I am watching "You've Got Mail" for the umpteenth time. There is something about romantic comedies like this that gets me. Especially romantic comedies by Nora Ephron.
Ephron's "You've Got Mail" is essentially a remake of the film "Shop Around The Corner", a 1940's film involving a letter writing romance between James Stewart and Margaret Sullavan. It also overtly references the Jane Austen classic "Pride and Prejudice" and the main characters of Austen's classic strongly influence the characters of Kathleen Kelly (played by Meg Ryan) and Joe Fox (played by Tom Hanks).
At the end of the movie when Kathleen finds out that Joe, her arch nemesis, is the man she fell in love with over email she starts to cry and Tom Hanks wipes her eye and says, "Don't cry shop girl." To which she responds, "I wanted it to be you. I wanted it to be you so badly." It gives me chills just to write that scene's dialogue. It is perfect. And it helps that "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" is playing in the background.
The referential nature of "You've Got Mail" is similar to another of my favorite Ephron films, "Sleepless in Seattle" which also pairs Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks. "Sleepless in Seattle" is heavily influenced by the film classic "An Affair to Remember." Even though it is embarrassing to admit, I had never seen "An Affair to Remember" and only rented it after I saw "Sleepless in Seattle" for the first time.
The first time I saw "An Affair to Remember" I cried like a baby. The final scene where Cary Grant realizes why a wheelchair bound Deborah Kerr couldn't keep their appointment atop the Empire State Building turns me into a weeping mess.
"An Affair to Remember" is a close second to my favorite movie of all time "Gone With The Wind". I read "Gone With The Wind" when I was six and used to dream about running away with Rhett Butler. When I saw the movie for the first time, at somewhere around seven or eight years old, I remember thinking that Clark Gable was the same image in my head of Rhett Butler after I read the book. This rarely happens. Usually when I read a book and become invested in the characters, a movie casting is a pale comparison to the image of the characters in my mind's eye. "Gone With the Wind" is the exception (and Matt Dillion as Dallas in "The Outsiders").
I used to sit in elementary class and daydream about writing a sequel to "Gone With The Wind". Of course, Rhett and Scarlett would end up together. They would have another little girl and they would grow old together and laugh about all the drama in their past.
Isn't that how all great romances are supposed to end?