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Sleepless in Seattle: New Year's Eve Screening - Alamo Drafthouse & Cinema

WHAT IF SOMEONE YOU NEVER MET WAS THE ONLY SOMEONE FOR YOU?

At one time or another, most of us have fantasized about the possibility that our perfect match, our soul-mate, is out there somewhere, longing for us. That partly explains why director Nora Ephron's SLEEPLESS IN SEATTLE was one of the biggest box office hits of 1993 and why it has remained one of the most popular date movies ever.

Oh, and it could also be because SLEEPLESS has Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan at their most charismatic and lovable. This entire movie depends on the audience buying into the idea that two complete strangers would make a wonderful couple -- even though they never actually meet until the film is almost over -- and with Ryan and Hanks, you never doubt that for a second.

Annie (Ryan) is a features writer for The Baltimore Sun, who is supposed to be getting ready for her wedding to Walter (Bill Pullman), an editor. So why is she obsessing over Sam (Hanks), a lonely widower in Seattle who inadvertently wound up on a late-night call-in show and shared his story of losing his wife and trying to start a new life?

Although she laughs off notions of destiny and "signs," Annie is a hardcore romantic at heart and she conspires with the features editor (Rosie O'Donnell) to get out to Seattle and meet Sam. Since this could be true love, however, nothing goes as smoothly as it should.

Love in the '90s? It was tough. You couldn't Google someone and learn their entire life story. There was no Facebook-stalking to sort out all their secrets. Hey, at the time SLEEPLESS IN SEATTLE was made, most people didn't even have an email address!

The Oscar-nominated screenplay (by Ephron, David S. Ward and Jeff Arch) is full of snappy lines, re-quotable dialogue and, perhaps most importantly, some real poignancy that gives this comedy depth and dimension. Even if you insist you're too cynical to buy into the concept of a distant lover waiting patiently for you, SLEEPLESS IN SEATTLE is potent enough to make you think twice. (James Sanford)

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