What ‘Sleepless in Seattle’ gets right/wrong about Seattle

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What 'Sleepless in Seattle' gets right/wrong about Seattle

Rom-coms are notorious for largely undoing your disbelief, but how do you feel about a romantic comedy that ends with a couple first meeting?

This is exactly what “Sleepless in Seattle” asked of its audience 25 years ago. When it was released on June 25, 1993, the whole movie depended on the idea that two people could be so attracted to each other that they would instantly fall in love as soon as they looked at each other, whether it was upstairs or the Empire State Building on Westlake Avenue North.

That brings us to the main star of Sleepless in Seattle, the city.

It was one of the many 90s products – Frasier, Microsoft and Starbucks – that put Seattle on the map, raised our public profile and gave our city a “face”.

They haven’t done everything right – for every sight they visit that wows the Seattle viewer, there is just as much that baffles and confuses (Meg Ryan! Why are you driving like this while chasing the man you are vague about are interested? )

RELATED: Is “Sleepless In Seattle” The Most Toxic Rom-Com Ever?

The film reflected a lot of changes for almost everyone involved: star Tom Hanks switched from comic book personality to more serious actress in the 80s, Nora Ephron got her first chance as a director, the core idea of ​​the film is mostly about a man who haven’t been on a date since the 1970s and is now dealing with a new wave of feminism that is shaping the dating market.

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“Sleepless in Seattle” came out in 1993, a big year for Seattle. Grunge was still going on and sports was fun to watch (Randy Johnson’s pitching, Sonics in the playoffs). Those things ended, but the legacy of the film lives on, through the crowd of tourists screaming …
(DVD for the 10th anniversary of “Sleepless in Seattle”)

2of22nd“There’s Tom Hanks’ house!” Nineteen years after “Sleepless in Seattle”, the famous Lake Union houseboat (left) has become one of Seattle’s most famous icons. (Seattle Post-Intelligencer Archives).

Houseboats looked charming back then, but not everyone has loved them since.  The city proposed a ban on new houseboats in 2010 because they are believed to be harmful to fish and plans to take action 3of22nd

Houseboats looked charming back then, but not everyone has loved them since. The city proposed banning new houseboats in 2010 on the grounds that they are believed to harm fish, and wants to crack down on “houseboat-like boats”. (Joshua Trujillo / seattlepi.com)

The newest floating homes in Seattle (pictured) don't look like Tom Hanks' 1978 Cape Cod-inspired home.  (It hit the market in 2008 with a listing price of $ 2.5 million, by the way).  Here is a home in Wards Cove, a community where receipts are billed as the last new floating residences on Lake Union.  (JOSHUA TRUJILLO / seattlepi.com)4thof22ndThe newest floating homes in Seattle (pictured) don’t look like Tom Hanks’ 1978 Cape Cod-inspired home. (It hit the market in 2008 with a listing price of $ 2.5 million, by the way). Here is a home in Wards Cove, a community where receipts are billed as the last new floating residences on Lake Union. (JOSHUA TRUJILLO / seattlepi.com)

The Athenian at Pike Place Market served as a colorful backdrop for Tom Hanks and Rob Reiner to talk about tiramisu and the fears of dating.  (5of22ndThe Athenian at Pike Place Market served as a colorful backdrop for Tom Hanks and Rob Reiner to talk about tiramisu and the fears of dating. (Screenshot “Sleepless in Seattle”.)

The Athenian, opened in 1909, was once again a restaurant for locals and vintage cars.  Photo: Joey DeVilla, Creative Commons Flickr.6of22nd

The Athenian, opened in 1909, was once again a restaurant for locals and vintage cars. Photo:
Joey DeVilla, Creative Commons Flickr.

The Athenian is also now a crowded tourist destination where people come to enjoy the great view and the look at the bar stools that Hanks and Reiner sat on.  (Mike Urban / Seattle Post-Intelligencer)7thof22ndThe Athenian is also now a crowded tourist destination where people come to enjoy the great view and the look at the bar stools that Hanks and Reiner sat on. (Mike Urban / Seattle Post-Intelligencer)

The Dahlia Lounge also served as an atmospheric backdrop for Tom Hanks and his date.  But then the restaurant was at its old location on 1904 Fourth Avenue. Photo: angela n., Creative Commons Flickr.8thof22nd

The Dahlia Lounge also served as an atmospheric backdrop for Tom Hanks and his date. But then the restaurant was at its old location on 1904 Fourth Avenue. Photo: angela n., Creative Commons Flickr.

After the film, the Dahlia Lounge moved to its current location on Fourth Avenue in 2001.  The converted interior (picture), however, preserves the intimate atmosphere of the old place.  (2012 Google Street View)9of22ndAfter the film, the Dahlia Lounge moved to its current location on Fourth Avenue in 2001. The converted interior (picture), however, preserves the intimate atmosphere of the old place. (2012 Google Street View)

This is what 1904 Fourth Avenue looks like today, according to this Google Street View photo from 2012.  After the Dahlia Lounge moved it became the Toi Restaurant.  But that closed.10of22ndThis is what 1904 Fourth Avenue looks like today, according to this Google Street View photo from 2012. After the Dahlia Lounge moved it became the Toi Restaurant. But that closed.

11of22nd“Sleepless in Seattle” was the eighth highest-grossing film in the country in 1993, with Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan (“Sam and Annie”) as the great romantic couple of the year.

Hanks and Ryan resumed their chemistry in the 1998s 12thof22ndHanks and Ryan repeated their chemistry in 1998’s You’ve Got Mail. (Warner Bros. / Getty Images)

These days, Seattle romances look a bit ... different (and the properties are fancier, too). 13of22ndThese days, Seattle romances look a bit … different (and the properties are fancier, too).

Meg Ryan was too 14thof22ndMeg Ryan was also “America’s Favorite” in movies, especially romantic comedies, in the 1990s. (Screenshot “Sleepless in Seattle”).

Meg Ryan is here today.  It appears in 15thof22ndMeg Ryan is here today. She can be seen in Half the Sky, a new PBS documentary on gender-based violence that aired on Monday October 2nd. (Frederick M. Brown / Getty Images)

16of22nd“Insomniac” also captured a more innocent time when you could say goodbye to your loved one at the airport gate. Or, in the case of Tom Hanks, catch your first glimpse of your love. (Screenshot “Sleepless in Seattle”.)

The days of romantic hells and farewells at the gate are long gone and have been replaced by TSA screeners and machines.  (Ethan Miller / Getty Images)17thof22ndThe days of romantic hells and farewells at the gate are long gone and have been replaced by TSA screeners and machines. (Ethan Miller / Getty Images)

Do you remember the adorable kid Jonah, son of Tom Hanks?  What happened to the actor?  (18thof22ndDo you remember the adorable kid Jonah, son of Tom Hanks? What happened to the actor? (Screenshot “Sleepless in Seattle”.)

Ross Malinger played precocious Jonah.  His IMDb page ends in 2006 with a listing of his appearance on the TV show 19thof22ndRoss Malinger played precocious Jonah. His IMDb page ends in 2006 with a listing of his appearance on the TV show “Without a Trace”. Before that he was “Touched by an Angel” and “Party of Five”, in which he was pictured in 1998 with actress Lacey Chabert. (FOX)

20thof22nd“Insomniac” was the first of many great roles in the 1990s for Tom Hanks, who starred in “Philadelphia”, “Forrest Gump” and “Apollo 13”. He is pictured with Jessica Lange in 1995 after winning a Golden Globe for Forrest Gump. (AFP / Getty Images)

Tom Hanks today.  He's still an A-list actor with whom he leaves Oscar season 21stof22ndTom Hanks today. He’s still an A-list actor who is leaving Oscar season with The Post, where he played Ben Bradlee. (Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images)

22ndof22nd“Sleepless in Seattle” will always be remembered as one of Nora Ephron’s favorite films. Ephron, who visited Seattle in 2006 and toured the Central Library (pictured), died in 2012 at the age of 71. (Scott Eklund / Seattle Post-Intelligencer)

And at the time, the city was facing a pretty big change: the takeover of Amazon was waiting in the late 1990s. When the film was shot in Seattle, the official population was just over 525,000. Now there are nearly 700,000, and for many city dwellers, that difference seems to have happened in the past few years alone.

RELATED: Beyond “Insomniac”: 132 Movies That Co-Star Seattle

Does any of this owe any of this to “Sleepless in Seattle,” the title of which gave people something to stick with the idea of ​​Seattle and plaster on novel T-shirts at the airport? Probably not. But it still feels like a pretty big moment in Seattle’s history as an up and coming city.

In honor of Sleepless in Seattle, who is of legal age to rent a car, stop by and try to figure out how many changes you can see between the city skyline then and now.