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You've Got Mail Review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 3.0

    out of 100

    Mixed or average reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 75

    out of 100

    ReelViews James Berardinelli

    A feel-good movie that offers enough comedy and romance to warm the heart without risking a sentimental overdose.

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  • 75

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    The appeal of You've Got Mail is as old as love and as new as the Web.

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  • 75

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Ty Burr

    A perfectly enjoyable star vehicle that does exactly what it sets out to do. [7 May 1999, p.66]

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For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 10+

Predictable-but-sweet romantic comedy.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this 1998 romantic comedy may seem old-fashioned to teen viewers, especially given the technology -- dial-up Internet access and AOL chat rooms -- at the heart of its plot. But they’ll likely find it entertaining, too, and still relatable. There’s a chain-stores-versus-independent-stores debate that may give young viewers pause (but would surely be informative). Plus, expect some discussions about infidelity and cybersex.

  • Families can talk about the central argument of the film: Are big-box stores to blame for the decline of independent stores?
  • Is Joe’s and Kathleen’s relationship believable? Does it matter if it’s not? Do relationships that begin online face challenges that other relationships don’t? Also, talk to your children about instant messaging and other ways to communicate online.

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: Romantic but confusing: Woman falls in love with the very man who helped destroy her family bookstore -- so perhaps the message is, love conquers all? Messages about corporate power over mom-and-pop business.

  • rolemodels true0

    Role models: Kathleen is gracious and poised, and really seems to care about the people who work for her and the families that frequent her bookstore. Joe has many wonderful qualities, but he also seems cold and calculating.

What to watch for
  • violence false0

    Violence: Not an issue

  • sex false1

    Sex: Some references to a man dating women way younger than him; two characters email each other and chat online and acquainted without their respective partners knowing; and there’s a passionate embrace and kiss in the end. Discussions of infidelity and cybersex.

  • language false2

    Language: Infrequent use of “ass” and “hell.”

  • consumerism false4

    Consumerism: Prominent logos for Starbucks, Baby Gap, America Online (and the tell-tale sound of its dial-up service), Zabar’s, VISA, etc.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false1

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Social drinking, primarily wine, at events and restaurants.