Sleepless isn’t really about love in the movies, it’s about loneliness, isn’t it? It’s about starting a halting conversation with Dr. Marcia the radio love guru because your house is so quiet. It’s about agreeing that ten place settings is the right number but knowing that everything is wrong. And it’s about leaning on your friends: Meg Ryan and Rosie O’Donnell have a quick phone call where, at the end of it, they say, “I love you,” and “I love you, too.” I was so struck by that, I remember – that in most movies, you’re lucky if people say goodbye before they hang up, but this one knew that with your best friend, when it’s important, you say, “I love you,” and “I love you, too.”
Sleepless in Seattle is my and Claire’s favorite movie. It’s not my favorite and to the best of my knowledge it’s not her favorite, but it’s our favorite. It started with a late night gchat over winter break in 2008. I know this because I found it in my gchat archive. Searching “Sleepless in Seattle” in my gmail account provides eleven results. Ten are gchats or emails between Claire and me. The eleventh is a short gchat in which I tell my old roommate I can’t hang out because I have plans to watch the movie with Claire.
Anyway, both of us were sleepless ourselves and after about twenty minutes, it came out that we both had been watching Sleepless in Seattle while idly chatting. From there, we found a mutual love for Gaby Hoffman, discussed how neither of us had ever seen An Affair to Remember (three and a half years later, I still haven’t), and agreed to disagree on You’ve Got Mail.
Long distance best friend movie and tv watching has since become a beloved tradition of ours. So have Sleepless in Seattle viewings, no matter the distance.
Thanks for everything, Nora.