Last weekend, I had to chance to have a movie day with my nine year old daughter. We parked ourselves on the couch, for a serious do nothing day, and immediately found one of my favourite romcoms showing on TV: You've Got Mail. It's a weird thing, I own the movie but rarely pull it out to watch. Yet, every time it's on TV, I tune in. I love the Tom Hanks/ Meg Ryan conversations, in person and by e-mail. This time though, the movie showed me a side of Tom Hanks I hadn't really thought him capable of before: a near villain, of the bookish kind!
As a book lover with my finger on at least some of the book business (it's really amazing how much information an amateur can amass through Twitter, book blogging, and so on), watching this movie again from a newer perspective left me torn. How could Kathleen Kelly fall for the guy that made shooting noises, complete with finger guns, at the closing of another independent bookstore?!
In retrospect, knowing what I know now about the fragility of the book business, as technology is changing the way we read, I felt a little ill at the prospect of Tom Hanks' character, Joe Fox, being proud of his accomplishment. This was worse for me than had he taken on the role of a deranged serial killer, hunting down puppies! For shame, Joe Fox, for shame! And still, Kathleen Kelly ends up with him! Granted, she does wax poetic about the ever changing nature of New York City, etc. as some kind of justification for it all. But, still! Have some gumption and dump the guy for his crass, insensitive ways!
Well, maybe I'm being too harsh on Joe. There did seem to be a shift in Joe's attitude near the end, as he realized the dumbass he was being towards the woman he was falling in love with. But, it never did change the fact that at least two Indie book stores where demolished in the movie. Is this acceptable? Did Kathleen Kelly sell her soul to the book devil? Either way, this new revelation has tainted my love for the movie just a bit. Long live book stores (and Tom Hanks, despite his asinine fictional character)!