A widower's son calls a radio show to help find his father a new wife,
sparking the interest of a journalist who wants to believe in love.
Sleepless in Seattle (1993)
Directed by Nora Ephron
Written by Nora Ephron, David S. Ward, Jeff Arch
Starring Tom Hanks, Meg Ryan, Ross Malinger, Rosie O'Donnell,
Bill Pullman, Rita Wilson, Victor Garber, Rob Reiner
Oscar Nominations - Best Original Screenplay,
Best Original Song (A Wink and a Smile)
I've never been one for romcoms, but even I must admit there's something infectiously hopeful about Sleepless in Seattle. Sure, it's a bit outrageous at times, and you have to overlook the fact that Meg Ryan's character is kind of a terrible person with way too high standards for happiness and a tendency to stalk strangers. But beyond that, this film is one of the most beloved love stories of the twentieth century because it's so damn optimistic. We start out with a man who recently lost his wife as well as his lust for life, and a woman about to marry a neurotic, boring man despite her insistence that love is magic. These two people are on opposite sides of the country, yet through the actions of a young boy, they fall in love without ever actually meeting each other until the film's end. Believe what you want, but you've got to admit there's something special in that.
Sam Baldwin (Hanks) is lost. His wife is dead, he's a single father now, and nothing makes him happy anymore. Annie Reed (Ryan) is about to settle for the wrong man (Pullman, who honestly deserves better), and she doesn't realize it. Afraid for his father's future, Sam's son Jonah (Malinger) calls in to a radio talk-show to try and find his dad a new wife. Sam's story, which the show host dubs "Sleepless in Seattle," captivates the entire country, and soon thousands of women want to meet Sam. Annie, a journalist, is tasked with writing a story about it, and the more she learns about Sam and his situation, the more she starts falling in love with him. Meanwhile, Sam is manipulated by his matchmaker son to meet Annie in a romantic way, and the ending, built upon the foundation of An Affair to Remember, is unforgettable.
Sleepless in Seattle is the ultimate sappy, goofy, impossible love story that forces you to strip away the logical part of your brain and embrace emotion for a while. Nora Ephron was the master of combining realistic characters with crazy situations to create masterful love stories with just the right amount of comedy and drama. There's an argument to be made that this film was her masterpiece.