You've Got Mail | Chicago Reader

You've Got Mail

The medium is not the message in this old-fashioned romantic comedy (1998) about an on-line flirtation between the owner of a small bookstore (Meg Ryan) and the heir of a giant bookstore chain (Tom Hanks), who don't realize they've met each other in the real world. His Manhattan store means to put hers out of business, but the movie shamelessly uses ideas about the relationship between culture and economics mainly as structural devices, making the story seem pleasantly retrograde rather than stodgy or pretentiously political. The coincidences that make the destined lovers' paths cross aren't contrived with much finesse, but the characters get in some decidedly clever lines. Director Nora Ephron wrote the screenplay with Delia Ephron, based on the 1940 movie The Shop Around the Corner.

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