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You've Got Mail (DVD) Review


Despite its overly commercial purpose (AOL advertising), You've Got Mail still manages to come off as a quaint and likeable romantic comedy. Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan attempt to replicate the onscreen magic of Sleepless In Seattle, when the pair took the Hollywood box office by storm. You've Got Mail doesn't live up to the standards of Sleepless In Seattle, but it is a good romantic comedy when judged solely on its own merits. Hanks and Ryan both turn in performances which amplify the likeability of their respective characters, and the screenplay - despite some flaws - manages to create a viable plotline that keeps the audience interested. That's why You've Got Mail is a favorite of so many movie lovers…

Kathleen Kelly (Meg Ryan) runs a well-known children's bookstore that's an icon of the community (her grandmother started it years before). However, the sustainability of her business is put into question when a large retail bookstore chain (similar to Borders) opens right across the street. The Fox Books store soon becomes a headache for Kelly as she butts heads with the arrogant and profit-oriented son of its founder, Joe Fox (Tom Hanks). Further disturbed by a stagnant relationship with her boyfriend Frank (Greg Kinnear), Kelly logs online where she strikes up a friendship with an unknown man in the city. Battling life's travails by day, Kelly finds her solace via the emails she trades with this unknown man…

But what Kelly and her arch nemesis Joe Fox don't know is that every time they log onto the web and hear "you've got mail," they're actually corresponding with one another. Without the conflict of the competing business ventures entering into their relationship, the two are a perfect match for each other. When Joe discovers (through one of Kathleen's emails) that the woman he's been contacting is the crazy bookstore owner across the street, his encounters with Kathleen become less confrontational from his end. He develops a strong love for Kathleen, but needs to uncover a method by which he can reveal the secret. When Kathleen's bookstore is driven out of business by the massive discounter Fox Books, Joe fears that revealing his identity will cause him to lose Kathleen forever…

A romantic storyline at its core, You've Got Mail has a few plot flaws that stand out. One is that a major, faceless discount corporation could drive a well-established, well-run small business out of town. Loyal customers, especially for a niche store that sells only a particular type of book, would not be driven away by the opportunity to save three percent on their purchases. Also, the idea that these two could communicate for so long without discovering each other's identity stretches reality. It's not impossible, but for such a central plot point, you would think it could have been done better.

Overall, however, You've Got Mail is Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan putting forth their best. Each has a unique screen presence that attracts the opposite sex, keeping the film out of the realm of 'chick flick' and more in a category where everyone can equally enjoy the film. You've Got Mail, although a cliché of the bygone dot com era, is still a highly entertaining and interesting film. The cast manages to save the screenwriter, and Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan utilize their mass appeal to make You've Got Mail a definite must-see movie.

Submitted by:

Britt Gillette

Britt Gillette is author of The DVD Report, a blog where you can find more reviews like this one. Source: http://thedvdreport.blogspot.com/2006/01/youve-got-mail-dvd.html







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