GUESS WHAT’S ON THE NETFLIX, YOU GUYS! Well, you read the title, so you don’t actually have to guess, and you already know. BUT STILL. I’M ASKING RHETORICALLY. GUESS.
Finally. Finally, we can watch Sleepless In Seattle together and live the lives we truly deserve. This movie. This. Movie. A movie that — believe it or not — I didn’t actually see all of until February of last year when I was on death’s door with some form of whatever killed everyone in Contagion. But I survived, and I thank this movie, and also cold medicine and avocado rolls, for my eventual recovery and determination to continue living. Basically what I’m saying is Sleepless In Seattle is the medicine of our hearts. And even though I just totally made that up and don’t even really know what it means, I know I am right in saying that we are all really, really excited to cuddle up and write love poems to Tom Hanks.
So let’s begin. The first scene is on and already I can’t contain my enthusiasm when I say…
1. I LOVE TOM HANKS
RIGHT? We all love Tom Hanks. I mean, what else is new. EVERYONE LOVES HIM. Tom Hanks, if you’re reading this, I hope even YOU love Tom Hanks. You are just a really great guy, I think, and even though I can’t totally separate you from your film roles (actually, that’s a lie: I can’t separate you from TWO film roles, Sleepless In Seattle and You’ve Got Mail), I’m pretty sure you are exactly like Sam Baldwin, who is just a TERRIFIC INDIVIDUAL.
2. And oh my God, there’s Rita Wilson
I told you I’ve only seen this as much as one year would allow, and it always throws me when Tom and Rita are in the same scene because it’s like, “AHH! YOU GUYS ARE MARRIED AND IT’S GREAT!” And it IS, isn’t it? I’m not wrong? No. I’m NOT wrong. It IS great. And holy hannah my heart is breaking. (“I’m just a guy who lost his wife.”) <— IT’S OKAY. LET ME HUG YOU. COME HERE. IT’S GOING TO BE FINE.
3. Seriously though what’s wrong with you if you’re not crying right now
What’s wrong with you. Really. We are ALL crying right now. Right? OH GOD AND NOW THE CASABLANCA THEME IS PLAYING. I think I was in some sort of coma as this scene played while on my near death-bed (fine — I had a cold. BUT IT WAS TERRIBLE), because I don’t remember feeling this connected to Sam’s heartbreaking story line. Or did a year just make me more sentimental? I don’t know. I think it may be because this time I’m watching Sleepless In Seattle on my computer, and I am physically closer to everyone involved. Either way. IT’S OKAY, LET ME HUG YOU, TOM HANKS. #IOLMHYTH
4. Okay so technically this is a bit of a Christmas movie
I cheated, okay? I know I said I’d start them on November 1 (or the first week of November), but LISTEN. You see Sleepless In Seattle on the Netflix and you toss rationality out the window. Also, I mean, it begins in … the summer? Of a different year? (Eh? Sure.) So TECHNICALLY it’s just a movie that contains Christmas aspects. LET ME HAVE THIS.
5. But remember when Annie and Walter get engaged before he meets ANY of her family?
What even is that? Could you imagine? He’s met NONE OF THESE PEOPLE. To me, this has “red flag” written all over it. Like, if a family member of mine was just like “Oh hey this is my boyfriend, please meet him and also WE ARE GETTING MARRIED” I would assume she had been tricked OR he was a con artist. And they’re getting married in EARLY JUNE?! So in six months?! WHY THE RUSH, KIDS. (Why? Because Walter’s a con artist. And he’s trying to trick her.)
6. UGH AND HE IS SO OBNOXIOUS
Okay, so we all have allergies. All of us. That I can deal with. And I can also deal with people sneezing SOMETIMES (but usually if it’s super loud it really does annoy me to no end). (No, seriously think of Maude Apatow in Knocked Up when she says to her sister, “Stop that. You’re starting to annoy me.” That is LITERALLY my life motto 99.9% of the time, but especially when someone is sneezing.) BUT WALTER. First, he’s not covering his mouth (gross), and he’s sneezing SO FREAKING LOUD. Why. WHY. It’s not necessary! You’re a disaster! Get up and walk away from the table! Seriously, imagine meeting this guy for the first time and then finding out he was going to be in your family forever. No. Like, maybe I’m a bad person but I can absolutely guarantee that I would avoid him and Annie until I moved far away enough to only have to see them once a year. Which is a shame because Annie rules. Obviously.
7. This movie also really involves my worst fear
Okay, so here’s the thing: Annie right now in this scene is telling her mom how much she likes Walter and how she doesn’t believe in fate and all that jazz, and she’s reasonably happy. Like, had she not turned that radio show on and heard Tom Hanks, she would have just married Walter and PROBABLY have been reasonably happy. BUT SHE DID TURN ON THE RADIO. And then she realized she loved Tom Hanks. So MY fear is: what if you’re with a guy, and your path doesn’t cross with that guy you’re SUPPOSED to be with, and then what … you’ll never be as happy as you could be? SEE? Isn’t that terrifying? Settling. Basically, settling. Annie was totally settling with Walter because she was “fine” and they were “fine.” BUT FINE ISN’T ENOUGH. So there. That’s my fear. Being “fine.” Also not turning on my proverbial radio and hearing my own version of Tom Hanks and then being like, “Yeah, I guess things are fine with this version of Walter.” TERRIFYING, YOU GUYS. See? This movie raises important questions. So my rationality is: just don’t settle down with anyone unless you feel like they’re your Tom Hanks. (We all deserve our own version of Tom Hanks in Sleepless In Seattle, thank you very much.)
PS. Annie totally knows Walter isn’t the one because when her Mom was saying, “Magic!” Annie’s expression is basically, “Huh. What?” SEE? Stop for nothing less than magic. I BELIEVE THAT.
8. But that being said, Bill Pullman is amazing, too
I mean, hello, 1990s films. (Also gross to me using “film” and not “movie.”) Sleepless In Seattle, A League Of Their Own . . . even Casper! Bill Pullman brings it. So when I talk smack about Walter, please know that I am not talking about Bill Pullman, who OWNS 1990s romantic comedies. (And then later, in the 2000s, very gritty dramatic roles that we will not be exploring here because they were so convincing that I actually got freaked out.)
9. Annie singing Christmas carols in the car = all of us
Maybe I have several Christmas CDs in my car just WAITING to be played come November 9 when one of my best friends and I take our annual trip to Ottawa for World Trivia Night. MAYBE I DO. And maybe when that time comes, and I play nothing but Christmas music and top 40 for the next two months, I will be exactly like Annie: “Horses, horses, horses, horses…”
We are ALL like Annie.
10. Dr. Marcia Fieldstone reminds me of Delilah
Do you guys know about Delilah? Well when I worked retail, the radio was in the back room, so when we were unpacking boxes, the station that Delilah was on was the only station we could get. It got to be a little much sometimes, BUT she also played A LOT of Celine Dion, so obviously it was also a trade-off. Anyway, Dr. Marcia Fieldstone = Delilah. That’s all I’m saying, and I’m going to leave it right there.
11. Oh, I would HATE THIS if I were Sam
First, I would ground my son forever. Second, I would bang the receiver on the wall and THEN hang up, and then probably move to the outskirts of Lithuania where my son could never touch a phone again. (And we would stay with my family who I think are there, somewhere.) Also, WHO DOES THIS DOCTOR THINK SHE IS. She’s all, “You haven’t had a relationship?” and Sam’s all, “Nope.” And she’s like, “Why not?” UM. BECAUSE HE IS GRIEVING? Or because it is NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS? She sounds so put off! Like, “Oh my GOD! Not a SINGLE relationship since your wife died over a year ago? What is WRONG with you, man?” Well what is wrong with YOU, lady?! Ughhh the worst. She is the worst! Every expression that Annie gives in the car is basically on par with what I’m doing throughout this scene.
And man. That kid. The grounding. Oh, THE GROUNDING, you guys. 18 years. AT LEAST.
12. And then for more tears, listen to everything Tom Hanks says in his phone call
DAMN IT, TOM HANKS. “It was like coming home?!?!” “MAGIC?!” I don’t know how to make these emotions stop nor do I really want to. And “SOMEWHERE OVER THE RAINBOW” is playing right now JUST LIKE in You’ve Got Mail where I ALSO start crying. Am I overreacting here? I don’t think so. Seriously we are one Brinkley appearance away from me melting into a puddle of tears and morphing into the shape of Seattle. If that happens, pet Brinkley in my honour.
13. Where do these New Year’s Eve parties exist?
First When Harry Met Sally and then Sleepless In Seattle. WHERE ARE THESE KIND OF PARTIES? Frankly, I hate New Year’s because everything is either nothing like in the movies (and now I sound like Dawson Leery I am SO SORRY), or just a bona fide disaster. Too much pressure! TOO MUCH PRESSURE. Let’s just watch Sleepless In Seattle together this year, guys. You can all crash on my floor.
14. Okay, but I believe that you DO feel magic when you meet a person you’re supposed to be with?
I DO. I’M SORRY. But you know why? Because I have friends in relationships who attest to having had that feeling and have the BEST dynamic with the people they’re with. And I’m not saying they’re like, “the ones” necessarily (because that is a phrase I hate more than anything even more than I would hate someone making me talk to Delilah on the radio), but I am saying they’re really great, and have relationships that are totally inspiring. So basically, everything you have to say, Tom Hanks, I am buying into. Or, Nora Ephron, I should say, since she wrote this brilliant treasure.
15. The little boy’s GF (played by Gaby Hoffmann WHAT IS UP) is suuuuch a … “hipster”
I HATE THE WORD “HIPSTER.” Confirmed. But she is. Case in point: “H&G! …[snobby tone] Hi, and goodbye?” Also, they’re sitting in an egg chair listening to vinyl and talking about conspiracy theories. And you know what I was doing when I was like, eight years old? I think I had roller skates (when everyone else had rollerblades) and invented “routines” set to the Grammy Awards tape. ACTUALLY, lies. That was when I was 11. When I was eight, I played Barbies. And “office” where my friends and I would just write on paper and throw them at each other and say, “Air mail!” For hours. HOURS at a time.
16. Rosie O’Donnell as Meg Ryan’s best friend is everything
EVERYTHING. Every time Annie talks about Walter, Rosie’s expression of, “UGH. SPARE ME.” sums up how everybody feels. We’ve all felt that way. Not only during this movie, but also in life. You know those friends who go on and on about the guy they’re with and all you can do is react like Jason Bateman in Arrested Development: “Him? Really?” AMEN, ROSIE. Stop trying to convince yourself, Annie! You love Sam! It’s okay! IT’S OKAY BECAUSE THAT IS WHAT THE MOVIE IS ABOUT.
17. Ughhh but dating you guys. THE WORST
I’ve said this before and I will say it again, IT IS THE WORST. I wayyy more into casually hanging out with a dude which then either turns into the “Oh, I guess this a thing that’s happening?” or the “Hey cool I have a new friend!” as opposed to the, “WOULD YOU LIKE TO GO OUT ON A DATE” approach. And nothing — NOTHING — embodies that more than the scene where Sam is out with Clarice and they’re just sitting across from each other and saying stuff like, “You look good.” No. UGHHH NO. I hate it. I mean, some people love dating. That’s awesome! You go, guys. I do not. I figure at least if you start hanging out casually you’ll be able to at least be friends if you don’t actually like-like each other, whereas “dating” totally forces you into that “WE WENT ON A DATE” box. Also, the conversation! Never real if it’s a “date”! Always “What do you do?” and “Where are you from?” as opposed to “LET’S TALK OPINIONS.” From my experience anyway. Like I said! You date, you guys. Go for it. TO EACH OUR OWN.
Just this scene. I cannot.
18. AND THEN HE SEES ANNIE AT THE AIRPORT
And literally all of our hearts dropped and we all got super anxious and worried because JUST LOOK AT HIM, ANNIE. YOU TWO. LOOK AT EACH OTHER. AHHHHHHH*
*This signals that I have combusted. That puddle of tears forming the city of Seattle is now a rainstorm of emotion. There’s no sadness, only determination that these two characters get together immediately (and in less than the 38 minutes this movie has left).
19. I can’t deal with them missing each other
I can’t. Seriously, this is probably really embarrassing to admit but it really stresses me out. (WHAT’S WRONG WITH ME.) And I GET that’s the point. But no. NO. JUST AHHH SOMEONE DO OR SAY SOMETHING. I mean, she flew all the way out there — approach him! APPROACH THE BENCH, ANNIE. Instead, she is literally hiding behind a house. Like a stalker. Like someone who is actually following somebody under the cloak of darkness. (And I do say “darkness” because it’s basically sunset and that means she has been following Sam and his son for HOURS. HOURS ON END.) “How did I get here?” she asks Rosie O’Donnell. I don’t know, Annie. You took a plane, and then you followed somebody around instead of going up and saying hello. But shhhh… an awesome part is happening.
20. “Is this crazy?” – “No. That’s the craziest part about it.”
THEIR FRIENDSHIP FOREVER. Also, it’s the way I talk to MY best friends. “It’s a sign” and everything. I could go on, but we are wasting precious time because Annie is having a meltdown over the fact that Sam can’t write letters. (Even though it was HIS SON.) (Dun dun dun…) (#MFEO) (You guys know what I’m talking about, right?)
21. Rita Wilson not being able to talk about An Affair To Remember without crying is … everything
All I’m saying is that one time I was out with some friends and I tried to tell them about Betty White saying that if heaven exists the first thing she hopes God says is, “Hi Betty, here’s Allen” (HER DECEASED HUSBAND) and I started crying in the middle of this taco place. In all fairness, one of my best friends did, too. So yes, Rita Wilson, I TOTALLY get why you’re weeping about An Affair To Remember.
22. Walter is a good guy, though
See, this is something I think Nora Ephron does an amazing job with. Walter isn’t a bad guy! He’s an awesome guy who really, really cares about Annie. He’s a nice guy and he’s a sweet person . . . BUT that doesn’t mean he and Annie belong together. I love that neither he nor Greg Kinnear in You’ve Got Mail is this “villain” — they’re just dudes who aren’t the best choices. So even though we’re not into Walter, we can still see why Walter would be a great boyfriend for SOMEONE ELSE. Because that’s real life! (I mean, yeah, in real life there ARE terrible dudes. But you know what I mean. YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN, RIGHT?!)
PS. Also the break-up scenes! NAILED IT. Walter: “I don’t want to be anyone you’re settling for. Marriage is hard enough without bringing some low expectations into it.” DAMN, WALTER. You know what’s up. If everyone could just break up like adults where they communicate instead of just acting like children, think of how un-jaded all of us would be. So if you’re going to break up with someone, ask yourself: how would Nora Ephron script this? And then do it like that.
23. AAAAND THEN TOM HANKS GETS TO THE EMPIRE STATE
Just SHUT IT DOWN, EVERYONE. What movie is this from? I mean, I know what movie THIS is from, but there’s another movie where someone is watching this EXACT scene, and he’s all, “What if anything had ever happened to you?!” And the person in the movie is crying?! (I am not the star of the movie, and “movie” is not a synonym for “my life right now,” by the way.) Someone help me out, here. I will buy you nothing, but I will give you a lot of kudos and thanks.
24. Imagine they just kept missing each other and the movie ended
And the lesson learned was, “Well. Sometimes things don’t work out.” What a buzzkill that would be! Also, that would be one of those “hip” “modern” films that everyone is so gung-ho about these days. I mean, I get it. Sometimes things DON’T work out. But you know what? When I go to the movies, I don’t want to walk away bummed out to high heavens. I want to walk away with a desire to see An Affair To Remember. Which I have now. Which we ALL have now.
25. “Shall we?”
Oh my GOD, you guys. Without fail, every time, this is the most brilliant and wonderful and amazing scene. TOM HANKS, YOU BEAUTIFUL UNICORN OF A HUMAN BEING. MEG RYAN, YOU GO GIRL (#YGG). LITTLE BOY, GOOD JOB. WE ARE ALL WINNERS. I’m basically just at the point in my life where if you don’t love this movie, I don’t know how to interact with you as a human being. And no, I won’t make you listen to Celine Dion sing “When I Fall In Love,” but I WILL make you debate with me whether You’ve Got Mail is better than Sleepless In Seattle or vice versa. Are we all on the same page? I think so, you guys. You’re all the Sams to my Annie*.
*See what I did there? [Drops mic] [Picks it back up, and announces that Sleepless In Seattle is the greatest]