You " ve Got Mail is based on the 1940 movie Shop Around The Corner, except it's an electronic update. The plot is funny with some element of romanticism. Joe Fox of Fox Books opens up a book superstore in Manhattan Upper East Side. Joe is untroubled that his bookstore is driving out smaller bookstores.
Kathleen Kelly, an owner of a smaller bookstore, Shop Around The Corner, declares war on Joe and his cruel antics. What Joe and Kathleen don't know is they " ve been secretly talking to each other via the Internet. They met at a party and became natural enemies. While chatting one night, Joe gives Kathleen the courage to stand up for herself and be more aggressive. The two unknowingly agree to meet at a bar for a blind date. Late that night, Kathleen turns quite mean to Joe, whom she thinks stopped by to bother her.
Joe soon learns the identity of his anonymous friend. He also finds himself attracted to Kathleen in real life and the cyber world. Joe wonders how he can fix the situation he is in; NY 152 (Joe) loves Shopgirl (Kathleen), but in real life Kathleen can't stand Joe. The end is bittersweet because Joe reconciles with Kathleen and then NY 152 and Shopgirl meet in real life. Kathleen was surprised at first, but she realizes she loves Joe also. The voice-over mainly happens when the two talk on-line.
When either one types to each other, you hear them consciously saying their conversation. The voice-over adds some definition to the whole idea of them talking on-line. Since they can't talk to each other in person, the voice-overs make the conversations complete. In addition, the way Meg Ryan says her conversations in the sweetest way or even the way Tom Hanks describes The Godfather in his fake manly voice adds to the charm. The director Nora Ephron is critically acclaimed for writing Sleepless In Seattle and When Harry Met Sally. She matches Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan together to score this sweet romantic comedy.
The movie has many themes revolving around destiny, love, and near missed chances. The director uses many different shots and images to capture the love story of this film. She adds her own creativity to vamp up the older version of this movie. She does it quite well.
The characters are unique in their own way. Meg Ryan plays Kathleen Kelly the bouncy owner of The Shop Around The Corner, who wears a princess hat while reading to the kids during story hour. Tom Hanks is Joe Fox, a multimillionaire who personally shops at the grocery store and takes his nephew to the carnival. The supporting cast is also quite quirky. Parker Posey plays Joe's slightly obsessed with herself girlfriend. Greg Kinnear is Kathleen's book writer boyfriend.
Jean Stapleton plays Birdie the saucy older woman, who works at Kathleen's bookstore. There are many visual symbolisms throughout the movie. Ephron produces many images that are thought provoking. She turns bookstores into more of a gathering place instead of just a place to buy books. Ephron manages to capture coziness into the noisy Upper East Side, where everyone knows your business.
She also adds a mix of pure niceness when she shows a scene of Kathleen's family gathered around a piano and singing Christmas Carols. In addition, the end scene has an element of magic when the two dueling characters are surrounded by a beautiful garden and they realize that they love each other.