Ah, remember the good ole days of dial-up connections and chat rooms?
You've Got Mail—Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan's 1998 romantic comedy—came out more than 20 years ago this month, and we'd send you a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils to celebrate, if only we knew your name and address.
While it's easy for some to knock the Nora Ephron film for its now-outdated technology (RIP AOL) or maybe being a Sleepless in Seattle quasi-sequel, You've Got Mail is so much more than that—and far outlives the tech used to help tell the love story of Joe Fox (Hanks), of Fox Books, and Kathleen Kelly (Ryan), the owner of The Shop Around the Corner.
It's also love letter to New York. One to independent bookstores (and now, somewhat ironically, for the big bad chains that put them out of business). It's the love letter to all love letters.
Come on, this is the movie that inspired Mindy Kaling to throw a themed dinner party at Christmas, because as any true You've Got Mail fan knows, it totally counts as a Christmas movie. (Never. Enough. Twinkle. Lights.) In fact, she loves the movie so much she even paid homage to it on The Mindy Project, naming a bar after the "so stylish in that really understated hot Manhattan librarian way" Kathleen Kelly.
Yes, Ryan's wardrobe is a true star of the movie. And so is Ephron, who directed the movie and co-wrote it with her sister, Delia Ephron. Ephron, who passed away in 2012, was a journalist-turned-screenwriter-turned-director credited for saving the romantic comedy genre with her signature brand of wit and wistfulness. She loved love but was also practical. She could make caviar funny and flour floating into the air romantic.
And now, we're uncovering some of the best secrets from the classic, which is the rare movie that happens to be so era-specific (they met in an over-30s chat room!) yet so timeless.
This story was originally published on Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2018 at 3 a.m. PT.