year: 1999
cast: Tom Hanks, Meg Ryan, Steve Zahn, Jean Stapleton, Dabney Coleman, John Randolph, Greg Kinnear, Parker Posey
rating: ***

Okay guys, if you really wanna pick up on a beautiful chick, one that looks like, say, Meg Ryan, trick her into thinking you're someone you're not on the computer via email, manipulate her mind and have her fall in love with the image of you as a writer sharing your innermost thoughts and daily routines after you, as your real self, shut down her family business and all her dreams along with it. Well, it worked for Tom Hanks, so why not? Pretty good chick flick overall, a remake of "The Shop Around the Corner" about two people who email each other without getting too personal; one (Hanks) owns a new big bookstore that sells discount books, the other (Ryan) owns a small old bookstore across the street that sells specialty books that cost a ton (still not sure if they're used or not); and as the Westerns say "There's not enough room for the both of us." The best moments are before Tom knows Meg's Meg as they're emailing back and forth, completely unaware of each other's identity and loathing one another in their business "non-net" lives. During the scam in which Tom manipulates Meg after finding out she's his web girl, things get too plot-heavy and complicated, and then at the end, after he comes clean, Meg falls in love much too easily. Hanks' performance is a bit constrained: he seems OVER the whole comedy thing at this point, which is kind of a bummer. I dug him in the eighties when he was lean and goofy, and not considered beyond such trivialities.

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