02/13/2013 10:31 am ET

Why Doesn't Hollywood Understand Online Dating Yet?

In the movies, love often takes the form of correspondence. The 1940 film The Shop Around the Corner finds quarrelsome colleagues Margaret Sullavan and James Stewart unknowingly exchanging love letters. Fifty-eight years later, in You’ve Got Mail, Nora Ephron’s 1998 revamp of the earlier classic, Meg Ryan’s Kathleen Kelly (screen name: “Shopgirl”) and Tom Hanks’ Joe Fox (“NY152”) fire up their modems to ping e-mails at each other. In Ephron’s Sleepless in Seattle (1993), Ryan and Hanks find each other over the radio, leading to a Valentine’s Day meet-cute atop the Empire State Building, a scene that resolved one of cinema’s greatest missed connections in An Affair to Remember (1957).

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