Sleepless in Seattle or Creeping in Seattle?

Sleepless in Seattle or Creeping in Seattle?

The other night I found myself channel surfing like I sometimes tend to do in the wee small hours of the morning. Sleepless in Seattle happened to be on one of the cable stations so I started watching this old favorite flick of mine. Yes, I know it’s hard to believe, but the Woman on the Ledge adores some schmaltzy love stories. Particularly those stories that have a hint of nostalgia in them.

Everyone knows the premise of Sleepless. Tom Hanks is a widower living in Seattle, who has a little boy named Jonah, that decides to play matchmaker for him. Jonah dials in to Dr. Marcia Fieldstone’s late-night radio show and tells her about his father. Tom ends up finding out what his son has done and becomes an accidental guest on the radio program. Meanwhile, a thousand miles away, Meg Ryan happens to be listening to Tom recounting his story to the host. She falls in love with his voice and his story and sets out to win his affection. 

The film is loosely based on An Affair to Remember starring Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr.  However, the modern incarnation does not involve a car accident but like An Affair, it does involve a rendezvous on top of the Empire State Building.  Sleepless is written by the wonderfully talented, late, great Nora Ephron.

Ms. Ephron started out as a journalist for the New York Post and then she became a columnist on women’s issues for Esquire. She was also a playwright, a screenwriter and then finally a director. Her resume reads like a Chick Flick hall of fame. In addition to Sleepless, Ms. Ephron is responsible for Heartburn, When Harry Met Sally, You’ve Got Mail, and Julie & Julia. Personally, I think she is the reason why Meryl Streep and Meg Ryan have careers. Well, Meryl is still going strong but Meg, that is a whole other can of worms. Let’s just say collagen is not Meg’s friend.

Sleepless in Seattle was made in 1993. That was only 23 years ago and the love game has changed drastically since then. While this movie was a hit, I doubt that it could be remade today without some drastic overhauls that would probably cause Ms. Ephron to roll over in her grave.

First of all, does anyone listen to the radio anymore?  With VEVO, Pandora, I Heart Radio, Tidal, et al, there is no need to turn a dial when these services are just a mouse click away. The 2016 version of Sleepless would probably start out with Meg listening to a podcast.

In the original Sleepless, since Meg is a writer for the Baltimore Sun, and just for the record, when I was working in Baltimore the Sun was in the midst of a huge lay-off of their staff. Meg would probably be a freelancer for The City Paper. Back in 1993, Meg was able to do research on Tom by utilizing the data services of the Sun. Now, in her defense, she was supposedly doing a story about Dr. Marcia’s show. I do know that now if you utilize your company’s internet for things like personal research on a guy you want to hook up with, you get fired. So much for that idea!

Meg even goes so far as to hire a private detective to spy on Tom to see if he is involved with anyone. Even when I saw the movie two decades ago, I thought that is a bold choice. Then I began to wonder since I had a crush on David Letterman if I could do the same thing and not get caught?

Now before you go thinking that I did that, I can assure you that I didn’t have the money to afford that kind of luxury. Today if Meg even tried hiring an investigator, a friend or someone would tell her that she was being creepy and that is an invasion of privacy.  

Instead Meg could just lurk on Facebook and check out Tom’s page, follow him on Instagram and Twitter if he has accounts. That way she would always know what he was doing. For a nominal fee, she could just sign up for Been Verified and get all her intel on Tom that way.  This site will tell her if Tom is a felon, if he owns any property, how good his credit is, and whether or not he has a college degree.  What more could a single woman looking for love ask for?

After the detective gives Meg some pictures showing Tom on a date with a woman, Meg decides to fly to Seattle to see if she can make contact with him. Um, okay. The movie made it seem like this was the logical and sensible course of action to take in order to advance the plot. Then I guess the takeaway would be stalking a potential love interest is perfectly acceptable and even encouraged. How romantic! If he happens to catch you, just look at him shyly, smile and chalk it up to the fact that you are meeting cute. Maybe someday, you can even write a screenplay about how you met.

Does romance have a place in today’s electronic age? I would love to hear your opinions on the subject!  Please feel free to post your comments or contact me at

Published by Susan Leighton Woman on the Ledge

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