JOE VS. THE VOLCANO co-stars Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan are reunited by director/co-writer Nora Ephron in this equally whimsical, but far more successful, romantic comedy. Superbly acted, beautifully photographed, and resolutely warm and fuzzy, SLEEPLESS IN SEATTLE is a romantic treat.
Recent widower Sam Baldwin (Hanks), a Chicago architect, moves with his eight-year-old son Jonah (Ross Malinger) to Seattle, where he hopes to start fresh, though he's haunted by the memory of his wife, Maggie (Carey Lowell, seen in home movies, dreams, and flashbacks). One night, a desperate
Jonah calls a nationwide radio psychologist to see if she can help Sam (whose depression has made him insomniac) find a new wife; Sam, whom the woman dubs "Sleepless in Seattle," is eventually drawn into the conversation.
Sam's call captures the fancy of women across the country; one of them, Annie Reed (Ryan), is a reporter for The Baltimore Sun who is about to be married to the likable-but-dull Walter (Bill Pullman). Annie becomes obsessed with "Sleepless" and, though the course of true love doesn't run smooth,
SLEEPLESS IN SEATTLE will not disappoint the romantic at heart.
Despite the inherently downbeat nature of the story, Ephron keeps the movie light, a series of witty riffs on grief, loss, and desperation, loosely held together by a plot that delights in referencing a slew of older movies, particularly AN AFFAIR TO REMEMBER. For a film crafted from so seemingly
delicate a conceit, SLEEPLESS has the sturdy feeling of something that will continue to find receptive--if lovesick--audiences for years to come.
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