#22 You’ve Got Mail

Dear Rache,

Every time I get a long break (e.g. sem break, Christmas break, summer break, in-between jobs break, or in our case, a 4-day weekend), I make sure to re-watch my ulitamtest favoritest movie: You’ve Got Mail. I guess I could describe the feeling of watching it as homey. It’s just like going back to my younger years, going back to the phase in my life when it was okay not to have a job, and going back to the time when I could believe in dreams and such. So, yeah, I really really love that era.

I do not feel the need to post the summary of the movie here, because nobody born in the wonderful decade of the 80’s should NOT have heard of this Nora Ephron film, which btw, is an adaptation of the 1940’s Ernst Lubitsch film The Shop Around the Corner. And nobody should be deprived of seeing this romcom, with its charming lead characters Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan (who, according to one review, should win the Nobel Prize for Chemistry), its witty and catchy lines [heck, Kathleen Kelly’s (Meg Ryan) “What will NY152 say today, I wonder?” line used to be my alarm tone], its wonderful portrayal of New York in all 4 seasons, its distinctly 90’s soundtrack, its reference to my all-time favorite novel Pride and Prejudice, and Joe Fox’s (Tom Hanks) hilarious impersonation of The Godfather.

Watching the movie sure made me feel warm and giddy, but that wasn’t all. Think of the time when Joe and Kathleen have yet to know that they are NY152 and shopgirl. It was distressing, Rache, that I knew their online identities, and they didn’t. I wanted to tell them! I wanted to e-mail them that Kathleen Kelly was shopgirl, and that Joe Fox was NY152!!! But I couldn’t, and so I helplessly watched along. And when Joe Fox found out that shopgirl, the girl who if “turns out to be even as good looking as a mail box, [Joe] would be crazy not to turn [his] life upside down and marry her,” was Kathleen, he was heartbroken. And I felt it, Rache. My soul died just a little for Joe. I’m telling you, this movie is the ultimate “are you human?” test. If you don’t feel the movie tugging at your heart strings, then you do not deserve to live. Just kidding! 🙂

This movie has influenced me in more ways than one. I believe that it is because of this movie that
1. I would like to have my own bookstore/coffee shop (although I have not yet decided whether to pattern in after the Shop Around the Corner or the Fox Bookstore)
2. I love the smell of freshly-sharpened pencils although I use a tech pen (because let’s admit it, tech pens are more convenient)
3. whenever I go to a coffee shop I am reminded of the Starbucks quote (see ‘favorite quotes’ below), and tell myself that I am not one of those people with no decision-making ability. I just happen to love coffee.
4. I am more in love with Mr. Darcy. Because of Elizabeth Bennet and Kathleen Kelly love him, then why shouldn’t we?
5. We should have caviar as a garnish (haha) at our long overdue wine & cheese party.
6. I love to banter or talk in a bantering tone. Because bantering brings out your wit. And Rache, I think you are one of the wittiest persons I know. 🙂

There is just so too much to say about this movie, Rache. Have you heard of Joe’s knock knock joke? I am tempted to say it, but I want you to watch the movie first! An the chat scene, when NY152 catches shopgirl online, and they start talking about Kathleen’s business going down. That scene is urresistably cute, that someone made a YOU’VE GOT MAIL Redux (an edited version which depicts netspeak). Watch it!

I also find the coffee shop scene (of course, there was bantering there) absolutely necessary. When Kathleen said, “If I really knew you, I know exactly what I’d find: instead of a brain a cash register, instead of a heart a bottom line,” that has got to hurt. And when she unwittingly went on by saying that “…no one will ever remember you, Joe Fox… You are nothing but a suit,” Joe just said “That’s my cue” and left. 😦 I’m telling you this is the real romcom deal!

Finally, this movie gives people (false) hope (depending on your POV), and advises them not to give up on love, because…

Imagine, the guy you sit next to in the shuttle could be your Joe Fox!!! The movie ends with “Over the Rainbow” in the background, and NY152 and shopgirl meet at point where the garden path curves, and Joe finally admits to knowing Kathleen was the shopgirl by saying, “Don’t cry, shopgirl,” and Kathleen says “I wanted it to be you,” my soul soared.

Favorite lines:
From Kathleen Kelly
“What will NY152 say today, I wonder. I turn on my computer. I wait impatiently as it connects. I go online, and my breath catches in my chest until I hear three little words: You’ve got mail. I hear nothing. Not even a sound on the streets of New York, just the beating of my own heart. I have mail. From you.”

“What is that supposed to mean? I am so sick of that. All that means is that it wasn’t personal to you. But it was personal to me. It’s *personal* to a lot of people. And what’s so wrong with being personal, anyway?”

From Joe Fox
“The whole purpose of places like Starbucks is for people with no decision-making ability whatsoever to make six decisions just to buy one cup of coffee. Short, tall, light, dark, caf, decaf, low-fat, non-fat, etc. So people who don’t know what the hell they’re doing or who on earth they are can, for only $2.95, get not just a cup of coffee but an absolutely defining sense of self: Tall. Decaf. Cappuccino.”

“And the answer to your question is ‘Go to the mattresses.’ You’re at war. It’s not personal, it’s business. It’s not personal it’s business. Recite that to yourself every time you feel you’re losing your nerve. I know you worry about being brave, this is your chance. Fight. Fight to the death.

From Frank Navasky (Greg Kinnear)
“You are a lone reed, standing tall, waving boldly in the corrupt sands of commerce.”


About 500 Movies for Rache

Rache is one of our friends, who, though smart and wonderful in every way imaginable, is particularly deficient in terms of her film knowledge. Now no friend of ours can be allowed to go on believing that movies such as Batang X and Little Mermaid 2 represent the height of cinematic excellence. And so, it is with a mixture of compassion and messianic complex, that we've decided to watch and review 500 movies for Rache, until March 31, 2011. There are three of us behind this blog, and we have decided that there is only one way to go about the movie-picking and reviewing process: indiscriminately. We will sit through the campy and the compelling, the indie films and the blockbusters, the critics' darlings and the straight-to-video. This is how much we love you Rachel. This is also - let's face it - how much we love ourselves. By March of 2011, we hope to have a good cross-section of cinematic genres, traditions, cultures and periods. (But in all likelihood, it will be mostly Hollywood fare). So Rache, our dear, pretty, wonderful, cinematically-clueless friend, and the many others just like her, THIS BLOG IS FOR YOU.
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