Thursday, January 13, 2011

Canon Movie Review: Sleepless in Seattle

Today I watched a movie that I had seen some 18 years ago, but did not remember one single detail about it. Yes, as you can guess by the title, that movie was the 1993 film Sleepless in Seattle, although as it turns out that title isn't completely accurate because there were a couple of scenes in which people were sleeping. Directed by Nora Ephron, Sleepless in Seattle is a romantic comedy that stars Tom Hanks, Meg Ryan, Bill Pullman, David Hyde-Pierce, Rosie O'Donnell, and has Jack Bauer working on the crew as the best boy grip. In Sleepless in Seattle, a widower named Samuel Baldwin (Hanks) has moved he and his son to Seattle after the death of his wife. On one Christmas Eve, his son Jonah (Ross Malinger) calls into a talk radio show to wish for his dad to find a new wife. Well, eventually Sam gets on the air and tells his whole story, which affects millions of women nationwide including a writer from Baltimore named Annie (Meg Ryan). Despite being engaged to Walter (Bill Pullman), Annie starts to pursue Samuel in belief that somehow they are destined to be with each other. Is she right? Well, I'm not telling you, go watch the movie :). Anyway, here are a few thoughts about this film, and there are going to be SPOILERS, so proceed with caution.

- Man are the kids in this film annoying or what. Jonah doesn't seem to be that bad at first, as he's concerned enough about his dad to call into a national radio show. That may be a little misguided, but at least his heart's in the right place. But as the movie goes along and Jonah doesn't quite get his way, he becomes an annoying jerk, which is pretty realistic considering he's eight, but it doesn't make it any less annoying. To make matters worse is Jonah's little friend Jessica, who seems to communicate by using only initials and is basically a rude little girl who acts as if she's too cool for school, so to speak.

- As for Annie, is it just me or is she a crazy stalker? For one, she has a perfectly fine relationship with her fiance Walter, but instead of just being happy, she decides to go on a wild goose chase after some guy she has heard on the radio one time. To do this, she finds the man on a search database (which was a bit harder to do back in 1993 than it is now, as all you have to do now is Google whoever you want to find), then once she finds him, she hires a private investigator to get more information and pictures of him. Heck, she even finds out the kid's name. After all of that, she decides to just jet out to Seattle (on company dime, no less) to chase down some ideal of the perfect romance, which is all well and good, but to me it seems just a bit over the top. Then she spends most of her trip spying on the poor guy and his son playing at the beach, peering around the corner of a building. I guess it's supposed to be charming, but imagine for a moment if the roles were reversed and it was the man doing all this to meet a woman. That would be quite creepy, wouldn't it? Then again, maybe I'm just not that romantic of a person, I don't know.

- You have to feel for Samuel in this film, as Hanks does an excellent job of conveying his character's grief over the loss of his wife and really makes you feel for him. But another person I felt sorry for was Annie's fiance Walter. For one, Walter seems to be allergic to everything under the sun, from strawberries to weeds to peanut butter and all sorts of other stuff. Because of this, Walter is portrayed as a rather boring guy in this movie, which for some reason is a bad thing in this movie, as the main lesson of the film seems to be that spontaneous moves that make no sense is the best way to go through life, but I digress. Anyway, Walter thinks he's found the woman of his dreams, but ever so surely, Annie starts to drift further and further apart from Walter, even though he's the exact same person she was so crazy about just a month ago. Worst of all, he can't eat strawberries, the poor guy.

- Have you seen the 1957 Cary Grant movie An Affair to Remember? Well, if you haven't, then make sure not to watch this film as they basically give away the entire plot during the film. Just a warning. Actually, I wasn't too upset about that, as the writers used the story of that film as a major plot point that sort of tied everything together, but I digress.

Overall, even though the storyline makes no sense and some of the characters are not very likeable, I can't really say that I dislike this movie too much. The acting was top-notch all around, even from Rosie O'Donnell who played Annie's friend/boss. In lesser hands, this movie may have came off a lot worse than it did, but both Hanks and Ryan are able to play their characters with enough conviction to pull it off. Also, even though you kind of figure out the ending 10 minutes in, the plot is full of twists and turns that will keep you guessing as to just how everything starts to tie into place, so to speak. While Sleepless in Seattle may not be my cup of tea, and in my mind is more of a fantasy movie than Harry Potter, it was at least well executed for the most part. Overall, I'd give Sleepless in Seattle a 6.2 out of 10. Well, thanks for reading, and if you have any thoughts about Sleepless in Seattle, or you have an idea for a future review, then I would like to hear about them, so either leave a comment or shoot me an e-mail at


  1. This is a good review Jimmy.
    Speaking as a Meg Ryan fan I appreciate Sleepless isn't "your cup of tea" but I think you're very fair because the storyline really is too good to be true.
    I'd certainly be interested in reading a review of any of the older Meg Ryan movies on here in the future.See what you can do.

  2. Thank you, glad you liked the review. As for watching another Meg Ryan movie, I could do that. I'll probably have something up sometime next week.

  3. Thanks Jimmy,I'll look forward to that.