Time: 119 mins.
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Nora Ephron manages to create another wonderful romance with YOU'VE GOT MAIL. It's not as consistently clever as WHEN HARRY MET SALLY which she wrote or as sentimental as SLEEPLESS IN SEATTLE, but it's intelligent, adult, funny when it needs to be and quietly romantic. YOU'VE GOT MAIL is a romantic comedy with restraint, which isn't always a bad thing.
To be sure Hanks and Ryan have their antic, physical moments, but they play normal people who become enemies, when they should be friends. Hanks plays Joe Fox the owner of the book superstore moving in right down the street from The Shop Around the Corner (the title of the film on which the story is based), Kathleen Kelly's (Ryan) childrens bookstore. Her store's been in business on the West Side of New York for over 40 years and Kathleen believes that the personal nature of her store will win out against the impersonal giant down the block. Unfortunately, she's wrong. She pours her heart out to her email friend who consoles her and gives her advice, telling her to "Fight. Fight to the death." Little does she know the same man urging her into battle is the one trying to put her out of business.
After really meeting Joe at a party he was in her store but hid his identity Kathleen can't seem to avoid him. Everywhere she goes he seems to pop up. What's worse is no matter how hard she tries, she just can't get business back to normal. She talks to the press, stages a rally, has friends picket Fox Books, even has her boyfriend (Greg Kinnear), a columnist for one of the local papers write a passionate piece about her store. Yet it's no use. She has to close her doors. She writes to her friend and asks to meet. He's her last hope. One guess who shows up instead. Joe Fox. Joe doesn't quite know what to think when he discovers that Kathleen is his email pal. He decides to stay and see if he can change her opinion of him, but it's no use. He's destroyed her life and she lets him know in unqualified terms how little she thinks of him.