I found myself watching the American Rom-Com – You’ve Got Mail with Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan the other day. That’s lock-down for you. It wasn’t bad. Kept me interested – amused even. If you haven’t seen it, or, you watched it when it came out in 1998 read on..
A quick reminder of the plot
Meg Ryan owns the cute little Shop Around The Corner in New York offering personal service and children’s story telling. Tom Hanks is a member of the Fox family who own the large chain store Fox Books – and guess what they are building a mega store just up the street from little shop.
Meanwhile unbeknown to both of them, they are having an online relationship and falling for each other despite having never set eyes on each other and them both having other partners, (which apparently doesn’t matter).
This leads to much hilarity and an interesting problem when Fox puts the little shop out of business.
This was romance, 1990s style. Do I even need to point out that it is the woman who has a small business while the big, bad man is about to take over the book world? No. The other resounding feature of this era is the young pretty girl and the handsome man. Very convenient when photos haven’t been exchanged.
Fast forward to present day and two of my favourite films…
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society – excellent film starring Lily James who is a successful writer earning good money – this time the love interest (gorgeous Dutch guy) is living a simple no frills life. But they are still very young.
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel however, is a fine example of a rom-com for seniors featuring a couple who seem totally incompatible despite their long marriage (Bill Nighy and Penelope Wilton), Viagra, ‘coming out’ and a delightful mix of thoughtful sadness and joyous fun. Why the photo of Bill Nighy? Why not?
My latest novel, The Long Marriage, is coming out later this summer
A common theme of my novels is relationships and romance.
The Long Marriage explores relationships which have endured over thirty years, at which time perhaps people take each other for granted. Very few marriages remain a bed of roses throughout. Most of us change as we become more comfortable with a partner. Perhaps we begin to want different things.
In the opening chapter, Roger (60) has just been made redundant from his busy Marketing Director job. His ego is bruised and he soon realises that getting another job at the same level at his age, is near impossible. Ellie, his wife, meanwhile is asked to go full time at the estate agency where she currently does viewings only. All this puts a strain on their marriage.