WHAT IF SOMEONE YOU NEVER MET, SOMEONE YOU NEVER SAW, SOMEONE YOU NEVER KNEW WAS THE ONLY SOMEONE FOR YOU?
Baltimore reporter Annie Reed (Meg Ryan) hears a widower (Tom Hanks) talk about his grief on radio and is touched, like many women across the country; she decides to write a letter… Nora Ephron’s second movie as a director became one of the biggest romantic comedies of the decade. A formula that inspired many other films, it does rely heavily on another classic, An Affair to Remember (1957), in ways that are sometimes lazy, sometimes inspired. The whole movie is just pure comfort food; sweet, hilarious and with two stars you can’t take your eyes off. They get terrific help from a gorgeous nostalgic touch, boosted by a great soundtrack of old standards.
1993-U.S. 104 min. Color. Produced by Gary Foster. Directed by Nora Ephron. Screenplay: Nora Ephron, David S. Ward, Jeff Arch. Cinematography: Sven Nykvist. Song: ”A Wink and a Smile” (Marc Shaiman, Ramsay McLean). Cast: Tom Hanks (Sam Baldwin), Meg Ryan (Annie Reed), Bill Pullman (Walter), Ross Malinger, Rosie O’Donnell, Rob Reiner… Rita Wilson, David Hyde Pierce.
Trivia: Kim Basinger, Michelle Pfeiffer, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Jodie Foster were allegedly considered for Ryan’s role; Dennis Quaid for Hanks’s role. Later a stage musical.
Last word: “[Ephron was] very adamant that everyone sticks to the script. She knew what they had written and knew that it worked. She wanted to actors to stay within the boundaries of the script. She could come up to you and always kind of did [your direction] in a little whisper. She never really said hey, do this little thing over in front of the crew. We were always very intimate. She’d come over and say little things to me like ‘What if you used the napkin as a blanket on her leg’?” (Wilson, Variety)