Sleepless in Seattle (1993) Poster

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It succeeds at what it sets out to do
Rebochan23 June 2001
I won't lie to you-this movie is a CHICK FLICK! Though I never saw it with a guy, it is definitely a chick flick. That said, it's a high-end chick flick, which probably a few guys might enjoy, unless they happen to be the exploding helicopter type^^; This movie feels more like a modern day adaptation of the classic romance "An Affair To Remember," and it keeps referencing it too (In fact, the Cary Grant classic is very integral to the plot). Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan have great chemistry together, and they both do what they're good at-Tom Hanks portraying the Everyman, and Meg Ryan being cute and innocent. I have to disagree with an earlier comment that this film is unfair to guys-the way the characters are portrayed, I'd have to say that in the reverse situation, I'd still feel the same way. Meg Ryan does not have the "evil woman" syndrome that popped up in later 90's chick flicks (The most notorious of which was "My Best Friend's Wedding"). She is very believable and actually does care about the feelings of her fiance. What I particularly liked is that the fiance was not portrayed as someone who Meg would do well to leave. Most movies fall into this trap-Someone is about to marry someone who is horrible and find that someone else is better, the viewer supposedly not feeling bad because the fiance was a jerk anyway. Tom Hanks really shines here as someone who has lost the most important person in his life and is trying to rebuild again. He always has a knack for easily slipping into the roles he's given and making them really convincing. He does not fail here-you feel for him especially during the sequences where he starts remembering his late wife. The movie's plot starts to stretch plausibility at the end, but not to the point where it destroys the entire film. The ending scene in particular is handled very carefully. You could have had a big, romantic, tear-jerking moment. Instead, the movie takes a more simplistic approach, and it succeeds-it feels much more natural than the alternative. Overall, if you're in for a feel good romance, you should see this. If you happen to be female, this is DEFINITELY worth watching.
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Let's Talk About Love
jhclues10 November 2001
Regardless of how cyberspace has seemingly diminished it's size, the world is still an awfully big place, and it's impossible for any one person to occupy more than a minuscule portion of it at any given time. So it's imperative that individuals find that special niche for themselves, that little piece of the world that becomes their own, where they can live and love and engage in the pursuit of happiness. And once that `perfect' world is created, it's devastating when something upsets the balance, as in the case of this film, the death of a spouse. When the love of a lifetime is abruptly taken away, how does one recover? Can one recover? How do you go on when your heart has been removed? All valid questions that are explored and addressed in Nora Ephron's touching and romantic `Sleepless In Seattle,' starring Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks. The film begins on a somber note, with the funeral of Maggie Baldwin (Carey Lowell), respectively the wife and mother of Sam Baldwin (Hanks) and his son, Jonah (Ross Malinger). Maggie was the love of Sam's life, and inconsolable after her passing, he decides the best thing for himself and his son is to move to another city and try for a fresh start. So they head west as far as possible, to Seattle, where Sam remains unable to emerge from the funk of his loss. Christmas and New Year's is especially tough on Sam and Jonah, and around this time Jonah happens to tune into a late night talk show featuring Dr. Marcia Fieldstone (Caroline Aaron), whose job is to help her listeners with their problems. Jonah calls her and tells their story, then takes the phone to his dad in the next room, and in deference to his son, Sam consents to talk about his situation on National radio. In the Baltimore area, writer Annie Reed (Ryan) is listening, and touched by the sincerity in Sam's voice, she cajoles an assignment that subsequently takes her to Seattle, where she attempts to hook up with Sam, a man she knows only as a needful, disembodied voice from the radio.

So begins a romantic odyssey that probably could only happen in the movies, but it makes no difference because in Ephron's capable hands, this story works, and it works beautifully. There's a line in the movie, in fact, that kind of sums it all up: Becky (played by Rosie O'Donnell) says something to the effect to Annie that, `You don't want love, you want `movie' love. And maybe that's why this movie is so endearing and enduring; it's about the kind of love you find in a perfect world, the kind of love everybody wants and needs (though few will admit it, even to themselves) but rarely finds, and Ephron knows exactly how to make it connect with her audience. It has to do with understanding basic human needs and knowing how to translate it all into a cinematic art form that will effectively reach those who see it. And Nora Ephron does it as well-- or possibly better-- than any director before or since, and as she proved later with `You've Got Mail,' this film was no fluke; she knows her stuff, and she knows how to deliver it. It's intentionally and shamelessly sentimental, but rather than maudlin, Ephron hits just the right emotional tone, and it's perfect, from the romance to the humor she injects at just the right moment to offset the drama, to the music-- using just the right song at just the right time-- that does so much to enhance the story.

Having a great cast, of course, certainly helped her in her endeavor, beginning with Tom Hanks who, with his portrayal of Sam, demonstrates once again what a consummate actor he is. Few actors can step into any given genre of film and create a character that is so complete and believable every time out the way Hanks can. Some of his characters may share some traits and have similarities, but he manages to make each one unique, which is quite a feat. When you can watch Hanks and forget that you're watching `Hanks,' you know he's accomplished something. As an actor he is remarkably giving, and so undaunted when it comes to using and exposing what he has inside. And his ability to circumvent any natural inhibitions makes him great at what he does, and it's what makes a character like Sam so memorable.

Meg Ryan, as well, is an accomplished actor who can play drama as well as comedy (check out her performance in `When A Man Loves A Woman'), but she really sparkles in romantic comedies like this one, and she is absolutely perfect for the role of Annie (just as she was for her role in `You've Got Mail'). She makes Annie a very real person, and through her we can empathize with Sam's situation, as she enables and allows the audience to experience what she is feeling right along with her. Ryan, through her character, makes that emotional involvement possible, and it's one of the strengths of the film. And like Hanks with Sam, Ryan makes Annie a character you're going to remember.

The exemplary supporting cast includes Bill Pullman (Walter), Rita Wilson (Suzy), Victor Gerber (Greg), Tom Riis Farrell (Rob), David Hyde Pierce (Dennis), Dana Ivey (Claire), Gaby Hoffman (Jessica) and Rob Reiner (Jay). Essentially a poignant and heart-felt treatise by Nora Ephron on life and love, `Sleepless In Seattle' is a film that offers a multitude of rewards if you are simply willing to reach out and open yourself up to it. All you have to do is let it in. Do it, and you'll be glad you did, guaranteed. It's the magic of the movies. I rate this one 10/10.
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Sleepless in Seattle
Coxer9917 August 1999
Warning: Spoilers
Another lovely film from Nora Ephron in the tradition of "Love Affair" and "An Affair to Remember," with Hanks and Ryan, charming as ever, playing two people who fall in love, even though they don't meet until the final scene of the film. And what a wonderful scene it is! Romantic fantasy, yes...but an excellent film regardless.
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For romantics only--I'm giving it a 10!
preppy-32 January 2004
Annie Reed (Meg Ryan) hears, on a late night talk show, about a young boy Jonah Baldwin (Ross Malinger) and his dad Sam (Tom Hanks) missing their dead mother/spouse. Immediately Annie feels a connection with Sam thinking he might be her soul mate. Problem is she's engaged to Walter (Bill Pullman). Should she track down Sam and see...or stay with sweet, dependable, dull, safe Walter? What do you think?

The plot is ridiculous but damned if it doesn't work! The film is chock full of sweet, romantic songs and images. It all leads up to an admittedly howler of an ending on top of the Empire State Building--it was so over the top that, while they were shooting it, director Nora Ephron was muttering under her breath "Can we get away with this?"! Well...they did! I've got to admit I actually was getting a little misty-eyed at that point. You really don't realize how silly the movie is while watching it. The actors and the sweet, romantic tone of the film really pull you in.

Hanks and Ryan were perfectly cast as the leads. They're both very good actors and excellent comedians. Unfortunately, this movie was such a huge hit that Ryan was type cast as a sweet, romantic woman. She's only now getting rid of that image. Pullman is bad in his role but it is NOT his fault. He doesn't have anything to work with--his character isn't even given a last name! He's just there as a plot contrivance. Rosie O'Donnell, however, provides excellent support as Ryans' boss. Also Rob Reiner, Rita Wilson (Hanks' real life wife) and Victor Garber shine in small roles. Also Malinger is very good as Hanks' son. The only thing that bothered me was the constant references to the old Hollywood weepie "An Affair to Remember". I HATE that film! If you hate romantic comedies avoid this at all costs. But if you're a romantic, like me, you'll love it! A definite 10!

Two great bits (among many):

An exchange between Hanks and a date on Hanks' son (who's being obnoxious): "He's only 8." "He's very good at it."

And a hysterical discussion between Hanks, Wilson and Garber about "Affair..." and "The Dirty Dozen"!
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What if...
Peach-222 June 1999
The movies are full of alternate universes and maybes that make them a great escape. Sleepless In Seattle is a great romantic comedy. Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan star in a movie where they are hardly onscreen together and yet we feel both of their characters infatuation. It's an amazing job that director Nora Ephron does in making us care about the relationship between these two characters when their not hardly together onscreen. The movie also has great performances, from the leads and from supporting players Rosie O'Donnell and Rob Reiner, as well as a very goofy but sweet turn from Bill Pullman. This movie will make you feel good.
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How is this romantic ?
Razvan M15 February 2009
Warning: Spoilers
I see a lot of comments about romance... so a woman falls in love with someone she heard on the radio saying he missed his dead wife and decides to stalk him. And he sees her and she finds her pretty. That's love.

I mean don't get me wrong, I liked how the movie started, but Annie doesn't prove herself in any way. she has a fiancée that loves her and who has some unconvincing quirks that make him the one that must be dumped. i mean the guy does nothing wrong. Annie gets the idea that the guy isn't good for her indirectly from her mother... and what does she do ? She decides to break up and go meet a guy on a roof. and the fiancée accepts like a good little puppet, because if there were any heartbreak from his part, the movie would have went down the tube. the movie is hanging on only a thread of optimism.

Of course, us, the viewers know that Sam isn't a bad guy and that he deserves a decent relationship. Sam is sane, tries a normal way to see if he can have a relationship. I like him. But if you cut out all of his scenes Annie just seems kinda nuts. You can't see her relationship falling apart. She just falls for Sam. And that stupid movie every woman in the movie is crying about... so what ? Because somehow they finally met in a similar manner makes it lovely ? Not really, no.

A movie for romantics? Sure. Just to remember that your girlfriend who seems very much in love with you will dump your carefree, no complicated past, caring, compassionate self for a guy with emotional baggage, with a kid, who she only met. But he has a nicer name than you.

The acting didn't impress me. I actually had hopes for this movie. Shame. It gets a one because if it's a romantic movie it's crap.
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I enjoyed it for its characters and performances, and was thankful for what wasn't there.
caa82118 August 2006
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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It's time for something different...something like this
Dana Wang13 March 2004
After his wife's funeral, Sam (Tom Hanks), an architect, moves from Chicago to Seattle with his son, Johna (Ross Malinger) so he can stay away from all those things that remind him of his beloved wife, which he just can't bear any longer.

In Baltimore, Annie (Meg Ryan), a newspaper journalist, is engaged to Walter (Bill Pullman) and is looking forward to getting married. But when Annie's mother talks about the 'magic' that she instantly feels when Annie's father holds her hand, Annie cannot comprehend the meaning. One evening, Annie hears Johna on a national radio show, saying his dad is lonely and sad, still cannot forget his late wife and Johna thinks his dad needs a new wife to make him happy. Thousands of women across the country write to Sam, among them is Annie. Her letter in the rubbish bin is sent out by her good friend Becky (Rosie O'Donnell).

So Annie travels all the way to Seattle in hope to meet Sam, but it doesn't work out fine. However, when Johna reads the letter from Annie, he knows she's the right one and he replies on his father's behalf for meeting each other on the roof of the Empire State Building...

This is a refreshing, quite light-hearted story. It's slow but I'm sure many people would like it. It's funny that, when Sam first sees Annie, he somehow feels that he has met her before...rather funny, isn't it? Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan are great on the screen together and the flick is perfect for relaxing. With a delightful soundtrack.
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Is that even possible? To fall in love with just a voice and a story, never seeing nor knowing who it is?
troy-manatunga22 January 2012
A love story between two ends of a continent and a story that is unique during its time, a story of love and chance that would make the female romantics stomachs turn. Certain movies will indeed last a life time. Some maybe as powerful as FORREST GUMP, some can bring to life a tragedy that came upon the unsinkable vessel THE TITANIC, some movies can be considered as the next step in cinematography as THE GLADIATOR and then there are those few whose names remain but the story is forgotten with time such as SLEEPLESS IN SEATTLE. However every-time you do push that DVD in your player, it is certain that it will move you and reach out to you just as much as it did the very first time.

Tom Hanks who stole your heart away as Forrest and who showed true grit in taking on the solo role of Chuck in CAST AWAY is always remembered fondly by his fans for those magical characters he played. Meg Ryan the Venus of the 90s was probably in every romcom that made a mark back then. SLEEPLESS IN SEATTLE, YOU'VE GOT MAIL, CITY OF ANGELS & WHEN MAN LOVES a WOMAN is titles that cannot be forgotten if you are indeed a fan of the genre. Ryan and Hanks in one of the very earliest of their performances together scores a near perfect score with SLEEPLESS IN SEATTLE.

It is said that there is no greater gift than the gift of love. Indeed it's true. We all have an emotional connection in our lives to someone that is entirely unexplainable. It's a connection on a platonic level unlike the attraction of lust. This value of love has been misread entirely in Hollywood of today and movies with such innocent intentions are quite rare. SIS by director Norah Ephron holds onto the idea of platonic love. It in-fact personifies the mere idea of such platonic connections between two people. Norah Ephron who has a knack for movies of this category certainly takes her work to heart. It is indeed evident primarily with her preference on always casting Meg Ryan. Next it's the very seasonal touch (most movies are set during the holiday season) she adds onto them and then the medium she uses to bring her lovers together. Two individuals who have never seen nor heard of each other falls in love over a radio show and in another instance rivals in business who falls in love in a chat room. With due credit to the writers who conjured the scripts; BRAVO!

Sam Baldwin (Tom Hanks) and his 8 year old son Jonah Baldwin (Ross Malinger) are hit by surprise when their wife/mother Maggie is suddenly passes away. Devastated by the loss of his wife Sam and son Jonah leaves Chicago and moves all the way to Seattle with the hopes of moving on and beginning a new life. 18 months down the line Sam is still mourning the loss of Maggie and is unable to function an inch beyond her memories. Young Jonah who is smart for his age understands his fathers' grief and wishes only to see him happy. On Christmas eve Jonah calls in on a radio talk show and explains to the host his fathers' situation and subsequently Sam ends up on the phone pouring his heart out over the air of his love for Maggie. Sam is heard all over country to those who are tuned in, Including Annie (Meg Ryan) who is driving over to her fiancés parents' home for Christmas Eve dinner. Annie who unconsciously forms a liking towards Sam over the days lose focus on Walter (Bill Pullman); her fiancé and is totally hung up on a stranger she has never met nor seen all her life. Is that even possible? To fall in love with just a voice and a story, never seeing nor knowing who it is?

Title: SLEEPLESS IN SEATTLE Directed by: Norah Ephron Starring: Tom Hanks, Meg Ryan, Bill Pullman and Ross Maligner Rated: PG for some language Rating: 7.5/10 105 Minutes
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if a movie touches you
juerghofer26 December 2005
like this one, a 10 is all you can do. Tom is great, Meg the woman plays the woman's role like nobody else could have.....If I get tears in a movie, the movie is a m o v i e ........touching. Thank you folks who did it, the folks who wrote this wonderful story. Am I sentimental? Yess. And it feels good. Each turn of the story makes you wish, hope, and finally no violence in a movie. What a relief. If you watch this movie around x-mas, you probable get more sentimental than in a hot summer night, I don't no. It took me 12 years to get to see this movie. Heard so much and everything I heard was an understatement. Thank you Tom and Meg and specially Ross, love you.
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Unfair towards guys.
Foopy-28 December 2000
Warning: Spoilers
Ok, I think I figured out why this movie irked me. It's not because it's romantic--Casablanca's one of my favorite films, and so are a slew of other romance movies. It's not because it's cheesy, since I like a lot of those movies too. And it's not because it has a boring plot, because it's really not boring at all.

It's because this movie is utterly unfair towards guys. There's two major reasons for this: firstly, Bill Pullman's character is inhuman. Secondly, if the genders of the two main characters were switched (i.e., if Meg Ryan played Tom Hanks' role and vice versa), Tom Hanks (the character played by Ryan) would be perceived as a total jerk. I can't really explain these two things without mentioning spoilers, so if you haven't seen the movie, you should probably skip the rest of this commentary.

As for Pullman's character: yes, if I had a fiancee in the same situation as Meg Ryan and she wanted to dump me for someone more suitable for her, I'd say "ok." But that's not to say I'd be extremely depressed and p***ed off at how much work I put into this relationship just to have "mr. perfect" walk by and lose everything. I would also be at least a little bit disappointed that my fiancee didn't care enough about my own feelings to stay with me. Pullman's character is expecting to have kids with this woman, and he seems perfectly fine--no, downright enthusiastic--with letting her go marry someone else. I don't know any guy who would be nearly as consenting about this whole thing as Pullman's character. Additionaly, this all seems to imply (for me at least) that a heterosexual relationship has nothing to do with the guy's happiness and everything to do with the girl's: that the man is the provider of services, and the woman is the customer who has every right to leave if she's dissatisfied.

How is this the case? Well, imagine switching the genders of the two main characters. Say it was Tom Hanks who was already with a woman he was going to marry, but decided to leave her (or ask her if he could leave her) when he heard this woman (Meg Ryan) on a radio talk show who sounded absolutely perfect for him. Wouldn't Hanks be perceived as a total jerk who dumped his fiancee for someone else? Wouldn't he be seen as an insensitive person who cared more about his own feelings and happiness than his fiancee's? In the actual movie, however, it's Meg Ryan who dumps her fiancee, and since she acts cute and innocent when she does it, she's not perceived as a jerk.

So, basically, that's my chief complaint about this film. Other than that, it's very funny, and I like the acting. Another thing I didn't like about it, though, is that it's the kind of movie where you're made to only care about the two main characters and nobody else.

But ultimately I think that my main complaint about this movie is really a complaint about American dating culture. It was really hard for me to figure out why I didn't like this movie, and I think that this movie really reveals how disadvantaged the stereotype of men is in dating culture. That's not to say that women aren't disadvantaged--the whole feminist movement is the embodiment of this fact--but all I'm trying to say is that men are also disadvantaged in different ways, and in my opinion dating culture needs to change for the equality of both sexes.
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It insults my understanding of love
Saurabh Agrawal8 February 2018
Warning: Spoilers
I rate movies on imdb quite often but very rarely do I review them. This movie was the most ridiculous romantic movie I've ever seen and it forced me to vent my frustration here. It insults the way I understand love. Its not a love story. Its nothing. Its just a story of a stupid child falling in love with a woman coz' her favorite baseball player is the same as his Dad's favorite baseball player. Now, my review has spoilers, but please do read it and save yourself the frustration of going through the movie.

Picture this: Meg ryan falls in love with Tom hanks just by listening to his sob story on radio about how much he loved his deceased wife and writes him a love letter. In fact, thousands of women write him a love letter after listening to his sob story (Really, are women that desperate? Which planet is Tom Hanks living on?).

Now, if you somehow convince yourself to believe that it is possible for a girl to fall in love like that, now picture this: The kid reads all the letters including Meg Ryan's and immediately decides that Meg Ryan is destined to be his new mom. Now what is so magical about this letter? We don't know. All we know is that a)Meg Ryan has not written a letter like this to a stranger before. b) She writes something about magic. c) She tells Tom hanks to meet her at Empire State on Valentines Day. c) She mentions her favorite baseball player and hey stranger, I love you only if he is your favorite too. Otherwise, don't bother. Apart from that we just don;t know what was written in the letter that made the child go mad about Meg Ryan. Now, 99/100 times, characters would read such letters on screen to let the audience know its contents. But here, Meg Ryan doesn't read it out loud. The kid doesn't read it out loud. Tom Hanks literally 'blah, blah, blahed' it. Why don't they read it out loud for us? I'll tell you why. Coz' even the writer/director couldn't fathom what a stranger woman could write in a letter that could make Tom's kid going mad about her look justifiable.

Now, although the kid is madly in love with her after reading the letter, Tom Hanks is not impressed at all. Like I said, he literally 'blah, blah, blahed' it. However, his kid practically blackmails him into meeting her at Empire State. And just to make sure that him holding her hand and falling in love with her instantly doesn't look farcical, the director tries to justify Hank's actions by establishing a 'connection' between the two. It involves him checking her out once at the airport (Men will be men! They all check out beautiful girls all the time. Didn't know that amounts to 'connection') and saying hello to her once on the street and BAM!! There is obviously a connection. They are made for eachother.

Now, that's not all. Both Tom and Meg are dating someone at the time. And they are both perfect. But in order to make them look like obvious dumping material, they are reduced to caricatures. Meg's fiance is allergic to everything and sneezes a lot. Obviously, he deserves to be dumped. SO WHAT, if he loves you and downsized her mother's ring for you? Tom's girlfriend laughs like hyena (Although, I felt her laugh wasn't even that bad. I mean it wasn't Janice bad. Friends' fans would know what I'm talking about). But obviously, its enough evidence to dump her, My Lord! The catch here is that Tom Hanks doesn't even feel that way about her. Its the kid who hates her. I wonder what the kid would have done if Meg Ryan too had a weird laugh like that.

All right. Rant over
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I don't know why...
clearsky11125 June 2006
Warning: Spoilers
I don't know why I like this movie so much. There's no one thing that I can point to, but it's one of the few movies I can watch over and over again. Maybe it's the subdued performances of two very likable actors. Maybe it's because it's a combination of determinism (they're meant to be together) and free-will (he/she flies all over). Maybe it's the soundtrack -- And dialogue gems like these:

Jessica: I am telling them you're twelve so you can fly unaccompanied and the stewardess won't carry you around and stuff like that. Jonah Baldwin: Are you crazy! Who'd believe I'm twelve? Jessica: If it's in the computer, they believe anything.

But again, there are other movies with stronger acting (As Good As It Gets), better plot (too many to name), but some weird combo of above average qualities make this movie a 10. So here I am, on a rainy Sunday afternoon, watching it again, 13 years after the movie was made :).
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If I want reality in New York, I can alway go hail a cab. If I want romance in New York...
Peters Vecrumba31 December 2005
Warning: Spoilers
I've read through a bunch of the reviews, about the existence/non-existence of the Hanks (Sam Baldwin)-Ryan (Annie Reed) chemistry; about the unfairness to Annie's fiancée, Walter (Pullman), the son who is bratty to his father's dates, etc., etc. In the end, it's Pullman's character that makes the point--life is to too short and important to "settle" for someone.

It seems to me that the real story is that of Jonah (Ross Malinger), the boy who lost his mom, who hopes against all hope for a future of more than himself and his dad. Ja, ja, Annie is the confused single making it all the way to Seattle (I've been to Seattle myself looking for love, alas--actually, fortunately--unsuccessfully), but it's Jonah who gets on the plane to New York, providing the final catalyst for the inevitable meeting. And, of course, we're tortured as Annie gets out of the UP elevator just as Sam and Jonah get on the DOWN elevator (yes, hearing all those CHICK FLICK groans). Of course, Jonah's backpack is left behind (collective sigh of relief!)...

... and so Howard, the teddy bear, completes the foursome. And who can resist Jimmy Durante closing the film singing "Make Someone Happy"?

Then there are the naysayers. So sad for those whose own experience of love cannot overpower their hankering for "reality."
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A few flaws, but strong overall
wolfie-816 June 1999
Tom Hanks is his usual steady, likable self in "Sleepless in Seattle," a steady, likable movie that also benefits from one of Meg Ryan's more restrained (i.e. less obviously, annoyingly cute) performances.

It's their talent that helped me overlook some of the film's more noticeable flaws, particularly its treatment of the eventually-to-be-rejected Other Man and Other Woman. Both Hanks' and Ryan's "unsuitable" partners appear to be perfectly nice people, yet the movie casually dismisses them over one little flaw apiece--the woman laughs like a hyena and the man has terrible allergies. Both characters behave very well, considering the way they're treated by others. Hanks' girlfriend in particular desires a medal for putting up with his brat of a son, who is rude to her at every opportunity.

I also had difficulty warming to Hanks' son, although he is certainly preferable to the young girl who keeps expressing everything in initials.

On the bright side, there are many engaging supporting characters, including Rob Reiner as a fellow architect. Also of note are the rich homeowner, the dotty babysitter and Rosie O'Donnell as Ryan's editor and friend. Thankfully, few to none of their scenes involve the annoying children.

Many of the jokes are funny, the best coming when Hanks and a friend ridicule the weepy reaction of many women to "chick flicks" by sobbing as they recount the plot of "The Dirty Dozen."
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Stupid In Seattle
ccthemovieman-126 May 2007
I wonder if anyone else got tired of watching young kids portrayed on screen as smarter than adults? Frankly, I got sick of it watching thousands of movies in the '90s. This movie had a prime example of that idiotic thinking. Note: an obnoxious young kid who talks and acts like he knows more than his father is NOT cute. It's stupid; it's annoying and it's wrong and it's another anti-family message that Hollywood loved to promote during this era. The message: don't respect your parents. You know more than them. Stephen Spielberg was a big proponent of this kind of thinking in many of his early films.

Combine that with the always-annoying Meg Ryan, who has yet to make a good movie, and you have an extremely overrated film in "Sleepless In Seattle. I was not shocked to find out Nora Ephron was a big contributor to this movie, directing it and helping to write the screenplay. This is the same ultra-liberal/secular writer who followed up this film with garbage like "Mixed Nuts," "Michael" and "You've Got Mail."

The characters in this film, beginning with Ryan's "Annie Reed," are simply too unrealistic. Also, it's not recommended you fall in love with someone just by hearing their voice. It might help to get to know the person, in person, for quite some time before making a commitment. No wonder people in Hollywood over the ages can't get marriage right!

Overall, a truly sappy movie filled with stupid messages and ridiculously overrated. It's junk.
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One of the Worst Movies of All Time
annak5711 June 2007
One of my favorite movies is When Harry Met Sally so I thought that this one would be pretty cute too. Hell to the no!! If I could have given this negative stars I would have given it millions of them. This movie is in the top five worst I have ever seen in my entire life. I don't remember the last time I sat and started hating a movie less than ten minutes in and continued to let the loathing exponentially increase with every clichéd line and awful representation of women. Sleepless in Seattle sets the female gender back decades. Women randomly cry at the slightest stupid thing, send letters to some guy they've only heard on the radio one time because they're so desperate, and chase after impossible love because they're trying to recreate some unrealistic fantasy spawned by seeing far too many movies. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy corny, romantic movies, but Meg Ryan's character takes it to the extreme. EXTREMELY AWFUL!!! This movie is an embarrassment and an affront to women everywhere. All copies on earth should be burned and the ashes hurled into space towards the smoldering sun along with Nora Ephron for creating this disgusting garbage.
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No, just , no.
thunderclancat12 April 2013
Warning: Spoilers
This wretched film is about Annie Reed (Meg Ryan) a Baltimore journalist who falls in love with Sam(Tom Hanks) when, at his son Jonah's(Ross Malinger)insistence he talks about his marriage to his late wife Maggie on a radio call-in talk show. Apparently she's one of many women who fell in love with Sam based on this lone qualification. Annie already had a fiancée Walter(Bill Pullman) who seems like a really nice guy. Unfortunately for Walter, he doesn't meet Annie's dream romance so he has to go. The meeting is spurred on by the adolescent Jonah, who travels cross-country with his father in pursuit. Of course Sam and Annie fall in love and of course they live happily after after.

Here are my problems with the film. First of all, Annie decides to dump a perfectly nice man based on a a stranger's telephone call. That is weird and disturbing. Of course, Sam here is a perfectly nice guy, but he could just as easily been the next Jeffery Dahmer. Next is her treatment of Walter who seems devoted to her, in response to his devotion she breaks up with him, on Valentine's Day of all days, to hook up with a guy she's never met or indeed seen. There is the behavior of the son Jonah who is able to get cross-country tickets without his father's permission and have his dad meet up with Annie. It is presumed that Sam and Annie will live happily ever after, but if Annie can dump a longtime beau like Walter over a phone call on a radio show, than who knows how long her relationship with Sam will last.
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OK. But not the classic everyone claims it is
studioAT2 December 2016
Ask people to name one of their favourite romantic comedies and chances are they'll name this one.

I can understand why. It's got two likable stars in the lead roles, some quirky supporting characters and a love story as old as the hills.

And yet it remained one of those films I felt I should be liking a lot more than I actually was. It was like I was thinking "it'll get to the bit everyone raves about in a minute" and then the film ended and I didn't get it.

Films are subjective, comedies even more so. For me this film remained just OK, nothing spectacular.
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An affair to forget
jc-osms27 August 2012
Well, today was a bank holiday and it was pouring rain outside so my wife and I thought we'd watch a family-oriented romantic-comedy, giving "Sleepless In Seattle" the nod. It's fair to say my wife liked it more than I did.

For me it wasn't really very funny and worse, was guilty of over-sentimentality and coincidence. Nothing against Meg Ryan, but she hasn't got the kind of face that would stop you in your tracks the way she does at the airport with Tom Hanks' character's first view of her. Moreover her ditzy character doesn't seem too different (sans hysterical laugh) from the girl his son is so against him hooking up with.

Oh yes, about the son, aged eight going on eighteen, going out with a fellow eight-year-old girl, quoting from Beatles' songs, having adult conversations with his dad and flying to New York on his own. As he would! Of course his toothy grin and mop of hair sweep aside any charges of embarrassing cringeworthiness, or at least that's what the director would have you think.

I found the writing clichéd and gauche (a woman character cries when recounting the story of the "An Affair To Remember", Cary Grant / Deborah Kerr vehicle which informs much of the plot here; like when was the last time you cried explaining a movie plot), the thirty-something characters are cardboard-thin and irritating plus it seemed there had to be some old romantic song playing in the background of almost every scene.

I couldn't get excited by the acting either, there being no chance for Hanks and Ryan to gell as they don't actually get together until their anti-climactic meeting atop the Empire State Building. Bill Paxton gets underused as Ryan's hypochondriac fiancé while Rosie O'Donnell irritates as her overly understanding boss. I have to admit I can't stand these male-female "buddy" relationships as demonstrated here by Hanks and Rob Reiner and Ryan and O'Donnell, they play out so artificially.

Just about the only good for thing me about this film is that I'll probably seek out the earlier film, confident that it will eclipse this very slack and shallow 1980's production which it regrettably inspired.
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a fake love story
abe-2720 October 2002
Every character in this self-proclaimed love story is so fake that I do not think any non-adolescent over 14 would believe it. I have always felt both Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan are over-rated actors and this movie is a living proof of that. Throughout the movie, I felt sorry for Bill Pullman who seemed to have taken his role somewhat seriously.

The idea that two very good-looking adults falling in love according to a plot from an older movie is absurd. What is more ridiculous is that the wisdom emanates from an 8 year old who can recite long sentences without rehearsal! If that's not enough, working people with middle class life styles, seem to be doing nothing but to worry about their love life at work. I am so glad I saw this movie on TV so I would not have to go and ask for my money back.
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Contrived to the utmost
dierregi16 March 2014
Romantic comedies are very difficult to get right. This "old classic" signed Nora Ephron is a good example of everything that can go wrong. Built on the success of "When Harry met Sally", we have cute heroine Meg Ryan playing one of her romantic leads roles, inclusive of tics and weirdness that were her trademark. She could easily be a slightly older version of Sally, with a worse haircut. This time, her character is called Annie and she lives in Baltimore.

Annie is engaged to Walter, whose main defect is being dull. This must be a terrible crime in Ephron's book, since Walter is treated with zero respect. One night, Annie listens to Sam's phone call to a radio station. Sam is a young widower, living in Seattle with his son Jonah. Just listening to his story Annie fells for him.

Many criticized this idea of falling in love, which however is not the worst point of the movie. People fall in love for lots of different reasons, so I could buy Annie falling for Sam and trying to meet him. What I do not buy is the artificiality of all the events presented after that.

Annie is a journalist and manages to be sent to Seattle to meet Sam, but somehow manages not to do so, even if she sees him twice (and he sees her too, managing to fell in love at "first sight"). They do not exchange words, even if she could have waited for him and introduced herself in a normal way. But that would have been way too dull for Ephron.

Then there is a letter which makes unbearable Jonah instantly like Annie. Jonah tries to push Sam to meet Annie on top of the Empire State Building on Valentine's Day. This is contrivance at the highest level, built in the script together with many references to the movie "An affair to remember". Since neither Sam nor Annie live in New York, this "romantic" meeting on Valentine's is supposed to prove that "love at first sight" does exist and can even be the basis for a long lasting relationship….. or whatever.

What I got instead, is an overlong, unfunny movie where the two leads meet only at the end, which is certainly not the way I like on screen romances to go.
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Can't see what the brou-ha-ha was all about
stargaze-718 June 1999
I was watching this movie on television and for once, was tempted to switch off the TV midway. That is a pretty strong statement because I usually manage to sit through a lot of atrocious stuff the TV dishes out. The premise of the movie was so inane - how do you listen to somebody on the radio and just know that this is the person you've been looking for all your life - you don't even know enough about this person to reach such conclusions - for goodness sake!! To defend myself, I have nothing against romantic movies!! I liked "When Harry met Sally". "Sleepless in Seattle" though is just plain stupid.
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Subpar Performances
samzhang3 September 2004
This is one fine example of how the actors can be essentially disconnected from the roles that they play. As the movie unfolds it became increasing obvious that the actors do not actually believe in their roles. Surprisingly, even a fine actor like Tom Hanks does such a subpar performance. Could this be the same Tom Hanks that won two consecutive Oscars in the following two years? Many critics praise the film for its "warm atmosphere". Could the mediocre performances of the actors have contributed to this "warmth"? When all logics and intelligence fail to work, producers of this movie decided to put in half a dozen of beautiful scenes. We see fireworks, we see view of the city Chicago, and we see this lovely sight of the State Empire building with a red love star... How many souls could these scenes truly stir? Well we can be sure that none of the souls of our fellow actors of this movie were.
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Do Not Watch This Movie.
wlumama22 June 2007
Sleepless in Seattle?? More like Sexist in Seattle. The entire movie is negotiated around awful and archaic gender stereotypes. Women are portrayed as weepy, emotional wrecks desperate for some romance and "magic" in their lives - they have no identities otherwise, and if not portrayed as emotional wrecks are instead portrayed as bitter hags who (in their heart of hearts!!!) deep down want a little of that romance too! Women aren't alone in being stereotyped either. The men in this movie are depicted as gruff but affable morons who may or may not have the know-how to make juice. The plot is predictable at best and ridiculous at worst. Do NOT see this movie.
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