You've Got Mail

Movie review by S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media
You've Got Mail Poster Image

Common Sense says

age 10+

Predictable-but-sweet romantic comedy.

PG 1998 119 minutes

Parents say

age 12+

Based on 16 reviews

Kids say

age 9+

Based on 22 reviews

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Community Reviews

age 12+

More swearing than in Sleepless in Seattle but less sexual references

First of all Common Sense is right that the technology in this film is very dated. Given it's the same stars and director as the excellent Sleepless in Seattle which is an overall timeless romance movie with very little dated feeling some might expect the same exact thing but this movie seems far more dated than Sleepless due to its use of AOL dial up which has been dormant for almost two decades now. It seems they knew they were making a timeless classic with Sleepless but wanted something more contemporary in the late 90's with this one and although this is a great movie, director Nora Ephron directs her actors well and she uses fantastic music in all of her films for the soundtrack, I think they just wanted to make something that was hip for the times but knew the technology would fade years later. Even though Sleepless is five years older it holds up far better. That being said if you were disappointed Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan only shared two minutes of screen time at the end of Sleepless this will satisfy you more as they have the majority of screen time in the movie. As far as the content goes however this has more profanity than Sleepless did. I counted over half a dozen swear words like GD, the s-word, hell, damn and the a word, whereas Sleepless only had three profanities the entire film one GD and two S words. However the sexual references, are much more toned down here than Sleepless. There is only one reference to having sex over the internet whereas in Sleepless I counted over half a dozen sexual references. So it really depends on what you are more tolerant of allowing your kids to watch. If you can handle the swearing and want to avoid sexual references this is the better choice for a Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan movie than Sleepless and vice versa on Sleepless to this film. Also Sleepless had more of a pure romantic feel to it overall, but the characters here spend most of the movie antagonizing each other before learning of their true identities in real life versus the internet. Parents may want to advise that men and women should not treat people the way the main characters treat one another but then again this film does offer insight on real world issues like corporate business versus independent, which could be a good lesson for kids to learn. So the role models here are not as good as Sleepless, particularly Hanks who plays a bit of a jerk here, as does Ryan to him but we can sympathize a bit more with her. I think it is best to inform your kids that this movie is an accurate representation of business politics in the world but that people still should be respectful to each other especially when it comes to being business rivals. Not quite as good as Hanks/Ryan/Ephron's previous film but still a treat to watch and I do love seeing Tom and Meg on screen more together as well as the fantastic soundtrack. Nora Ephron was the queen master of romantic comedies and she knew how to make them very well. RIP. Enjoy but watch out for language mainly here and talk to your kids about the behavior of the leads and why they should set an example to be better people in real life.

This title has:

Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
1 person found this helpful.
age 12+

Worse than the cliche "princess syndrome" for young girls.

I found this movie incredibly victimizing of the female protagonist. "Love conquers all?" Is that the message we want to send to our daughters when the man they're in love with is single-handedly destroying their dreams and squashing a company that they worked so hard to maintain under his big corporate boot? Or to our sons, who cares if you're in love with her. Money is the only thing that matters, so destroy her modest business that keeps her life afloat so you can get that promotion at work! She can always be a stay-at-home mom and live on your six-figure salary. If you're seriously considering showing this to your kids, make sure they're old enough to recognize the moral dilemmas within this movie and take them at face value.

This title has:

Too much consumerism
1 person found this helpful.

Movie Details

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