Sleepless in Seattle @ Central Cinema

If Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan can find love in Seattle, so can we 😩

📸: Courtesy Tristar Pictures

Showtimes February 10 -14

I think for most people around my age who didn’t grow up here, this or Cameron Crowe’s Singles was the prevailing childhood image of the Emerald City. I suppose for the generation before me, it’s The Fabulous Baker Boys or American Heart, and Fifty Shades of Grey for the whippersnappers behind me. (I suppose there’s an off-chance it could also be the 2009 Aaron Eckhart/Jennifer Aniston rom-dram Love Happens, but probably not.) While I’m more of a Singles guy myself (please hit play on “Would?” by Alice in Chains and groove in unison), there’s no denying the seemingly effortless delight of Nora Ephron’s 1993 smash hit Sleepless in Seattle.

Originally written by Jeff Arch and David S. Ward, Ephron (in demand after a fruitful collaboration with Mike Nichols and writing stone-cold classic When Harry Met Sally…) was brought on as a script doctor after financially striking out with her lovely directorial debut, the Meg Wolitzer adaptation This Is My Life. She then stayed with the project after perfectly balancing the story’s wit and heart. At the center of the film is Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan, in the middle of their romantic comedy trilogy (1990’s Joe Versus the Volcano, 1998’s You’ve Got Mail), as a widower and a journalist who meet cute over the phone. Then a bunch of near misses happen until it all ends at the Empire State Building.

Its legacy was also cemented by a Boomer-friendly soundtrack that reached #1 on the Billboard charts. Give it up to Harry Connick, Jr., Dr. John, Carly Simon, and the ghost of Jimmy Durante going “ha cha cha cha” from beyond!

Central Cinema is playing it several times over Valentine’s Day week, paired with Wong Kar-wai’s In the Mood for Love, so go to the CD and get your smoochies on. That’s a phrase, right?

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Marcus Gorman

Marcus Gorman is a Seattle-based playwright and film programmer. He once raised money for a synagogue by marathoning 15 Adam Sandler movies in one weekend. You can find him on Instagram and Twitter @marcus_gorman.