Sleepless in Seattle (1993) – Almost a Horror Movie

Sleepless in Seattle is a 1993 romantic comedy starring Tom Hanks as a widower and single father, who after his son calls a radio show looking to find him a new wife, captures the infatuation of Meg Ryan.

It’s actually, all in all, a cute movie. Tom Hanks is as fun as ever. Meg Ryan is her normal charming self. The kid who play’s Hanks’ son is pretty good too. I do find it funny that even this movie, with the city’s name in its title, can’t even commit to making Seattle seem like a good place to live. I mean, the movie starts with a shot of the Chicago skyline. Most of Meg Ryan’s scenes are in Baltimore. Tom Hanks’ scenes, in Seattle, barley show the city of Seattle. The climax of the movie even happens in New York City. Seattle sucks and this movie knows it. Meg Ryan’s character even says she would never want to live there. Just something funny I noticed. But, back to what I teased in the title. Which is probably why you are reading this anyway. Sleepless in Seattle is ALMOST a horror movie.

Don’t believe me? Well, IMDB states the plot as “A recently widowed man’s son calls a radio talk-show in an attempt to find his father a partner.” But let’s change that a little. After hearing a man’s voice (Tom Hanks) on the radio, a woman (Meg Ryan) becomes obsessed and begins stalking the man. I know right? That’s not even bending the truth, that is literally what happens in the movie! It’s just framed as a romantic comedy, so its not creepy. It’s fun!

Look, I actually liked this movie! It’s a fun and cute romantic comedy. But, if you add some creepy music over a few scenes or swap the main characters’ genders, so a man was stalking a widowed single mother, this becomes a very different movie. I suppose that’s true for a lot of romantic comedies, but it’s just very present in this one. There is one scene where Meg Ryan flies all the way from Baltimore to Seattle and watches from afar was Hanks has a fun day with his son. But there is an upbeat song playing over it and Meg Ryan is conventionally attractive, so its fine. Here’s the clip:

It’s cute now, but add something from The Shinning soundtrack. Totally different. She also hires a detective to follow him and take pictures of him. She says it was just to make sure he wasn’t a weirdo but it really just proves she is one.

Again, I liked this movie. It’s just fun to look at it from another angle. It actually makes me want to watch other classic romantic movies and see how they hold up when you look at them like this. As a romantic comedy, I give Sleepless in Seattle 7 out of 10. As a horror movie, I give it nothing because horror movies scare me too much, I’d never watch it.

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