How 'You've Got Mail' would look with modern technology

The film is celebrating its 20th anniversary

How 'You've Got Mail' would look with modern technology
Stars Insider

19/12/18 | StarsInsider

MOVIES You've Got Mail

Nora Ephron created many classic romantic comedies, but none of which marks such a difference in the times as 'You've Got Mail.' The film, centred around an online romance between two people who hate each other in real life, just turned 20 and so much has changed. Technology has far surpassed the instant chat that was movie-worthy at the time, so much so that it's almost laughable.

Many people wonder whether Kathleen Kelly (Meg Ryan) and Joe Fox (Tom Hanks) would have ever gotten together if they had been equipped with today's smartphones, apps, and GPS locators. Luckily, She Knows reimagined the film in a modern context to see if famous lines like “I wanted it to be you. I wanted it to be you so badly," would have ever been possible. Let us begin!

First things first: if the pair had Tinder, there would be no film. Joe's profile would probably have photos of himself on his boat or cutting a ribbon to open one of his huge bookstores. Kathleen, as a small business owner, would have swiped left so fast.

She would have also never written Joe back after he stood her up at the café. That would now be considered "ghosting," and Kathleen would've shrugged it off and gone out with her girlfriends without ever giving him the time of day again. Ghosting is (unfortunately) very common now, and is a widely accepted characteristic of online dating behaviour.

There would be no mystery of who they are. Online stalking of people's virtual footprint is more common, and a way faster way of getting to know someone than shaking hands and talking to them—not that it's more accurate, however, as Joe turned out to not be as jerk-like as his profession would suggest. If Shopgirl and NY152 were around today, they could probably find each other's Facebook accounts and stalk their oldest posts in minutes.

Some photos would probably be exchanged. Nearly all cell phones and laptops have cameras built into them, and now the word "selfie" exists. People online often exchange photos so they know who they're talking to—the nature of these photos can vary, but Kathleen and Joe seem pretty PG.

Another thing is that their laptops would have been so much smaller. One of the funniest parts of watching the film 20 years later is seeing the enormous laptops the characters are using to chat with each other. With smartphones, they probably wouldn't even be carrying their laptops, but they would definitely be addicted to their screens, and we would see a lot less charisma.

Kathleen and Joe would have noticed that their secret online flame was never online or sending them messages when they were around each other. They only checked their inboxes when they were in their own homes.

Both of their businesses would have to adapt to the times by going online. That, or they'd have to join forces to challenge enormous online retailers that threaten brick-and-mortar bookstores and independent booksellers alike. A modern adaptation of the love story could certainly use that as its basis!

Perhaps emojis would add nuance to their relationship, perhaps modern technology would have destroyed it before it even began, but one thing is for sure: the Internet is no longer such a charmed place as it once seemed.

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