We all say life is not like a movie.
Yet, there we are: watching love scenes, holding our breath, holding tight to that Kleenex, and secretly hoping that our soulmate is, at this precise moment, wondering where we are.
“Sleepless in Seattle” is an American rom-com that was co-written by Nora Ephron—a journalist, writer, and filmmaker. Talk about a powerful woman! It’s a love story about Sam, who calls into a Seattle radio show about the loss of his wife, and Annie, who listens in from Baltimore and decides to write to Sam.
I wonder if, through the movie, Nora was displaying her own hopes for a magical love—that she probably learned from yet another movie or novel.
When we watch a love movie, we are permitted to have hope, to believe there is a powerful love that’s been put there just for our heart. If we decide to say this out loud, then we are classified as dreamers, unrealistic, needy. Some think it’s pathetic to believe in true love, that wonderful relationships can exist.
Call me a sucker, but I believe it with all my heart.
These are the moments that made our hearts skip a beat:
“Look, it just doesn’t happen twice.”
That moment when Sam shares with his sister: “I know, I know, look, it just doesn’t happen twice.”
So often, after a messy, sad, and hurtful breakup, we believe this is it. Love will not find us and we are meant to be alone. And then we meet someone—hopefully better than the last—who is more suited to our heart.
This movie was set in 1993, and they still called women desperate for wanting a relationship after a certain age.
What a blessing to realize that life is much more than our job, our friendships, our hobbies. Life is about connection, about sharing. We were not put on this earth among millions of human beings to master independence and wear an “all I need is me” shirt.
When the song “As time goes by” by Jimmy Durante is played—a classic moment.
Listening to this song reminds me that love is always possible, no matter how much time goes by. I picture my soulmate and me slow dancing in the living room to these words:
“Moonlight and love songs,
Never out of date,
Hearts full of passion,
Jealousy and hate,
Woman needs man, and man must have his mate,
There’s no one can deny”
“And I knew it was magic, magic! I knew we would be together forever and that everything would be wonderful!
I know this is a bold statement—and personal experience has shown me it’s not always true.
Yet, if we don’t believe in the relationship, if we don’t believe we can stand together through a lifetime, through sex, laundry, fur-babies, human babies, a lack of sex, scrambled eggs, career ups and downs, and bills—then why do we even sign up for it?
When Annie flies to Seattle from Baltimore.
In the scene, she’s decided to fly to visit Sam in Seattle and is standing across a busy street from his houseboat. When she nearly gets run over by a truck, Sam notices her and walks closer to his side of the street—and from a distance, he says, “Hello.” She says hello back.
Just two words exchanged—and then she leaves and flies back to Baltimore.
When Annie asks her friend Becky over the phone if doing this was crazy, Becky says, “No. That is the weirdest part about it.”
I love this moment because it represents going after what feels right, even if it doesn’t make sense, even if it’s crazy. Not only in relationships, but when we’re finding our place in this magnificent universe. Our gift, our light, is going after what we want, despite all odds.
When we’re confused, learning to listen to our gut, to our deepest feelings, is the safest bet.
Meeting at the top of the Empire State Building.
“It’s you,” says Sam.
“It’s me,” replies Annie.
Of course, once Annie realizes whether or not she should follow her heart with Sam, it seems like it’s already too late—until it isn’t. In movies, almost always, love works out. Because there they are, staring at each other on top of the Empire State Building, united merely by chance.
Similarly, in life, there is much trial and error. But love is a teacher, and every experience can show us what type of love feels right for us.
(And can we take a moment talk about Annie’s outfit when she’s at the hotel in Seattle, talking to Becky on the phone? Wearing her gray sweats, gray sweater, and her hair loose—who would have thought we’d see the same fashion trends in 2021?!)
My message for all of you “Sleepless in Seattle” romantics out there:
Find the highest point of your heart, stand strong on hope, and smile. That’s where you may meet your next true love. And perhaps, then, you will be MTLEO (meant to love each other), whether it is to learn from each other and move on, or to share love lessons for a lifetime.
Betting on love is our way of being human.
There is nothing wrong with believing in love. Those who believe are the ones who are willing to be wrong, to risk being foolish. And those who seek shall find.