forrest Gump" and "Philadelphia"). But he certainly didn't here. Watch, enjoy, and feel good.
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