|You've Got Mail|
|Directed by||Nora Ephron|
|Produced by||Nora Ephron|
Lauren Shuler Donner
|Music by||George Fenton|
|Editing by||Richard Marks|
|Distributed by||Warner Bros.|
|Release||December 18, 1998|
|Running time||119 minutes|
You've Got Mail is a 1998 American romantic comedy film directed by Nora Ephron, starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan. It was written by Nora and Delia Ephron based on the play Parfumerie by Miklós László. The film is about two e-mailing lovers who are completely unaware that their sweetheart is, in fact, a person with whom they share a degree of animosity. An adaptation of Parfumerie was previously made as The Shop Around the Corner, a 1940 film by Ernst Lubitsch and also a 1949 musical remake, In the Good Old Summertime by Robert Z. Leonard starring Judy Garland. You've Got Mail updates that concept with the use of e-mail. Influences from Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice can also be seen in the relationship between Joe Fox and Kathleen Kelly — a reference pointed out by these characters actually discussing Mr. Darcy and Miss Bennet in the film. Ephron insists that You've Got Mail was as much about the Upper West Side itself as the characters, highlighting the "small town community" feel that pervades the Upper West Side.
The name of the film is an example of product placement, based on the trademark greeting that AOL users hear when they receive new e-mail.
The film received significant media coverage leading up to its release in anticipation of the romantic coupling of Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan, who had appeared together previously in Joe Versus the Volcano (1990) and Sleepless in Seattle (1993).
Kathleen Kelly (Meg Ryan) is involved with Frank Navasky (Greg Kinnear), a leftist postmodernist newspaper writer for the New York Observer who's always in search of an opportunity to root for the underdog. While Frank is devoted to his typewriter, Kathleen prefers her laptop and logging into her AOL e-mail account. There, using the screen name 'Shopgirl', she reads an e-mail from "NY152", the screen name of Joe Fox (Tom Hanks). In her reading of the e-mail, she reveals the boundaries of the online relationship; no specifics, including no names, career or class information, or family connections. Joe belongs to the Fox family which runs Fox Books — a chain of "mega" bookstores similar to Borders or Barnes & Noble. Kathleen, on the other hand, runs the independent bookstore The Shop Around The Corner that her mother ran before her. The two then pass each other on their respective ways to work, where it is revealed that they frequent the same neighborhoods in upper west Manhattan. Joe arrives at work, overseeing the opening of a new Fox Books in New York with the help of his friend, branch manager Kevin (Dave Chappelle). Meanwhile, Kathleen and her three store assistants, George (Steve Zahn), Birdie (Jean Stapleton), and Christina (Heather Burns) open up shop for the day.
Following a day on the town with his eleven-year-old aunt Annabel (Hallee Hirsh) and four-year-old half brother Matthew (Jeffrey Scaperrotta) (the children of his frequently divorced grandfather and father, respectively), Joe enters Kathleen's store to let his younger relatives experience storytime. Joe and Kathleen have a friendly conversation that reveals Kathleen's fears about the Fox Books store opening around the corner, shocking Joe. He introduces himself as "Joe. Just call me Joe," omitting his last name, and makes an abrupt exit with the children. However, at a publishing party later in the week, Joe and Kathleen meet again, both of them being in the New York book business, where Kathleen discovers Joe's true identity.
Following suggestions from Frank/Joe via "NY152" Kathleen begins a media war, including both a boycott of Fox Books and an interview on the local news. All the while, "NY152" and "Shopgirl" continue their courtship, to the point where "NY152" asks "Shopgirl" to meet. Too embarrassed to go alone, Joe brings Kevin along for moral support. He insists that "Shopgirl" may be the love of his life. Meanwhile Kevin, looking in a cafe window at the behest of Joe, discovers the true identity of "Shopgirl." When Joe discovers that it is actually Kathleen behind the name, he confronts her as Joe (concealing his "NY152" alter ego – and feelings). The two exchange some bitter words and Joe leaves the cafe hurt, leaving Kathleen initially remorseful. Kathleen later returns home puzzled why NY152 might have stood her up.
Despite all efforts, The Shop Around the Corner slowly goes under. In a somber moment Kathleen enters Fox Books to discover the true nature of the store is one of friendliness and relaxation, yet without the same dedication to children's books as her independent shop. Eventually, her employees move on to other jobs; as Christina goes job hunting, George gets a job at the children's department at a Fox Books store (Joe later compares George's knowledge of the contents of the department to a PhD) and Birdie, who is already wealthy from investments, retires.
Allowing time for their electronic relationship to convalesce, Joe visits Kathleen while she is sick, and for the first time makes a favorable impression. Joe discovers that Kathleen has broken up with Frank, who is starting a relationship with Sydney Ann (Jane Adams), a talk show host who interviewed him. This predated one week by Joe and his uptight girlfriend, Patricia (Parker Posey), who broke up in their apartment building while stuck in the elevator. Kathleen and Joe develop a tentative friendship that blossoms over the course of a few weeks and they begin to spend more time with one another.
During this time, Joe as "NY152" mysteriously postpones meeting Kathleen. Finally, "NY152" and "Shopgirl" agree to meet for the first time since "NY152" apparently stood her up. Joe and his dog Brinkley (the topic of numerous e-mails) meet Kathleen at Riverside Park. Kathleen admits that she had wanted "NY152" to be Joe so badly, and the two kiss.
- Tom Hanks as Joe "NY152" Fox
- Meg Ryan as Kathleen "Shopgirl" Kelly
- Parker Posey as Patricia Eden
- Jean Stapleton as Birdie Conrad
- Greg Kinnear as Frank Navasky
- Steve Zahn as George Pappas
- Heather Burns as Christina Plutzker
- Dave Chappelle as Kevin Jackson
- Dabney Coleman as Nelson Fox
- John Randolph as Schuyler Fox
- Deborah Rush as Veronica Grant
- Hallee Hirsh as Annabel Fox
- Jeffrey Scaperrotta as Matthew Fox
- Cara Seymour as Gillian Quinn
- Peter Mian as "The Capeman"
- Sara Ramirez as Rose, Zabar's cashier
- Jane Adams as Sydney Ann, TV talk show host (Uncredited)
- Michael Badalucco as Charlie
- Veanne Cox as Miranda Margulies
- You've Got Mail at the Internet Movie Database
|Tom Hanks films|
|Meg Ryan films|
You've Got Mail (1998) ·