3/28/10

Sleepless in Seattle in the 21st Century

When watching Meg Ryan walk out on the viewing deck of the Empire State Building in the last scene in Sleepless in Seattle just as Tom Hanks and his son exit in the elevator going down, a first-time viewer of the film would probably be perched on the edge of their seats wondering: will they find each other or is it never, ever meant to be? This viewer of the present day, post-9/11, age of terrorism would no doubt gasp at what she does while wandering around the empty deck: she picks up the abandoned backpack and then (horrors!) proceeds to unzip it.

Of course we all know that the backpack belongs to the little boy and that teddy bear inside is not a ticking time-bomb or powdered with a biological weapon, but would Ryan's character have picked it up had the film been made in this day and age?

But then again, the last Meg Ryan-Tom Hanks-Nora Ephron directed rom-com, set in a story book New York where everyone's moderately wealthy and no one worries about losing their jobs to the vagaries of the stock market was 1998's You've Got Mail. That, if nothing else, should remind one of how much the world has changed.

3/11/10

Post-Reading Impact

Some books move you immediately as you read them. These, I tend to forget soon. They rarely stay in the memory.

Then there are the slow burner books. They take a long time to seep into your mind, and when there, refuse to leave.

Bainbridge's According to Queeney is one such book - slow to build, confusing at first, and the lucid. I also finished it within two days. I didn't think about it immediately, but an hour after, it crept up from the inner recesses of my mind and hooked in. And all I could think of was sad Samuel Johnson and the flighty, giddy, jealous and convoluted Mrs. Thrale.