7 Things I Learned: From Sleepless in Seattle

By Nancy Scrofano

Sleepless in Seattleis one of the best romantic comedies of all time. The official meet cute happens at the very end of the movie, which is unconventional but still classic. The two main characters who are meant to be together hardly interact at all until the last few minutes. Nevertheless, this movie is fantastic. Some people may not like romantic comedies (chick flicks) or even understand their appeal, but there are all kinds of lessons to be learned from them. Here’s what Sleepless in Seattle taught me:

If your significant other has a laugh you can’t stand the sound of, then the relationship isn’t going to last. Sam (Tom Hanks) knew that Victoria was not right for him. Her annoying laugh had to get on his nerves. Sam’s son, Jonah, really disliked her, too. “She laughs like a hyena.”

If you hide in a closet to listen to the radio to hear a man you’ve never met but might be falling in love with, your live-in fiancé will find you, and you’ll have some explaining to do. Annie (Meg Ryan) is desperate to hear Sam on the radio, but doesn’t want to wake her fiancé, Walter. Sam is called “sleepless in Seattle” by the radio psychologist, but Annie is actually “sleepless in Baltimore,” too. She knows that she doesn’t belong with Walter, but she also thinks finding “the one” through a radio program is unrealistic. (Note: Obviously, this was before online dating, otherwise Annie might have been more open to what was happening, but then the movie wouldn’t have been as good.) “It was Miss Scarlet, in the closet, with a radio.”

Everyone needs a friend like Becky. Not only does she send Annie’s letter to Sam because Annie doesn’t have the courage to do it herself, but she also sends Annie to Seattle, telling her that maybe she could do a story about radio talk shows (Annie is a reporter for the Baltimore Sun and Becky is an editor there). Becky encourages Annie to take risks and go after what she really wants.

When An Affair to Remember is compared to The Dirty Dozen, An Affair to Remember always wins, despite what men think. Sam’s sister, Suzy, bursts into tears while describing An Affair to Remember, which is one of the best scenes in the movie. In response, Sam simply says, “That’s a chick’s movie.” Then, to top it off, Sam pretends to cry while describing The Dirty Dozen. Hilarious!

If you travel all the way from Baltimore to Seattle to meet a guy, then you should say more than “hello” to him before running away. When Annie sees Sam in Seattle and they exchange “hello” and then she leaves quickly, I always yell at the screen, “Cross the street!” If only she had just crossed the street and approached him instead of turning around. Yes, she thinks his sister is his girlfriend, but she’s just assuming that. She made all that effort to get there, and then she flees without giving anything a chance. “All I could say was hello.” Really? Come on!

If your young son hops a plane across the country without your permission, then he should probably be grounded (pun intended), unless it forced you to follow him there where you then meet the love of your life. Sam was furious with Jonah, but once Sam reached the Empire State Building, found Jonah, and saw Annie, all the worry he had over Jonah’s brief disappearance seemed to melt away.

There’s always a happy ending—or happy beginning, depending how you look at it. The movie ends happily, Sam and Annie holding hands as they head down the elevator with Jonah. The beginning of a happy family.

Nancy Scrofano is the editor of Good Humor Girl and the author of True Love Way. She is also the editor of The Chick Lit Bee, a book blog that promotes and celebrates women’s fiction, and she writes book reviews for a prestigious book review magazine Nancy is at work on her next novel. For more information, please visit www.nancyscrofano.com.