You've Got Mail
You've Got Mail is breezily charming, charmingly dull, and dully sentimental. It is Halloween after the candy, when the sugared stomach sags to an antiseptic aftertaste. That wasn't the least bit natural, was it? No, romantic comedies never are, especially when they revolve around unlikely Internet-based lovers. The latest in cute from Sleepless in Seattle director Nora Ephron is a predictable affair, and slow moving at that.
The fresh-faced duo of Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan sidestep minor obstacles on route to true love. True love, at least in You've Got Mail, is readily available in an Edenic Manhattan that would make Martha Stewart proud. Hanks plays the owner of a Barnes & Noble-style megastore brusquely shoving the nearby children's bookseller out of business. Ryan's character owns the quaint kiddie's shop, and becomes unknowingly involved with her enemy via an anonymous e-mail romance. The ensuing events are lighthearted indeed, but cute can easily become cloying, such as when Meg Ryan's trademark buoyancy treads on a Hispanic stereotype employed for comic effect in a supermarket scene. To their credit, the lead actors and supporting cast (Greg Kinnear and Parker Posey) do a fine job making the best of a treacly script.