You've Got Mail

1998 film by Nora Ephron

You've Got Mail is a 1998 romantic comedy about two rival book shop owners who meet in a chat room and begin communicating via e-mail, unaware of each other's true identities.

Directed by Nora Ephron and written by Nora Ephron and her sister Delia Ephron.

Joe Fox

  • [to Kathleen Kelly] I would have asked for your phone number and I wouldn't have been able to wait 24 hours before calling and asking, "How about coffee, drinks, dinner, a movie, for as long as we both shall live?"
  • [to Kathleen Kelly about her internet friend NY152] Maybe he is fat. Yup. He's fat. He's a fatty.
  • [to Kathleen Kelly] Timing is everything. He waited until you were primed. Until you knew there was no other man you could ever love.
  • [to Kathleen Kelly (Shopgirl) in email] Don't you love New York in the fall? It makes me want to buy school supplies. I would send you a bouquet of newly-sharpened pencils if I knew your name and address. On the other hand, this not knowing has its charms.
  • [to Kathleen Kelly (Shopgirl) in email] Wouldn't it be wonderful if I could pass all my zingers to you and then I would never behave badly and you could behave badly all the time and we'd both be happy? On the other hand, I must warn you that when you finally have the pleasure of saying the thing you mean to say at the moment you mean to say it, remorse inevitably follows.
  • [to Kathleen Kelly (Shopgirl) in instant message] The Godfather is the I Ching. The Godfather is the sum of all wisdom. The Godfather is the answer to any question. What should I pack for my summer vacation? 'Leave the gun, take the cannoli.' What day of the week is it? 'Maunday, Tuesday, Thursday, Wednesday.' And the answer to your question is 'Go to the mattresses.' You're at war. 'It's not personal, it's business. It's not personal it's business.' Recite that to yourself every time you feel you're losing your nerve. I know you worry about being brave, this is your chance. Fight. Fight to the death.
  • [to Kevin] I love Patricia. Patricia's amazing. Patricia makes coffee nervous.
  • [to Kevin] I said we were a piazza, where people could mingle and mix and be…I was eloquent.
  • [to Kathleen Kelly] I met a man in an elevator today who knew exactly what he wanted. And I found myself wishing I were as lucky as he.
  • [to Kathleen Kelly (Shopgirl) in email] The whole purpose of places like Starbucks is for people with no decision-making ability whatsoever to make six decisions just to buy one cup of coffee. Short, tall, light, dark, caf, decaf, low-fat, non-fat, etc. So people who don't know what the hell they're doing or who on earth they are, can, for only $2.95, get not just a cup of coffee but an absolutely defining sense of self: Tall! Decaf! Cappuccino!
  • [to Kathleen Kelly at bookstore, describing his 4-year-old half-brother Matthew and 11-year-old aunt Annabel] Matt is my father's son. Annabel is my grandfather's daughter. We are -- an American family.
  • [to Kathleen Kelly at bookstore] '(Balloons get caught in the door)' Good thing it wasn't the fish!

Kathleen Kelly

  • [to Joe Fox, after first meeting him in "The Shop Around the Corner"] I started helping my mother after school here when I was six years old. And I used to watch her. And it wasn't that she was just selling books, it was that she was helping people become whoever it was (that) they were going to turn out to be. Because when you read a book as a child it becomes part of your identity in a way that no other reading in your whole life does...
  • [to Joe Fox] You were spying on me, weren't you? You probably rented those children.
  • [to Joe Fox] 'Joe. Just call me Joe.' As if you were one of those stupid 22-year-old girls with no last name. 'Hi, I'm Kimberley.' 'Hi, I'm Janice.' Don't they know you're supposed to have a last name? It's like they're an entire generation of cocktail waitresses.
  • [to Joe Fox (NY152) in email] The odd thing about this form of communication is that you're more likely to talk about nothing than something. But I just want to say that all this nothing has meant more to me than so many somethings.
  • [to Joe Fox (NY152) in email] Sometimes I wonder about my life. I lead a small life. Well, valuable, but small. And sometimes I wonder, do I do it because I like it, or because I haven't been brave? So much of what I see reminds me of something I read in a book, when shouldn't it be the other way around? I don’t really want an answer. I just want to send this cosmic question out into the void. So goodnight, dear void.
  • [to Joe Fox (NY152) in email] Once I read a story about a butterfly in the subway, and today I saw one. I couldn't believe it. It got on at 42nd -- and got off at 59th, where I assume it was going to Bloomingdale's to buy a hat that will turn out to be a mistake. As almost all hats are.
  • [to Christina] It will be really easy to stop seeing him, because .... I'm not.
  • [to Joe Fox] I wanted it to be you. I wanted it to be you so badly.

Frank Navasky

  • [to Kathleen Kelly] Listen to this -- the entire workforce of the state of Virginia had to have solitaire removed from their computers -- because they hadn't done any work in six weeks.… You know what this is, you know what we're seeing here? We're seeing the end of Western civilization as we know it.
  • [to Kathleen Kelly]The Olympia Report deluxe Electric. Report…as in gunshot.
  • [to Kathleen Kelly, typing]You are a lone reed, standing tall, waving boldly, in the corrupt sands of commerce.
  • [to Sidney-Ann Strongin on television] Technologically speaking, the world's out of hand. Take the VCR. The whole idea of a VCR is that it makes it possible for you to tape what's on television while you're out of the house. But the whole point of being out of the house is so you can miss what's on television. Radio. Now there's a medium I can get behind.
  • [to Sidney-Ann Strongin on television] Thank your.

Patricia Eden

  • [to Joe Fox] I'm late. Random House fired Dick Atkins. Good riddance. Murray Chilton died. Which makes one less person I'm not speaking to -- (she drains a cup of espresso as a second starts to come out of the machine) Vince got a great review. He'll be insufferable. Tonight, PEN dinner…
  • [to Frank Navasky, at dinner party] You know, what's always fascinated me about Julius and Ethel Rosenberg is how old they looked when they were really just our age.

George Papas

  • [to Christina and Kathleen Kelly] As far as I'm concerned, the Internet is just another way to be rejected by a woman.
  • [to Christina and Kathleen Kelly] This place is a tomb. I'm going to the nutshop where it's fun.
  • [to Christina and Kathleen Kelly] Should I get sausage for the meat sauce or chopped meat..? No, you know what, I'm gonna get clam sauce, 'cuz this is a big date.


Schuyler Fox: Your father is getting married.
Joe Fox: Really?
Nelson Fox: Yes.
Joe Fox: Congratulations!
Nelson Fox: Thank you.
Joe Fox: Why?
Nelson Fox: Who knows?
Joe Fox: Love?
Nelson Fox: Possible.

Kathleen Kelly: I'm not nothing, I have a little money saved.
Birdie Conrad: If you need more, ask me. I'm very rich, I bought Intel at 6!

Kevin: The electrical contractor called, his truck hit a deer last night, so he's not gonna be here until tomorrow. And the upstairs shelves are delayed because the shipment of pine we ordered has beetles.
Joe Fox: Very good, *very* good.
Kevin: And we got a 50,000 dollar ticket for construction workers peeing off the roof.
Joe Fox: Great, that is great. Is the electrician here today?

Joe Fox: I'm sure you must be late for something - volunteering at the Henry Street Settlement, or rolling bandages for Bosnian Refugees.
Gillian Quinn: I am. I'm having my eggs harvested.
Joe Fox: And getting those eggs harvested.

Nelson Fox: Perfect. Keep those West Side, liberal, nuts, pseudo- intellectuals...
Joe Fox: Readers, Dad, they're called readers.
Nelson Fox: Don't do that son, don't romanticize them.

Joe Fox: [on Kathleen's missing date] So who is he, I wonder? Certainly not, I gather, the world's greatest living expert on Julius and Ethel Rosenberg. But somebody else entirely different. Will you be mean to him, too?
Kathleen Kelly: No, I will not. Because the man who is coming here tonight is completely unlike you. The man who is coming here tonight is kind and funny, he has the most wonderful sense of humor...
Joe Fox: But... he's not here.
Kathleen Kelly: Well... if he's not here, he has a reason, because there is not a cruel or careless bone in his body. But I wouldn't expect you to understand anybody like that. You with your theme park, multi-level, homogenize-the-world mochaccino land. You've deluded yourself into thinking that you're some sort of benefactor, bringing books to the masses. But no one will ever remember you, Joe Fox. And maybe no one will remember me, either, but plenty of people remember my mother, and they think she was fine, and they think her store was something special. You are nothing but a suit!
Joe Fox: [gets up, crestfallen] That's my cue.

Kathleen Kelly: The truth is, he was the one who made me start thinking about writing --
Joe Fox: Mister 152 Felony Indictments --
Kathleen Kelly: Mister 152... insights into my soul.
Joe Fox: Yeah. Well. Can't compete with that.
Kathleen Kelly: Well. I keep bumping into you. Hope your mango's ripe.
Joe Fox: I think it is.

Frank Navasky: Technology! Name me one thing, one that we've gained from technology.
Kathleen Kelly: Electricity.
Frank Navasky: That's one. You think this machine's your friend, but it's not.

Joe Fox: It wasn’t personal.
Kathleen Kelly: What is that supposed to mean? I am so sick of that! All that means is that it wasn’t personal to you! But it was personal to me! It’s personal to a lot of people! And what’s wrong with being personal anyway?
Joe Fox: Uh, nothing.
Kathleen Kelly: Whatever else anything is, it ought to begin by being personal.

Frank Navasky: She fell in love with Generalissimo Franco?!
Kathleen Kelly: Don't say that...really, we don't know that.
Frank Navasky: Who else could it have been?! It was probably around 1960 --
Kathleen Kelly: Do you want some popcorn?
Frank Navasky: I can't believe this! I mean it's not like he was something normal like a socialist or an anarchist or something...
Kathleen Kelly: It happened in Spain. People do really stupid things in foreign countries.
Frank Navasky: Absolutely! They buy leather jackets for much more than they’re worth, but they don't fall in love with fascist dictators.

Christina: You are so lucky.
George: You could be dead.
Kathleen Kelly: Are you crazy? This man couldn't possibly be the rooftop killer.
Christina: Remember when you thought Frank might be the Unabomber?
Kathleen Kelly: That was different.

Frank Navasky: You are a lone reed standing tall, waving boldly in the corrupt sands of commerce.
Kathleen Kelly: I am a lone reed?
Frank Navasky: Lone reed.
Kathleen Kelly: I am a lone reed.

Joe Fox: What's his handle?
Kathleen Kelly: Uh...
Joe Fox: I'm not gonna write him if that's what you're worried about.
Kathleen Kelly: Alright, N-Y-1-5-2.
Joe Fox: N-Y-1-5-2. 152. He's 152 years old. He's had 152 moles removed so now he has 152 pockmarks on his face.
Kathleen Kelly: The number of people who think he looks like Clark Gable.
Joe Fox: 152 people who thinks he looks like a Clark Bar.


Wikipedia has an article about: