Movies from the 1990s

Tonight I watched bits of Sleepless in Seattle and City Slickers, two extemely American films that I suggest Icelanders watch if the wnt to understand anything about Americans over the age of 30.

I must say that I have never particularly liked the idea behind Sleepless in Seattle, because it seems to me Meg Ryan's character falls in in love out of pity, a sort of Florence Nightingale affect. She hears through the medium of the radio that he is deeply depressed and hurt, and this awakens an emotional empathy that makes Meg dump the person she is with. The movie ends at the moment the two main characters finally meet, as if that's the end of the story, for the man in Seattle to be on the road to recovery with a nurse at his side.

I prefer the understanding of relationships developed in City Slickers. There is such a great range of relationships in that film, but I always liked the one best of the guy who has gotten divorced and is on the path to getting stuck with his whiney coworker, but during the course of the movie, meets a nice, attractive recently single lady, and they slowly become closer. This is spurred along (pun alert since this is a cowboy movie) thanks to one pivotal, oft quoted line in the film. There are baseball metaphors throughout the movie (remember, its very American), and one of them comes from the idea of life being a do-over. That's different than a foul ball, which comes with a penalty. A do-over says that the past is erased, because whatever happened isn't what was supposed to happen. Reset and try again.

I suppose only in America could the positivist narrative of change be so complete, but the whole point of the movie is about finding one's smile again.

Anyhow, now I want to see When Harry met Sally.


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