You’ve Got Mail (1998) Review



This sweet romantic comedy reunites “Sleepless In Seattle” stars Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks. He’s the owner of a bookstore chain; she’s the woman he falls for online. Both are unaware that she runs the little shop his company is trying to shut down. Written by Kris Hopson  (from

I rated this movie “UNREEL” not because it is a bad movie. From the review you will be able to tell that I loved the movie. However, it is not a “must see.” This movie has been done several times over in several different ways. If you have spare time then see it, if not, no biggie. You will not lose cool points if you don’t have this movie in your collection.

Main Characters: Tom Hanks (Joe Fox), Meg Ryan (Kathleen Kelly)

6 Observations 

3 of my own

  1. This was 1998, it is now 2011, 13 years ago the internet was dial-up only. It was still something new, it was still fantastic. At the same time the movie notes the internet as the beginning of a barrier between human interactions. At this point in technological development “You’ve Got Mail” was exciting to hear. Computers were not as much of a means of communication as they are now even though this movie is based on their communication via email. I wonder what the movie would be like now after upgrading to using twitter or facebook? hmm
  2. Dr. Torres from Grey’s Anatomy plays Rose a Latina grocery store clerk and was acting as is she couldn’t speak much English. She was cast as a stereotypical Latina woman. Interesting.
  3. Frank is a narcissist who is concerned with his own fame in a quirky kind of way. It appears that Frank is Kathleen’s boyfriend, but they never show any real signs of liking each other. I was not surprised when they broke up neither was Kathleen. They admitted that they didn’t love each other in the most celebratory way ever. lol!

3 from

  1. When Kathleen goes to Starbucks and orders a Tall Caramel Macchiato, the employee actually gives her a Grande cup (from
  2. When Joe Fox is making martinis for himself and his father, he puts an olive in the second glass twice (but there are not two olives in the glass) (from
  3. When Joe and Patricia get stuck in the elevator, the elevator man suggests they all jump up to trick the elevator into thinking no one is inside so the doors will open. Yet you know from their entry on the ground floor (and earlier scenes) that the elevator doors are operated BY HAND, and by that same elevator man (from

5 Favorite Quotes

  1. I tried to have cybersex once, but I kept getting a busy signal -Birdie
  2. I don’t really want an answer I just want to send this cosmic question out into the void. -Kathleen
  3. so much of what I see reminds me of something I read in a book, but shouldn’t it be the other way around? -Kathleen
  4. when you finally have the pleasure of saying the thing you mean to say the moment you mean to say it, remorse inevitably follows. -Joe Fox
  5. You are nothing but a suit -Kathleen

4 Emotions felt while watching

  1. Sad- Kathleen was missing her mom at Christmas. I am reviewing this movie about 3 weeks before Christmas. My grandma died a year ago now and I am missing her. This part of the movie made me think of my grandma thus making me a little sad.
  2. Yearning-this movie makes me want to cuddle with someone. My someone and I just broke up. I yearned for someone to be close while watching. This is probably coupled with the sadness stemming from missing my grandmother creating momentary emotional moments throughout the movie.
  3. Tickled- I laughed out loud at the ways that they reasoned out why the dude didn’t show up to meet Kathleen at the restaurant. “He got trapped on a train”or “got sucked onto the tracks” or “maybe he had a car accident and his elbows are in splints so he couldn’t dial” or “He could have gotten arrested.”
  4. Sympathetic-The remorse that Kathleen felt after she said exactly what she wanted to say to Joe Fox. She was finally bold enough to stand up for herself about something, but felt bad for doing so. I am this person from time to time. I want to tell the truth at all times. When the truth hurts It hurts both the one giving it and taking it.

3 Things I loved

  1. The magical feeling of meeting someone new even if it’s virtual. It’s so amazingly fresh and intriguing.
  2. I love the narration of both people. Most movies just have one voice narrating. I felt like this was a great way to provide character development  through self reflections.
  3. As much as Joe wanted to ignore Kathleen’s email after being stood up by the mystery man which is Joe, he just couldn’t do it. Even if he was the big corporate guy conquering her little bookstore there is something about the connection they made over the internet that gives her a special place in his human side.

2 Things I hated

  1. I hated that Joe figured out who she was before she knew who he was on both occasions. He knew Kathleen was the bookstore owner and the woman from aol before she knew he owned the bookstore or that he was the dude from aol. In my opinion, this is an indication that even though the movie appears to be centered around her as the main character the male is the dominating force in the movie.
  2. I don’t like that Joe’s father is a rolling stone who dates younger women and this is viewed as cool. Again this is an indication of patriarchy playing into the movie subliminally. As if it is ok for a rich man to have multiple marriages with successful women, but the middle class woman lives a mediocre life while searching for “the one.”

1 Final thought

I like this movie! Everything from the witty quirky email narration to the concepts of big business and love. The emails placed a spin on character development. They were simply telling the viewer who they are while telling each other who they are. It wasn’t too sappy. I am not a very emotional person so I appreciate movies that are not overly emotional. The concept is very predictable just like most love movies. You know from the time Kathleen and Joe meet that they will eventually end up in love. Happily ever after is hoped for throughout the entire movie.

On the flip side I don’t like movies where one character knows the truth and hides it from the other person. This concept is overdone. Meg Ryan is not really sexy to me in this movie. She dresses like a school marm the whole movie. I love the ending. “Somewhere over the rainbow” was a perfect song selection for this scene. The song coupled with the moment Kathleen says “I wanted it to be you” serves the viewer a magical moment on love. Yet and still this is not a “must see.”


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