You’ve Got Mail came out on December 18, 1998–twenty years ago today. Having just finished a rewatch of Dawson’s Creek that could probably be subtitled, “This didn’t age so well,” we can’t help but notice that rewatching You’ve Got Mail (which I do at least twice a year, if not more) is the exact opposite experience.
For those who aren’t familiar, You’ve Got Mail is about Kathleen Kelly, the owner of an independent bookstore on the Upper West Side, and Joe Fox, the heir of a corporate fortune earned by his father, who is basically the CEO of a fictional version of Barnes and Noble. Each of them has a secret Internet pen pal that they’re in love with–not realizing that their beloved pen pal is their sworn professional enemy.
Sure, the men are all wearing wide ties and baggy pants, and the technology is hilarious–our star-crossed pair have plenty of time to cool their heels to the sound of a beeping dialup before they connect to the internet. And yeah, in the Year of Our Wokeness 2018, it’s not GREAT that Tom Hanks totally tricks Meg Ryan into telling him stuff about her relationship with his online catfish persona. But come on. This movie is the Gabrielle Union of romantic comedies. It will never grow old. So Janes and I collected 26 reasons why we still love this movie to death.
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This week seems to be the week that male pop culture figures do surprising things.
- Tom Hanks is publishing a book of short stories … about typewriters (via AV Club). Which kind of makes me think he played the wrong part in You’ve Got Mail.
- Chuck Palahniuk has published a coloring book (via Paste). This interview also reveals another famous-man-doing-surprising-things factoid: Stephen King privately distributes a small novel as a Christmas gift each year.
Critics are really liking The Good Fight–possibly more than we did. Rotten Tomatoes has it at 100% so far!
- Pop Matters writes, “The Good Fight is great. It’s not good, friends. It’s great.” This one’s really interesting because it sees the whole “you can only get it if you pay CBS $6 a month for their shitty streaming service” not as a perverse form of self-sabotage on the part of the network (which is how I saw it) but as a signal of glass-ceiling breaking: a female-led, racially diverse drama being used as the draw for a premium service. A really good point!
- The Hollywood Reporter writes that the show has “above-average brains, structure and humor, the kind of strong mainstream network drama that’s always welcome, only with cursing.” Ahh, the cursing!
- Michael Ausiello gives it only a B+ but writes, “Baranski makes a helluva leading lady.”