If When Harry Met Sally is about the dream of inevitably getting better at relationships as you get older (it isnot about whether men and women can be friends), Sleepless In Seattle is about the dream that inevitability itself – fate, signs, all that – can produce happiness.
This is a step into nonsense, and I mean that lovingly and etymologically. Sleepless is about love cut adrift from sense; it is about non-sense, and while wandering off with someone you’ve never met and know almost nothing about is in reality a great way to blow up your life, the desire to believe in this idea is a deeply human form of faith. […]
In grand, life-decision-making ways, it’s ridiculous to meet on a roof and walk off together. But haven’t you ever met someone you couldn’t believe loved the same line from the same movie you did? Have you never said that something was a sign, even if you were officially kidding? Have you never said that “the rest was history,” which implies that a moment happened, and then history just followed, like you were letting out the kite string but the wind was doing the work?
Ephron wrote fairy tales that spun things that really happen – reconciliation over time, mysterious chemistry, complex and loaded friendships, love after grief and loss – into things that don’t happen, or don’t happen very much. But I always recognized in those stories pieces of people I knew and conversations I had had; they were like choral compositions where everything else is just pretty sounds, but you can pick out the alto line because you sang it in choir fifteen years ago. You could never reproduce the entire thing without amplification and help, but that one part makes sense. [read all]