Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan in “You’ve Got Mail” 1998. IMDb photo

When you put Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan in the same movie, and keep them on screen, apart or together, you’re watching screen magic.

They did three movies together and all of them winners, except when Meg decided to direct and gave us the tragic “Ithaca” in 2015 in which Tom dies.

Tom Hanks Dies? You can’t kill Tom Hanks. There’s no killing in baseball! I mean, who wants to see Tom Hanks die?

In Nora Ephon’s “You’ve Got Mail,” (Dec. 18 1998) Tom does not die, and so I kept watching it over the years, mostly because 1. He doesn’t die, and 2. There’s Meg Ryan, and 3. It’s about the New York where my wife and I met “cute” on an escalator and after two setbacks, married “cute” and continue to live “cute.”

So here “You’ve Got Mail,” now streaming on Netflix, and it’s worth your time. Forget Ukraine and your baby’s formula, watch it.

You will be stunned by how it looks like new shoes out of the box.


It was shot on the once happy, bright sunny streets (no rats or garbage) of New York, by John Lindley’s street walking camera that never misses a pigeon.

I can’t believe how many of you missed this happy film.

Very young baristas and college fresh people, maybe, but you have to see it, and you’ll want to see it again, it’s chicken soup and bagels.

Here is director Nora and writer Delia Ephon’s wonderful, heart banging, electric and magical “You’ve Got Mail.”

To get you started:

Joe Fox (Hanks) is the youngest son of a family that runs a bookstore chain called “Fox Books” that eats, chews and swallows up all the little book shops in every city.


An independent shop called “The Shop Around the Corner” is around the corner, owned by, look out, the kinetic, startlingly gifted Meg Ryan, as Kathleen Kelly, who lives with writer Greg Kinnear (at the moment).

Fox and Kelly know each other because their stores are just “around the corner,” and they both live on the upper West Side.

We watch as he forces her out of business, (but that’s all right, relax. Would you leave Tom? Would you leave Meg?

The music is the background engine that never stops, and fills our COVID-weary hearts with nostalgia, with ballads by Harry Nisson, Carole King, The Cranberries, Stevie Wonder and Bobby Darin.

And what about the great Dave Chappelle as Hank’s buddy, who was allowed to improvise all of his scenes. That’s a pro.

“You’ve Got Mail” streams freshly and lovingly on Netflix. See it again.

J.P. Devine of Waterville is a former stage and screen actor.

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