Yesterday marked the 25th anniversary of the release of Sleepless in Seattle. There are all kinds of retrospectives online, and a new Blu-ray coming out today, to commemorate the milestone. Rita Wilson talked to EW about the scene that she says changed her career. Moviefone lists 9 things you never knew about Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan in Sleepless in Seattle, including the fact that Tom Hanks initially turned down the role and was then crabby throughout production because:
"I was an extremely cranky actor at that time," recalled Hanks. "Coming in and saying, ‘Why does the kid have so many good lines?’
"I had made enough movies to get smoked on a couple of occasions as well as thinking that I was a big shot and 'My voice must be heard.'"
That’s from a book by Erin Carlson called I’ll Have What She’s Having: How Nora Ephron’s Three Iconic Films Saved the Romantic Comedy.
So of course it all goes back to Nora. And Variety’s piece about the making of Sleepless provides all kinds of insight about the work that Nora put into the film. All of it is great but there’s one detail that stood out – producer Gary Foster knew that the script wasn’t quite right yet so he sent it over to Nora and at the time it was supposed to be Meg Ryan and Dennis Quaid playing Annie and Sam:
It wasn’t long before she called Foster back and told him “’This is Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan. This movie is about the difference between men and women. I’m going to get you this script in two weeks.’ I was like I love this confidence. I said ‘Nora, would you be interested in directing this.’ And she said, ‘yes.’ A woman of very little, but powerful words.”
Right. But where Nora Ephron was concerned, in her books, in her screenplays, in her essays, in her dedications, all the words counted. Here are the words, perhaps, from Sleepless in Seattle that may have had a more lasting impact than even Nora intended. It’s the Rosie O’Donnell line, as Becky tells Annie that:
You don’t want to be in love, you want to be in love in a movie.
If it hasn’t happened already, I want someone to write an essay about the relationship between that quote and the state of the rom-com today. Two years ago, the rom-com was in rough shape. This summer though? Many have observed that the rom-com is experiencing a comeback, a renaissance, if you will, thanks to Netflix. Chances are you’ve seen The Kissing Booth? I just watched it this weekend. It was trash but, please, obviously I kept it on the whole time and texted play-by-play to Duana and our friend Lorella. As for Set It Up, I’m saving it for this coming weekend, Canada Day long weekend, for maximum rewind opportunities.
Netflix has six rom-coms planned this summer, including the adaptation of Jenny Han’s To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before. And, of course, that same week, Crazy Rich Asians opens in theatres around the world. Summer 2018, the summer of love. You in?
Yours in gossip,