2012 Film Challenge #15 - You've Got Mail

A dark foreboding prediction of things to come: When this film first came out, the internet and all its trimmings were fresh, clean and sparkling. Here, the implications this then-emerging technology would have on human interaction were explored for perhaps the first time in mainstream glossiness. And it often makes for chilling viewing. It's all here: The anonymity, the creation of idealised online personae, the careful consideration and second-thoughts experienced in the seconds before clicking “send”.

I was, in all honesty, expecting a fizzy schmaltz of a romantic comedy. I was expecting Sleepless in Seattle.

But no. Most of it took place in a cosy glowing autumnal world of books. It's full of nice jumpers, nice furniture, nice wallpaper and earnest quasi-learned discussions about Pride & Prejudice.

I was wondering, at first, why this film isn't embraced by certain sections of the blogosphere as covetous lifestyle porn. Is it because people wrongly suppose that it's the fizzy schmaltz of a romantic comedy I originally supposed it to be?

No. It's because, in the final third, it becomes every bit of the fizzy schmaltz of a romantic comedy it was always going to be when, for the sake of a happy ending, Meg Ryan hooks up with her online stalker who also happens to be responsible for the destruction of her dreams and livelihood.


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