Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Sleepless in Seattle (1993) [PG] *****

Sam Baldwin is a Chicago architect. After Maggie, his beloved wife, falls ill and dies, every place Sam goes reminds him of her. Needing real change, Sam and his seven-year-old son Jonah move to Seattle. Jonah misses his mother and fears he's forgetting her. One night, eighteen months later, Jonah calls Dr. Marsha, a radio talk-show therapist, and asks her to help him find a new wife for his dad - and a new mother for him.

Dr. Marsha persuades Jonah to put Sam on the phone, and thousands of women listening in open their hearts to him; Dr. Marsha is deluged with letters addressed to Sleepless in Seattle. One listener, Annie Reed, is a reporter for the Baltimore Sun. Sam's story touches her deeply; despite the fact that she's engaged, she's irresistibly drawn to Sam. She hires a private investigator, tracks Sam down in Seattle and writes him a letter inviting him to meet her on the top of the Empire State Building on St. Valentine's Day - just like in An Affair to Remember. Jonah replies, pretending to be Sam, agreeing to meet.

How Jonah gets from Seattle to New York, and what Sam does when he finds Jonah missing forms the emotional, compelling third act of this heart-warming, Holiday-season romantic comedy-drama. Nora Ephron's Oscar-nominated screenplay is matched by perfect performances from Tom Hanks, Meg Ryan and Ross Malinger as Jonah, and from Bill Pullman as Walter, Annie's fiance, Rosie O'Donnell as Becky, her confidant, and Barbara Garrick as Victoria, Sam's girlfriend. The memorable soundtrack includes some great classic ballads.

This is a film for the hopelessly romantic, for someone who believes in love at first sight, in destiny and in signs. It's as though the Fates have a plan to bring Sam and Annie together, so two half-lives can be made whole, and create a loving home for a little boy who yearns for a new mother and for happiness for his father. If you enjoyed The Santa ClauseWalt Disney's The Kid or The Rookie, I predict you will really treasure Sleepless in Seattle.

Labels: comedy, drama, romance
Internet Movie Database
Metacritic 71/100
RottenTomatoes Averages (critics=65, viewers=66)