Is Sleepless in Seattle a Movie About Three Stalkers?

I’ve been pushing the limits when it comes to sleep lately due to the Kickstarter campaign (check out the sketches for the board art here–there’s a poll!). So I thought it might be time to mention a blog entry I’ve thought about for a while: Is Sleepless in Seattle, known as one of the most romantic movies ever, actually a creepy movie about three stalkers?

In the movie, Meg Ryan becomes obsessed with a man she knows nothing about after hearing him pour his heart out on late-night radio. She starts writing him letters, and then she actually flies all the way to Seattle to search out Hanks, who doesn’t know she exists.

Tom Hanks, on the other hand, sees a pretty woman (Meg Ryan) he knows nothing about and becomes infatuated with her, to the point of following her in his car.

I’m pretty sure that Hanks and Ryan have very little contact throughout the movie. I think the kid is the conduit for most of their communication, i if you can call it that. So we’re talking about two complete strangers stalking each other, not realizing that they’re stalking each other.

The movie culminates with the kid completing the creepiest stalk of all, flying all the way to New York and cornering Ryan at the top of the tallest building in New York.

How is this movie a romance?!?

And don’t go all, “Oh, but it’s so sweet…they’re meant for each other….” Not going to cut it. Tell me why it’s romantic. And yes, I know how romantic it feels at the end, particularly that last scene. I also know that sense of romanticism when I see a girl from across the street and think she has a kind, pretty face and a tight, sexy body. But I don’t follow that girl to her house. I don’t write her letters–nay, I don’t write letters to her kid–and while thinking I love her even though I know nothing about her. I’d get arrested if I did those things.

I will say: Meg Ryan was stunning back then. I don’t blame Tom Hanks for thinking it was love at first sight.

I think it’s fascinating that a film that is considered one of the most romantic movies of all time is a stalker movie. What does that say about our society?

I’m not trying to ruin your favorite movie, by the way. I’m just trying to make sure that people don’t confuse stalking with romance. Because some people do.