August 24, 2014

There is No Such Thing as Coincidence: Sleepless in Seattle (1993)


I don't believe in coincidence. I think that everything that happens, happens for a reason. That's probably why I love the movie Sleepless in Seattle; it's filled with so-called coincidences that ultimately bring the main characters together, yet they still end up together in spite of the coincidences. This makes perfect sense to me because in reality, how else would you explain two complete strangers from opposite corners of the country meeting each other and ultimately finding a soul mate in each other? Yes, Meg Ryan's character, Annie, did in fact pursue a meeting with Tom Hank's character, Sam, but she did so because she felt a deep connection that could best be described as a "magic." A connection that was confirmed in their first meeting, when they locked eyes.

Starting with the beginning of the movie when Annie accidentally rips her mother's wedding dress during a fitting, even Annie couldn't help but acknowledge that maybe something wasn't quite right as a result of the timeliness of the incident. Then, of course, just in case you weren't paying attention, or chose to ignore the subtle sign of a wrong turn, she then forgets a Christmas present for a family member, which delays her just long enough to be in present in her car, listening to the radio, when Dr. Marsha Fieldstone's Christmas Dreams and Wishes program is broadcasting. This is where she first hears the voice of and perhaps falls in love with Sam. Now, in my estimation, if we all followed the signs in our own lives, we would not only avoid some of the unnecessary hurdles that we face in our romantic lives, but also live more honest and fulfilled lives as well.

Case in point: Annie has a sleepless night, presumably  due tot worrying about her decision to spend the rest of her life with her fiance, Bill Pullman's character, Walter, so she goes to the kitchen and ends up listening to yet another conversation between Sam and Dr. Marsha Fieldstone. Whether you agree or not that she should be with Sam, it is clear at that point that she may not necessarily be meant to spend forever with Walter as her heart does not seem to be fully committed to a life with him; she is bored. But what's equally interesting is how a short time after that night, on her planned trip to find Sam, albeit stalker, as Annie is arriving at the airport, Sam, who is there sending off his current girlfriend Barbara Garrick's Victoria with his disapproving son Ross Malinger's Jonah, first notices Annie and becomes mesmerized. Now, he doesn't become mesmerized  because of her revealing clothing, it was quite the opposite, or her drawing attention to herself, but rather he was simply drawn to her. The irony of that situation and yet another example of why there are coincidences in evident when Sam, who is captivated by Annie, just so happens to notice her as he is informing his son that: "there is no such thing as perfect."

As we all know, by the end of the movie, despite several forced attempts, on the part of Annie, to meet Sam, destiny ultimately guides them to each other and they meet at the top of the Empire State Building on Valentine's Day, proving that there is no such thing as coincidence, but rather a unique map unfolding right before us, leading us in the direction of happiness and fulfillment. The only question is: are you paying attention?