Written by the woman who gave us When Harry Met Sally and You’ve Got Mail, Nora Ephron’s Sleepless in Seattle combines romance and New York City like few others. With references to the movie classic, An Affair to Remember, including a moment atop the Empire State Building, this is an instant romantic comedy for the ages.
Having just lost his beloved wife to cancer, architect Sam Baldwin (Tom Hanks) relocates to Seattle, Washington with his son Jonah (Ross Malinger) to start anew. Jonah, desperate to see his dad happy again, calls into a radio show and persuades Sam to tell their story on air. On the east coast, Baltimore Sun journalist Annie Reed (Meg Ryan) hears Sams story and becomes intrigued.
Feeling inspired after watching An Affair to Remember, Annie writes to Sam on a whim and suggests they meet at the top of the Empire State Building on Valentine’s Day. When her editor sends the letter, then Annie on an assignment to Seattle, it is still not enough to bring the pair together. Jonah takes matters into his own hands – responding to her letter and taking a flight to NYC, without his Dad’s permission!
Annie heads to New York with boyfriend Walter (Bill Pullman), who takes her to the famous Plaza Hotel then to Tiffany’s where he proposes. To top off a perfect day Walter takes Annie to the Rainbow Room (30 Rockefeller Plaza). Annie looks out the window to see the Empire State Building and realizes Walter is not the man for her. She rushes to the observation deck to find it is closed! After explaining to the guard that this is her An Affair to Remember moment (which happens to be his wife’s favorite movie), she is let through.
Luckily Annie has much better luck than Deborah Kerr at the end of An Affair to Remember, and the trio are united on the observation deck. The elevator doors close on a beaming Jonah – his plan has worked, uniting Annie and Sam at NYC’s most romantic spot.
Sleepless in Seattle was nominated for a slew of awards, most notably an Oscar for Best Screenplay. Despite only sharing two minutes of screen time together, the chemistry between Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan was undeniable. Nora Ephron certainly took notice, as the pair would go on to star in another classic New York City romance of hers – You’ve Got Mail!
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