Film / Sleepless in Seattle

Annie: [watching An Affair to Remember] Now that was when people knew how to be in love. They knew it! Time, distance... nothing could separate them because they knew. It was right. It was real. It was...
Becky: A movie! That's your problem! You don't want to be in love. You want to be in love in a movie.

A 1993 Sleeper Hit which infused a fluffy Romantic Comedy with a degree of Post Modernism. As director/co-writer Nora Ephron put it, "Our dream was to make a movie about how movies screw up your brain about love and then if we did a good job, we would become one of the movies that screwed up people's brains about love forever."

Tom Hanks is Sam Baldwin, a recently-widowed architect from Chicago who's trying to start life anew in Seattle with his eight-year-old son Jonah (Ross Malinger). Jonah's idea for helping his father find a new wife involves calling a radio talk show on Christmas Eve and putting Sam on the air. Annie Reed (Meg Ryan), a Baltimore news reporter who's engaged to the pleasant-but-bland Walter (Bill Pullman), happens to tune in to the show and falls in love with Sam. Sam and Annie then spend the rest of the movie trying to find reasons not to meet. You can guess what happens at the end.

This film provides examples of:

  • Adorably Precocious Child: Jonah is absolutely adorable, and way too smart for his age.
  • Adult Fear: Losing one's spouse.
    • Sam's desperation to find Jonah after the latter sneaks off to New York City is wrenching.
    "What if something happened to you? What if I couldn't get to you? What would I have done? You're my family. You're all I have."
  • Alternative Foreign Theme Song: DREAMS COME TRUE's "Winter Song" is the theme song for the movie in Japan, although the lyrics are in English.
  • Annoying Laugh / The Hyena: That horrendously annoying woman Sam dates. Jonah even says she sounds like a hyena.
  • Artistic License – Geography: Annie manages to follow Sam and Jonah from Lake Union to Alki Beach despite them being in a boat while she's in a car. This either requires Annie managing to guess where Sam and Jonah are headed and drive at improbable speeds, or have an amphibious rental car.
  • Big "WHAT?!": Spoken by Jessica's mother when she and Sam ask Jessica where Jonah went and she says, "He's on his way to New York".
  • Creator Cameo: When Annie is in the kitchen in the middle of the night listening to the 'best of' radio callers, the caller 'Disappointed in Denver' is voiced by director Nora Ephron.
  • Dead Person Conversation: Maggie appears to Sam on New Year's Eve to share a drink with him.
  • Disposable Fiancé: Walter, possibly the most disposable of all disposable fiancés.
  • Distant Prologue: The opening scenes establish the death of Sam's wife and his decision to move to Seattle. After the intro, the time stamp informs the viewer that it's 18 months later.
  • Door Closes Ending: After Annie, Sam, and Jonah get on the elevator, the doors close and we cut to the outside of the Empire State Building.
  • Held Gaze: The Anniversary Edition DVD cover shows Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan looking into each other's eyes like this because it is the quintessential "romantic" pose.
  • Love at First Sight: Sam's reaction when he sees Annie.
  • Manly Tears: Played for laughs, when Sam and Greg tear up while reminiscing about The Dirty Dozen.
    • Sam seems quite close to tears of relief when he finds Jonah at the end of the film.
  • Mistaken for Romance: Annie sees Jonah and Sam embracing a woman and assumes she's Sam's new girlfriend (it doesn't help that her hairstyle is identical to Victoria's, whom she saw in a photograph). It turns out she's Sam's sister, come to town for a visit.
  • The Mountains of Illinois: In 1993, Seattle had a bus tunnel, not a subway.
  • No Romantic Resolution: What happens after they meet?
  • Parent with New Paramour: At one point, Sam dates a woman who Jonah hates. Conversely, without even having met her, he readily declares Annie as "my new mom."

Alternative Title(s): Sleepless In Seattle