The Battle of White Gloves: Super Mario Bros. Wonder Vs. Sonic Superstars

Growing up in the 90’s, I was in an exclusive relationship with Sega. The courting was short, as my father brought home the Sega Genesis and it was unexpected but welcomed love. At the time, Nintendo never entered my mind. I spent my evening with Sonic, Hook, and many other adventures. The years however tired my relationship with Sega, and I found myself hoping for the Corporation that I once knew to return to loving form. One can only wait so long though, as I began to look elsewhere, as I began to look at Nintendo.

On October 17th, I invited myself to fall again, I purchased Sonic Superstars and the possibility of renewed interest felt real! I have wanted so badly to fall in love with Sonic again, and this was my chance. Nothing is ever so simple though, and two days later Super Mario Bros. Wonder showed up at my door looking like a delicious dish.

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My Tryst with the Queen of Romcom, Meg Ryan

Meg Ryan has a new romcom out in theaters called, What Happens Later. A purveyor of ideas of romance and lover of the laughs, I decided to take a deep, spoiler-filled, dive into some of her former movies before going to check this new one out. While I have not yet watched Meg’s latest outing, that is for a future post, I am going to look at where we’ve been before we see where we–or Meg Ryan–is going.

You’ve Got Mail

The entire app dating market has based their economy after the charm of this movie. It’s undoubtedly cute and I loved it in middle school. Then I loved it even more in high school when I picked up more references, like Joe, Tom Hanks, being bothered by Joni Mitchell’s lyrics about the illusions of clouds. Now it hits different yet again all these years later. The movie, more like magical realism than realism, sets reality aside and while there is nothing wrong with fantastical love, I just don’t buy it. I could buy When Harry Met Sally, it felt like these were real people with real struggles. Stuff like this is adorable, but it doesn’t really happen. Yes, there’s that familiar trope that the person you love the most is right in front of you. Where When Harry Met Sally captures that perfectly, You’ve Got Mail captures the fever dream of this fantasy, but that will be explained more later. 

The relationship that I could buy into was the relationship between Kathleen, Meg Ryan, and Frank, Greg Kinnear. I do think it ended a little too happily, but maybe that is because I’ve never seen a breakup in which neither person grieved it at all. Frank seemed like a cute and dynamic person. Rather blandly, opposite to Frank was Joe’s partner Patricia, a bland trope. She was self-centered and surface-level and I’m tired of seeing the “wrong person” for a main character be this “Cinderella’s-step-sister” type. If she was that entitled to begin with, would he have actually been with her? Show me a bad relationship for a main character in which the not-right partner has a great deal of strengths and things they bring to the table, but who doesn’t understand the intricacies of their partner the way they need to. That’s so much more true to life than the overwritten story of the wrong lover we get here. Then again, maybe 24 years ago this was a breath of fresh air.

Timeless though I think, is time itself. The movie lingered too long in that middle hour between 30 minutes and the hour and a half mark. Meanwhile, we needed to spend much more than fifteen minutes when Joe and Kathleen started falling in love in each others physical presence. This could have been the best part of the movie.

And here’s the part where I really don’t buy it, when Joe decided to pursue Kathleen, showing up to her apartment, how did he get her address? George, I guess? But would George really give out her address to someone she hates? And honestly, wouldn’t it be kind of creepy for him to show up there? And then make tea at her apartment?! While he’s there, she slips into bed, he tucks her in, touches her lips before she kisses him. It all seems far too intimate for the relationship that they have before this point. If someone who put me out of business showed up at my door with flowers then made me tea, I wouldn’t be okay with that! Nobody makes me tea in my own house unless we have a very special relationship. It’s adorable, but again, magical realism. I’m not the most socially savvy person in the world, but in general, people don’t use people’s house appliances when they’re not really friends.

On a positive note, I loved the way this movie uses music. Pop music and orchestral music mix to great effect. I fell in love with I Guess the Lord Must Be in New York City when I was in high school because of this movie, and I got a kick out of the Both Sides Now joke by Joni Mitchell, as mentioned, and Stevie Wonder’s contribution is perfect.

My heart is not without passion, and I confess that the last twelve minutes made me smile the whole time. And for that, it gets two Meg’s to protect each other from one Hanks.

Sleepless in Seattle

Every romcom has some elements of unbelievability, but this is no more realistic than The Princess Bride; it’s just in a different genre. Annie is a stalker who hires a private investigator to sus out the man she heard on the radio, chases him to Seattle, then breaks up with her fiancé to go meet him on the top of the Empire State Building on Valentine’s Day. Not only would it not happen, it’s also creepy.

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