Sleepless in Seattle

In Films by Janet Leigh

Returning to the big screen this Valentine’s Day is the classic rom-com Sleepless in Seattle, where love is “like coming home” or at least it was for Tom Hanks’ character Sam when he first met his late wife Maggie. 18 months following Maggie’s death a broken Sam gets help finding love when his son Jonah calls up a radio shrink to find his mourning dad a new wife

Deeply touching, Sleepless in Seattle is the timeless love story that pays homage to the harmlessly crazy side of all women. As the already engaged Annie (Meg Ryan) uses her journalistic pull romantically to ‘stalk’ Sam after hearing his story over the radio believing him to be the one. Ryan is cracking as the slightly obsessive, equally neurotic Annie whose qualms over her impeding marriage prove to be a lot more than just cold feet.

Throughout the entire film a continuous strand of comedy keeps pace with the romance. Subtle hilarity weaves in and out of the gushy moments and includes Sam’s re-introduction into the dating world in which cute butts are in and going Dutch has eclipsed picking up the bill. Ross Malinger also handles the character of Jonah expertly, executing his comic moments effortlessly.

Performances by Bill Pullman as Walter, the humdrum fiancé, and Rosie O’Donnell as the supportive best friend also go down nicely.

Unapologetically unrealistic director Nora Ephron admits that “this is not a movie about love; it’s a movie about love in the movies”. Many moments prove this statement true such as the lovers’ first meeting in which Ryan stands dumbfounded in the middle of the road obstructing the traffic just to utter a simple “hello”. This is followed by the cookie-cutter, overly irksome hair-tossing new girlfriend, played by Barbra Garrick, whose only purpose is to thwart love. Then the ending. Things don’t get more clichéd than ‘let’s meet on the Empire State Building’ (unless you substitute the ESB for the Eiffel tower). Still Ephron manages to package it with a sweet and charming bow making the film not only palatable but darn right entertaining.

A beautiful recognisable soundtrack with just about a hundred familiar songs to make you smile; Sleepless in Seattle is the ideal V-day flick.