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You've Got Mail

You've Got Mail is a phrase spoken by America Online software to welcome users when they login, and there is unread email in their account.

It is also the name of a film.

You've Got Mail was released in 1998 by Warner Brothers Films and given significant media coverage (including a substantial mention in the TV Sit Com Friends) leading up to its release. Part of the anticipation for the feature film was the romantic coupling of Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan, a dynamic employed successfully in other films such as Joe vs. The Volcano and Sleepless in Seattle.

You've got mail was Directed, Partly Produced and Co-written by Nora Ephron. Ephron had previously received three Academy Award nominations for Best Original Screenplay for the films Sleepless in Seattle, When Harry Met Sally and Silkwood.

The entire film resonates with Ephron's personality and influence. Set in the West Side of New York Ephron insists that You've Got Mail was as much about the West End itself as the characters, highlighting the 'small town community' feel that pervades throughout the West Side of New York.

The production team also included Nora Ephron's sister Delia Ephron (who worked with Nora on films such as Michael and Sleepless in Seattle) and Lauren Shuler Donner, responsible for the box-office-busting comedy Mr Mom.

Along with Nora Ephron's uncompromising directorial style the film is accompanied by a score written by George Fenton, a veteran of a wide variety of motion pictures ranging from Dangerous Liasons to Gandhi.

The plot centers on the romance between two characters in an adaptation of an older movie "The Shop Around the Corner" in which two letter-writing lovers are completely unaware that their sweet heart is in fact the co-worker with whom they share a certain degree of animosity.

You've Got Mail's interpretation of the theme has the two main protagonists working at different ends of the retail scale in the Book industry. Meg Ryan's character owns the small children's bookstore "The Shop Around The Corner" that her mother ran before her whilst Joe Fox played by Tom Hanks, carries on the family business in the vast chainstore "Fox Books".

When Fox Books expands into the West Side, The Shop Around the Corner is threatened with commercial obliteration and the two battle it out at loggerheads whilst unknowingly continuing an anonymous relationship with each other through e-mail.

At the end of the film, a famous song by Israel Kamakawiwo'ole is played. It's a version of Somewhere Over The Rainbow. The film ends in the Central Park.


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