OOKING for a happy ever after ending? Romance was in the air when it came to movie blockbusters in the 1990s.
Hollywood was playing Cupid and the rom-com reigned supreme.
Sleepless In Seattle opened in the UK on September 24, 1993, and promptly had cinema-goers rooting for the happy couple.
Tom Hanks played widower Sam whose young son Jonah calls a radio talk show to find the perfect partner for his dad... and a new mum for himself.
Meg Ryan was the newspaper writer Annie Reed who hears his story and starts down the road of a potential new romance.
The movie’s publicity asked: “What if someone you never met, someone you never saw, someone you never knew was the only someone for you?”
The film’s stars only shared around two minutes of screen time together, but that did not stop movie lovers falling for the movie.
The final line saw the couple at the top of the Empire State Building in New York – a homage to the old black and white movie An Affair To Remember – with Meg’s character saying: “Sam? It’s nice to meet you.”
Sleepless In Seattle has gone on to become one of the top romantic movie comedies with Meg and Tom going on to appear together in further romances like You’ve Got Mail and Joe Versus The Volcano.
Meg once said: “Clearly romantic comedy is my franchise genre, I don’t mind saying that, it’s true.
“I love doing them and hopefully always will do them.
“I don’t feel particularly typecast because I think I do so many different kinds of things.”
The decade began with a rom-com high with Richard Gere and Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman in 1990.
Julia said: “I love romantic comedies. I like to watch them and I like to be in them.
“It’s something that’s increasingly difficult to find that spark of originality that makes it different than the ones that come before.”
She went on to appear in a string of feel-good films with My Best Friend’s Wedding in 1997 and Notting Hill in 1999 before reuniting with Richard Gere for The Runaway Bride in 1999.
She later revealed: “I did get to keep the wedding dresses from Runaway Bride. They’re all boxed up in my garage. I’ve never opened them.”
Sandra Bullock also found box office success with While You Were Sleeping. The 1995 movie saw her playing a lonely transit travel token collector who finds herself welcomed into the home of a big-hearted family when she rescues a handsome stranger who falls onto the tracks.
He is in a coma, but his relatives believe she is his fiancée.
Jerry Maguire the following year saw Tom Cruise as a sports agent with Renée Zellweger as the secretary and single mum who believes in him.
Her line, “You had me at hello,” has been described as one of the top movie quotes and Tom Cruise called the movie “a beautiful experience”.
British movie Four Weddings And A Funeral in 1994 also proved a hit in the romance stakes and was one of the big box office successes of the decade.
Hugh Grant played bachelor Charles and played a tape of his best man’s speech at his brother’s wedding for his audition.
Writer Richard Curtis, who went on to write Notting Hill and Love Actually, once pointed out: “If you write a story about a soldier going AWOL and kidnapping a pregnant woman and finally shooting her in the head, it’s called searingly realistic, even though it’s never happened in the history of mankind. “Whereas if you write about two people falling in love, which happens about a million times a day all over the world, for some reason or another, you’re accused of writing something unrealistic and sentimental.” But real-life romance can flourish even in Hollywood and happy ever after endings can be found in Tinseltown.
Rita Wilson, the wife of Tom Hanks, played his sister in Sleepless In Seattle. The couple have now been married 30 years and Tom once said: “There’s no substitute for a great love who says, ‘No matter what’s wrong with you, you’re welcome at this table.’”