This Valentine’s Day, avoid watching “You’ve Got Mail”

This article contains spoilers for “You’ve Got Mail,” but that’s okay, because you shouldn’t bother with watching it anyway.

In celebration of Valentine’s Day, it’s only right to celebrate by watching a rom-com. If you’ve seen “Sleepless in Seattle,” you might think to try out Nora Ephron‘s other film, “You’ve Got Mail.” The film features the same beloved actors as “Sleepless,” Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks.

The two main characters, Kathleen and Joe, first meet each other via instant messaging. As this anonymous relationship progresses, the two characters are unaware of the fact that they hate each other in real life.

The film’s love interests are quite different. Kathleen Kelly is a small bookshop owner, and Joe Fox’s family owns a huge corporation, Fox Books. When Joe’s chain opens a location around the corner from Kathleen’s shop, Kathleen’s business suffers. All the while, their virtual romance continues.

It’s obvious that the intent of this story is to show how love overcomes differences, an extension of the cliche, “opposites attract.” And maybe “You’ve Got Mail” could have gotten away with that if it weren’t for one glaring problem.

Kathleen is eventually forced to close her shop because it just can’t compete with Fox Books. This is an extremely difficult decision for her, and even worse, the shop was previously her mother’s.

Spoiler alert: Joe and Kelley discover each other’s real-life identities and end up together.

But Fox Books ended Kathleen’s bookstore. Are we really supposed to move on from that?

A romantic story between a small business owner and the man responsible for her going out of business simply should not exist. It isn’t romantic; it’s painful to watch.

This flaw could have been easily fixed with some rom-com magic, somehow reviving Kathleen’s small business. Instead, viewers are left with a bad taste in their mouths.

Besides the bookstore issue, the film’s premise comes with other cringeworthy moments. Joe lies to Kathleen throughout the movie to keep her from finding out who he really is.

Of course, fictional characters are allowed to do bad things, but in this case, it takes away from the charm of something that’s supposed to be feel-good.

Don’t bother with this Nora Ephron flop. You’d be much better off watching “When Harry Met Sally” for the 20th time.

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