Like my psychic told me (yeah, I’m referring to her as my psychic now), I have a strong exterior, but inside I’m mashed potatoes. And as much as I may try to maintain my strong exterior, sometimes the inner mashed potatoes start to kind of ooze out. This leads to some unhealthy behaviors on a Friday night.
It started when I walked by a display of Valentine’s Day cards in Target. I should have kept walking, but something drew me to the display. Oh, the cards are so pretty and glittery, I thought. I’ll just look at a few of them.
Bad idea. It’s embarrassing when you well up a bit while standing across from the Pizza Hut station in Target. I found the card that I’d want to get from someone. It’s one of those brown recycled paper cards. On the front there’s a picture of a plate of spaghetti with two forks. Inside, it has what to me is a wonderful sentiment. It’s not overly sappy, it’s not flowery, it’s just simple, to the point, and, like I said, wonderful. It’s what I want in a relationship.
It says: “I like that we can be ourselves with each other. That we can laugh at the same things. And how we just get each other. We’re lucky like that.”
Finally I pull myself away from the card display and find a package of Pepperidge Farm Snickerdoodles. I avoid the card display on my way to the checkout line, buy the Snickerdoodles, and go home.
I go home and eat the Snickerdoodles (not the whole package, but definitely more than the recommended serving) and decide to watch Sleepless in Seattle on TV. I should say that I’ve never actually watched Sleepless in Seattle before now, and I see why. The movie’s about 30 minutes along when I start watching, and by the time I get to the next commercial break I realize that compared to Meg Ryan in the movie I’m the definition of strength, even if I am brushing some Snickerdoodle crumbs from the collar of my bathrobe.
I’m just going to come right out and say it: Meg Ryan is bats*** crazy in this movie. When I realize this, I turn on my computer and decide to liveblog the movie. Can you say you’re liveblogging if you’re really just watching a 20-year-old film being shown on TV and typing stream of consciousness notes about it that you intend to publish on your blog a week or so later? I don’t know, but it happened. This is what I said:
Meg Ryan uses her work computer to research information about Tom Hanks (I can’t be bothered to remember what the names of the characters are in this movie). She then uses her work computer–her work computer–to contact a private investigator–a private investigator!–to, essentially, stalk Tom Hanks for her–gather personal information, snap photos.
Now she’s back at the home she shares with her fiance Bill Pullman. Wait, Meg Ryan’s engaged? And she’s still stalking Tom Hanks? What’s wrong with her? She’s taking the radio into the kitchen pantry in the middle of the night and hides in there listening to the call-in show where she first discovered the Tom Hanks character. If this synopsis doesn’t really make sense it’s because this movie doesn’t really make sense to me. If that happened in real life she’d be slapped with a restraining order.
Oh my gosh–now she’s at his house! Meg Ryan has gone to Tom Hanks’ house on a whim. They have never met, she has sent him one letter after hearing him on the radio, and now she has flown across the country to find him–no, stalk him. How is this ok? How is this an acceptable storyline????
Also, not to get all preachy, but I’d like to point out a double standard. Somehow in movies it’s more acceptable for a woman to do this sort of thing. Oh, that wacky yet endearing Meg Ryan. She’s so quirky the way she flies across the country to find a man she heard on the radio. But if a guy did that, it would be instantly deemed creepy, and probably also criminal, and the movie would be on Lifetime and star someone like that guy who used to play Superman on that mid-90s Superman reboot Lois and Clark. Dean Cain, that’s him. He’d be the creepy guy in the Lifetime movie.
Now Meg Ryan is creepily peering from behind a building watching Tom Hanks playing on the beach with his son. Meanwhile there’s some light-hearted happy romantic song playing on the soundtrack. But this is not ok! Am I the only one who thinks this is totally not ok? Again, a simple change of the soundtrack to something more sinister would guarantee this movie a place on the Lifetime lineup.
Now she’s on the phone with her friend saying “I watched him playing on the beach with his son…I’m going back over there tomorrow to talk to him. Is this crazy?”
And then her friend (Rosie O’Donnell) says, “No. That’s the weirdest part about it.” So I guess Rosie O’ Donnell’s crazy, too.
If I were her friend I’d say, “Yeah, it is crazy. This guy has a kid and you’re sneaking around Seattle watching them play together. This is weird. No, you know what, this got weird a long time ago…I don’t think we should be friends anymore.”
I hit the “info” button on my remote control and find that even the description of the movie speaks to its true undertones: “A recently engaged newswoman becomes obsessed with meeting a grieving widower she heard on a late-night radio show.” Obsessed is never a good word, is it?
Tom Hanks’ friend says “What kind of woman would write to someone they heard on the radio?” Someone with issues, I think.
Also, Tom Hanks’ kid is obviously dealing with alot of unresolved issues since the death of his mother. I think maybe Tom Hanks should have gotten him some family therapy or something. This kid hops on a plane to NY by himself, when the taxi that he takes–by himself–arrives at the Empire State Building, the cab driver asks if he’s going to spit off the top. The kid says with a smile, “No, I’m going to meet my new mother.” Wait, what? There’s this big-bandy razzy snazzy New York music playing in the soundtrack when the kid says this to the cab driver. I suppose this is all supposed to be adorable. But it’s just sad and strange and creepy. “I’m going to meet my new mother.” Part of me hopes so, because maybe if this kid had a mother then he wouldn’t have been able to go to the airport by himself, get on a plane by himself, fly across the country by himself, wind up at an airport in Queens by himself, take a cab into Manhattan by himself, and wind up at the Empire State building by himself. Argh! Now he’s walking up to strangers! And asking them if they’re Annie. (Oh, I guess that’s the name of the Meg Ryan character.)
OK, now Meg Ryan is going through the most unrealistically smooth breakup in history. Probably because Bill Pullman has no soul. She’s already told him all about her obsession with Tom Hanks, so maybe Bill Pullman is so calm because he’s realized that he’s just been given a reprieve from marrying a crazy lady. She looks out the window and sees a heart light up on the Empire State Building and says to the fiance she’s just broken up with two seconds ago, “It’s a sign!”
Who are the people in the world who think this is a good movie?
I guess the film has what’s deemed a happy ending, with Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan falling into each other’s arms or something, and I guess that kid is standing in the background with a dopey smile or something. But I don’t know for certain because at the commercial break that came before the end of the movie I decided it was a good time to go moisturize my face; by the time I got back to the living room Jimmy Durante was already singing “Make Someone Happy” over the closing credits.
What. It’s wintertime, moisturizing is important. And very healthy.
I can’t possibly be the only person in the world who thinks that Sleepless in Seattle is far from the classic that it’s been made out to be and is instead a creepy, disturbing film about a clearly unstable, obsessed woman and a widower whose judgement must be clouded due to some untreated PTSD. Right?