Before I went to art school and became a cynical, borderline conspiracy theorist who was easily offended (isn't this just what happens when you go to art school?), I was a depressed teen in desperate need of romance. Not being allowed to date in high school, I turned to stories of love, dating, and heartbreak in popular culture. Romantic comedies just seemed so adult - grown ups, working as journalists, newscasters, or in advertising, falling in love with their co-workers after a series of misunderstandings. They were probably nemeses at first! Or maybe the person they were attracted to was their best friend's ex! Or maybe one was a widow and the other an engaged neurotic and they lived in opposite sides of the country.
Somewhere, in the years recent, I became embarrassed to admit how much I loved Nora Ephron and Sleepless and Seattle. But that film was one of my favourites. Tom Hanks, living with his son in a waterlogged home in Seattle, and Meg Ryan, with her nineties ponytail and sassy friend Rosie O'Donnell, were so special. Two people, brought together by the radio. There are secret investigators, star-crossed letters, and, to top it off, a young Gaby Hoffman who conspires with Tom's son to bring it all together. It's an appropriately sweet film, and one hardly worthy of art school credibility. But it was the perfect anecdote for a teenager looking to be wooed.