Triple Feature: Sleepless in Seattle & Joe Versus the Volcano & You’ve Got Mail
Galentine's Day Triple ?! Feature! - Ambitious, I know. But the Gals deserve it.
February 12, 2016 at 11:51 am
Galentine’s Day is a sacred tradition. It is a day that comes but once a year to remind us about the importance of female friendships, and also brunch. So, for the perfect Galentine’s Day, take some time to remember that women are Great! and Friendship is The Best! by sitting down to indulge in this comfortingly familiar and cheese-tastic triple feature/brunch and day-drinking combo.
Sleepless in Seattle – Joe Versus the Volcano – You’ve Got Mail
Sleepless in Seattle
It’s important to start your Galentine’s Day surrounded by your dear, beloved friends, and stacks and stacks of breakfast foods. So, decide who among you has the biggest apartment (alternately: the biggest television) and Make This Happen.
Host makes waffles, everyone else brings a quiche, you throw on Sleepless in Seattle, and then you can just hang out and chat for the next hour and forty-six minutes because Sleepless is definitely the weakest link in this triple feature.
For the unfamiliar: Tom Hanks lives in Seattle, Meg Ryan lives in New York, and their lives keep somehow intersecting; there’s a lot of business going on about fate and destiny – it’s kind of like Serendipity but with Even More stalking. But, I mean, it’s a classic and it deserves to be on the list, because Sleepless is where the general public was first introduced to the whole Tom Hanks/Meg Ryan thing. You know, that thing that is not really natural chemistry so much as it is a fascinatingly surreal imitation of some heterosexual ideal (wherein men woo women the way women want to be wooed).
Like, this is heterosexual ideal these movies have been selling us all of our lives, but it’s largely delusional, because Tom Hanks is not Tom Hanks, ever — Tom Hanks is just the vessel for Nora Ephron; he is the hetero necessity which facilitates the seduction of women by other women. And isn’t that what Galentine’s Day is all about? Women who love and support other women?
Joe Versus the Volcano
Anyway, now that you’ve eaten, you can really start day-drinking in earnest. As you pop in Joe Versus the Volcano, you should also shift the mimosa ratio from 1:2 (champagne:orange juice) to 3:1 in preparation for the absurdity you are about to witness.
Joe Versus the Volcano is amazing. It is the only non-Ephron title on this list, but that’s okay because it was written and directed instead by John Patrick Shanley, of MOONSTRUCK fame (side note: if you haven’t seen Moonstruck, you need to go watch Moonstruck; Cher won an Oscar for it; it’s a National Treasure).
Now, Joe Versus the Volcano came out a few years before Sleepless, but it didn’t have quite the same level of commercial success (for reasons which, when you watch this movie, are completely obvious). Basically, Tom Hanks has a bad haircut, a job he hates and hypochondria.
He goes to a doctor who diagnoses him with a “Brain Cloud” (which is Totally Real and also Super Terminal), so he has one month left to live. A Wealthy Businessman approaches Tom Hanks with a problem: the people of Waponi Woo (an island in the South Pacific rich in Rare Minerals relevant to the Wealthy Businessman’s wealthy business) need to throw a live human into their volcano, but, being reasonable human beings, none of the locals want to do it. So they outsource their sacrifice to Tom Hanks, whose passage to the South Pacific is financed by this Wealthy Businessman.
Also, there is a Truly Excellent shopping montage. Like, as far as shopping montages go, this is right up there with Au Pair, really and truly. Anyway, along the way he meets three different iterations of Meg Ryan (brunette, ginger, then blonde), with whom he falls exponentially in love. It’s ridiculous and the worst, but it’s great — it’s so great, and I love it.
You’ve Got Mail
As Joe Versus the Volcano winds down and you’re starting to feel yourself get maybe a little riled up about the fact that the only women really in this movie were basically interchangeable and all played by Meg Ryan, grab another piece of quiche and pop in You’ve Got Mail to really help you sober up.
You’ve Got Mail is my go-to feel-good romcom. It is comforting and familiar and the soundtrack is just a delight; ALSO, it has Dave Chappelle. That said, it’s pretty fucked up. I mean, Tom Hanks is at once ruining Meg Ryan’s business, saying horrible things to/about her, passive-aggressively wooing her, and catfishing her (before the world even knew what catfishing was).
Like, how?? is this not just the worst and creepiest thing you could do to win someone’s heart?
I mean, You’ve Got Mail is one of my favorite movies, but it is not a good movie. It is everything that’s wrong with the heterosexual fantasy — like, he can’t just come out and say he likes her? He really needs to charm her both as a stranger and as himself for over a year before he can just talk openly about his feelings? What the hell is that?
But, at least he has a good dog. And also, Greg Kinnear’s character is beautifully obnoxious — he’s everything you could possibly want in a pretentious dweeb. He owns Three of the Exact Same typewriter. He’s ridiculous and I love him.
My point here is that You’ve Got Mail will sober you up. In preparation for actual Valentine’s Day, it will remind you that men are buffoons, and that you shouldn’t expect too much of them. Take this time to rely instead on your female friends and all the pure and true affection/support that they offer in the face of male disappointment, but also in general because they love you. Join the Misandrist Coalition and retreat to Themyscira, if only for the day.