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Rochdale Observer - - THE LAUGHING BADGER -

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.’”

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