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By Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
Sleepless in Seattle
Directed by Nora Ephron
Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment 06/93 DVD/VHS Feature Film
PG - some language
A film tailor-made for true believers in the spiritual course of love. Devotees of this view are convinced that certain people are destined for each other. As they search for true love, they encounter obstacles and their faith is often put to the test. But signs help them stay the course. When they finally meet, the love they experience is immediate, deep, and true. After all, God meant them to be together and has stamped the seal of forever upon their hearts.
On Christmas eve, psychologist Marcia Fieldstone asks her radio audience to share their dreams for the holiday season. Eight-year-old Jonah (Ross Malinger) calls in from Seattle. His wish is for his dad to find a new wife. Mom died a year-and-a-half ago.
Across the country driving to Washington D.C., Annie Reed (Meg Ryan), a Baltimore Sun reporter, hears the broadcast which continues when Dr. Fieldstone convinces Sam (Tom Hanks), Jonah's architect father, to also get on the air. He talks about the magical moment when he met his wife and instantly knew that she was the right one. He describes it as "coming home."
Despite the fact that she is engaged to Walter (Bill Pullman), a decent man who is saddled with allergies and jokes no one finds funny, Annie feels instinctively drawn to Sam. She's not the only one. Some 2000 women from all across the country send letters to the man they know as "Sleepless in Seattle." Jonah picks Annie's out of the mail and intuitively senses that she is the right one to be his new mother. Sam takes a little longer to catch on.
Nora Ephron, who directed the film and co-wrote the screenplay, has fashioned a delightful, witty, and heartwarming valentine to love. Tom Hanks is endearing as Sam, a father who is doing the best he can to get his life back on track after losing the woman who "made everything beautiful." But the real key to the success of this story is Meg Ryan as Annie. Her head battles her heart as she tries to do the right thing by Walter while yearning for Sam.
One of the best things about Sleepless in Seattle is its comic portrait of how our images and expectations about romantic love have been influenced by the media. Annie, her best friend, and a female acquaintance of Sam all share an obsession with the Cary Grant/Deborah Kerr film An Affair To Remember. Ephron makes the point that women respond emotionally to its romantic riches while men are seemingly left cold by it.
Only the most stone-hearted male will be unmoved by Sleepless in Seattle! And it may even make a few more converts to he spiritual understanding of lovers who are made for each other.
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by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
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