Last night, instead of being a functional human being, I watched You’ve Got Mail on cable and over-analyzed it. I’ve seen this post-Sleepless in Seattle gem several times and I usually think to myself how underrated it is. I haven’t seen it in a few years, so perhaps my newly acquired publishing world knowledge has clouded my judgment. But let me just say – what the hell is up with the ending?
But first, a digression. I think it’s funny (though so much in a ha-ha sense) that a movie about meeting people in a new, digital age is already completely dated. If you’re still using AOL, you should probably re-think your life decisions, and if you’re still going into chat rooms, then chances are they are not ones you’d want your spouse or children knowing about. Still, this outdated comment on technology is twenty times better than the slightly modernized take on internet dating, Must Love Dogs, which is just plain terrible.
Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks are supposed to represent polar opposites. Big business gentrification vs. the local, independent underdog. However, the locally owned Meg gets her morning coffee at Starbucks while her typewriter-bound boyfriend chastises her for being dependent on modern technology. At the end of the movie [SPOILER ALERT], her beloved family-inherited, neighborhood favorite bookstore ends up closing. Barnes & Noble – er, I mean, “Fox Books” – wins again. But she finds love, so hey, everybody wins.
You see why I’m upset. Evil, impersonal chain stores still beat out the little guy and it’s a happy ending. Now, I know why Ms. Ephron did it and it actually does make sense. But, if this movie was made now, still using and promoting modern technology the way it does, I think Meg Ryan would have a fightin’ chance. That’s right, you heard me, cynical literary world of the late ’00s, I think the indie could win… or at least co-exist.
This is why I’m proposing (Nora Ephron, you out there?), You’ve Got Re-Tweeted, the inevitable sequel that is apparently only inevitable in my brain. Tom & Meg are still happily together, maybe even married, and are still fully embracing technology. Tom’s publishing diva ex now owns an e-book company and Meg’s anti-tech ex’s head has exploded. Meanwhile, Meg, who’s proven she’s fine with selling out (see Starbucks comment above), re-opens her Shop Around the Corner, cancels AOL, and uses her Twitter account/blog/Facebook fan page to gain more publicity for her store than that stupid Fox Books ever dreamed of. Independents win in the end! (Winning means “not technically losing,” right?)
If this gets made, I demand royalties. Or a chance to play the token sassy, brunette friend.