RESTAURANTS, movie houses, and flower shops were all full. There was a torrent also of love classic revivals, both in video rental shops, cable TV, and on internet video on demand channels.
One of the more popular love classics that many people reportedly went for was the 1998 classic, “You’ve Got Mail.”
This was the time when the Internet was accessed by very slow modems that was then a hundred times slower than what we call slow now, and many of the people still didn’t know what email was. But this was one of the first movies that hinted what was to become of us – become connected in an Internet world.
At that time, 19 years ago, we were still new in the computer business. But we were excited by the reviews, and I made a decision that we would sponsor a premiere showing of this movie for our customers to show the new technology that was coming. It was expensive, but the memory worthwhile and memorable. This was an iconic movie that defined what was to come.
Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan played two anonymous penpals who meet in a chatroom. They did not know each other as they were using aliases. Tom Hanks used the name NY152, while Meg Ryan used Shopgirl. What they did not know was that Tom Hanks was, Joe Fox who operated a chain of bookstores. Meg Ryan had a small bookshop called The Shop Around the Corner.
Joe Fox opened a big branch near the bookshop, and slowly drove the small one out of business. So they were protagonists, but in the chatroom, they were friends, and began to like each other.
This situation is now what we know as “complicated”. Then there are sideshows. For instance, one of the memorable scenes is that Meg Ryan bad mouthed the big chain bookstore – how they use power and money to crush the small ones.
But she finally went to the Fox bookstore, and saw why it was successful – it offered an nice ambience and selection that was thorough and relaxing. The movie also offered a separate thought –- do big businesses crush small ones because they are big, or are they in many respects, really better?
It’s a nice movie, and for millennials, maybe you would want to see it. This plot has played itself millions of times over the last 19 years. It’s about how technology complicates relationships by introducing more communication lines and facets.
It was a very successful movie that won for its screenplay, and grossed over $250 million worldwide. It showed a glimpse of technology, but most of all, it was a romance and comedy that had just the right dose of chemistry and paradox to warm the heart.