Review: “You’ve Got Mail”

The best romantic comedies are those which try and take risks – the ones with real hard-core emotion and gags which are intelligent, edgy and hopefully a little bit naughty. “Pretty Woman” and “When Harry Met Sally” still reign supreme in this genre, and the most recent film that could be considered near the same level was last year’s Oscar-winning “As Good as it Gets”.

However many recent films in the genre are just watered down versions of those early films – not having much romance or comedy and is so overly-nice that while you can take the kids to it – people in my age group get quickly bored with it. I’m sad to say YGM falls into that category. Don’t get me wrong, its not a bad film by any means, but considering the great talent both in front of and behind the camera – one wishes they could’ve done better than they have.

The idea of falling in love over the Internet isn’t really explored and seems almost like a small sub-plot rather than the key central concept the title hints at. Most of the film revolves more around the issue of jumping to conclusions on people. One thing that is vital to these films is to have lovable supporting characters which are unique and interesting, none of the supporting ones here are distinctive – all pretty much blend into each other, sad considering the talent in the roles.

There’s no denying the on-screen chemistry between Hanks and Ryan, but still it never really seems to spark as much as it did in “Sleepless in Seattle”. The gags are sparse, but work well and a few are memorable. But in the end its a ‘safe’ romantic comedy, one which takes no risks and consequentially has no real distinctive flavour or substance of its own. Still, good fluffy fun for fans of Hanks or Ryan.