Sleepless In Seattle - A Love Story Movie Review

Sleepless In Seattle - A Love Story Movie Review

Sleepless in Seattle is the story of a sensitive and deeply feeling man and woman who are desperately yearning for a soulmate and whose lives brush gently without managing to bond. The movie reveals their longing and and individual needs as the suspense mounts with the uncertainty of whether they will actually meet.

This is an unusual concept in movie terms: there is no great physical passion displayed - as with Titanic, The Notebook, and many others - as the two leading characters do not become romantically involved during the movie, only seeing each other from afar. Yet the audience is ever alert to the depth of their feelings and sees the potential for a loving relationship.

They do not follow the traditional route of boy meets girl and they become enamored but there is a problem which keeps them apart (think Romeo and Juliet). With Sleepless in Seattle, the suspense derives from the question of whether the boy will actually MEET the girl so they can begin a relationship.

Released in 1993, the movie has been a box office success, grossing over $200 million on a budget of $20 million. Although it was passed over for a number of major film awards for which it was nominated, the emotional appeal of the movie has ensured its popularity and it is one of the most loved romantic movies.

The script was written by Nora Ephron, who also directed the movie, from a story by Jeff Arch. The leading roles are played by Tom Hanks (Sam Baldwin) and Meg Ryan (Annie Reed).

The opening reveals that Sam has recently moved to Seattle with his son, Jonah, after losing his wife to cancer. He is still despondent and feeling the pain of his loss. Young Jonah is concerned about his father and thinks that he should be preparing to move on with his life, possibly starting afresh with a new wife.

Jonah expresses his concern on a national radio show which is broadcast live on Christmas Eve. He persuades his father to also speak on the air and Sam's deep feelings over the loss of his wife make a huge impact on listeners. As a result, thousands of women write to him and the letters manage to be delivered!

One writer is Annie, a journalist living in Baltimore, Maryland, where she is engaged to be married but not in love with her fiance. You can visit my blog on

Jonah sorts through the pile of letters received and singles out the one sent by Annie. He urges his father to contact Annie and arrange a meeting. However, Sam thinks his time could be better spent by dating a local girl.

Not one to be put off, Jonah writes to Annie using his father's name and agrees to meet her on Valentine's Day atop the Empire State Building, as happened in the earlier movie, An Affair To Remember, which was one of Annie's favorite films (she is able to quote the dialog whilst shedding tears).

On a whim, Annie goes to Seattle, hoping to meet Sam and they glance at each other at the airport (he is there to see off a friend). Annie also goes to his house and, while watching Sam from across the road, mistakenly thinks his sister is a girlfriend. She decides to return to Baltimore and try to improve relations with her fiance.

As Jonah couldn't persuade his father to go to New York for the meeting with Annie, on Valentine's Day he decides to take the matter into his own hands and books a flight to New York intending to meet her himself. In the meantime, instead of going to the Empire State Building, Annie has agreed to have dinner with her fiance at a restaurant, which has the skyscraper visible in the background.

As a love story movie, Sleepless in Seattle skillfully builds the hopes and expectations of viewers and is well supported with a musical sound track which reached number one on the charts. It is well-deserving of its place as one of the all-time favorite romantic movies.

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