003 Sleepless in Seattle, Automation Sequences, Dave Ramsey

003 Sleepless in Seattle, Automation Sequences, Dave Ramsey
Self-Publish Strong Podcast

00:00 / 55:49

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Andrea: Hi, everyone! Welcome to the Self-Publish Strong podcast. I’m your host, Andrea Pearson. I’m joined by my husband.

Nolan: I am Nolan.

Andrea: Today is – we’re still recording a bunch of episodes ahead of time before we’re going to release them. But, today is February 5, I think?

Nolan: Sixth.

Andrea: February 6, 2018. Do you have any updates for this week?

Nolan: Work stuff that is not applicable.

Andrea: Work stuff that is not applicable. My updates are I finally started dictating the rest of The Temple of Fire, which is the third book in my Koven Chronicles series. It’s an urban fantasy series that I started, I don’t know, about a year ago and released the first book in December because the first book was part of a box set for a while. Anyway, I’m very excited about it. It’s been one of our best selling series so far, even though it’s only been out for just over a month. I’ve got the first two books out and I’m excited to get back to writing. I’ve been spending a lot of time focusing on nonfiction lately, and my body is aching for stories to be told.

Nolan: Oh, my.

Andrea: By the way, I have to tell you something funny, and our listeners might appreciate this. My mom was lamenting to a friend today that my books are so scary and she said, “I don’t know how Andrea tolerates it. They’re so scary.” I was like, “Mom, I’m the one who writes them. I know how it’s going to end up. They’re not scary to me.” Anyway, she’s been reading a lot of my books lately, trying to get caught up while she and my dad volunteer at the prison. They can’t take tablets or phones to the prison, so she brings print books instead, and it’s been fun for her, and I say that in a loose way – fun.

All right, so the motivational quote for today is by Dave Ramsey and it says, “You are the captain of your ship. Steer it.” I’ve been thinking a little bit about that. Ships move around with the water. The water takes them where the water wants it to go. Whether you are taking control or not, and, basically, you have to take control, you have to give your ship and your business purpose and direction. So take your career into your own hands. Tell your career where you want it to go, rather than being caught off guard by where you end up. Do you have any thoughts about it?

Nolan: The movie we’re going to review has a boat in it.

Andrea: It definitely does. It has a bunch of airplanes in it, too. The quote can be said about airplanes as well.

All right, so, our marketing and self-publishing tip for today. I’m actually going to talk about automation sequences. I’ll just give you the basics about them right now and then we’ll delve into each email over the next few episodes. So, an automation sequence is also called a drip campaign, an auto responder, a welcome sequence. Basically, what the purpose of it is, well, it’s what subscribers are sent when they sign up for your list. So, for the most part, they’re triggered, or it’s when you import them or add them. The majority of newsletter services provide automation and MailChimp’s is free and it’s powerful and I absolutely love it. I’ve never had any problems with it. I definitely recommend using MailChimp, but I do know that other services are just as good, especially ConvertKit and AWeber. I know – let’s see, what is it called? – MailerLite has been working on their automation to get it more powerful and more reliable. But, when an automation sequence is done correctly, it will actually sell your books for you. It does it on autopilot for years and years to come. As long as you’ve got it set up, and as long as you’re sending newsletters through it.

So, what it does is introduces you to your readers a little bite at a time. It builds relationships of trust because as people come to get to know you, they come to trust you and it invites people to your street team and invites them to buy your books. Anyway, so my newsletter list is where I make the vast majority of my money. Well, I don’t know, maybe half of it. Well, we’re going to actually sit down and figure it out, but it’s probably half.

He nods his head a lot. He was nodding there.

Nolan: Saying yes doesn’t add anything. Then we just talk over each other.

Andrea: It’s true. Let’s see… The majority of successful authors will say the same thing, that their newsletter list is where they make money. Anyway, so, an automation sequence will also help you get your books reviewed and that’s one of the hardest parts about selling books is getting reviews So, like I said, we’ll delve into all of this in the next few weeks. We’ll talk about each email, one at a time, and when they need to be set up, types of things you need to put in them, etc.

All right. Are you ready to talk about our movie?

Nolan: I am.

Andrea: Okay what’s the movie we’re talking about?

Nolan: Sleepless in Seattle.

Andrea: How excited are you to be talking about this one?

Nolan: Moderately excited.

Andrea: That’s better than I was expecting, honestly. I thought you were going to say not excited at all. I think he did enjoy it. You’ve seen it before, right?

Nolan: Oh, yes. I lived in Seattle when it came out, I think, so it was obligatory.

Andrea: Yes, it was one of those your mom’s like, “We have to watch it. We live in Seattle!”

Nolan: Yeah, pretty much, yeah.

Andrea: All right, you can go ahead. Start us off.

Nolan: Start us off. Okay. Opening scene: graveyard.

Andrea: Great way to start a romance, huh?

Nolan: The structure of Sleepless in Seattle is actually pretty interesting on its own. We will talk about that as more of it comes out. I’ll probably mention it explicitly at some point. But, to start off with, a death.

Andrea: A death.

Nolan: One of the two main characters, Tom Hanks’s character…

Andrea: Sam.

Nolan: …named Sam, his wife just recently died and I guess they’re at the funeral because they’re standing at the graveside and he’s like, you know, your mom got sick so quickly. You know, there was nothing anyone could do for her, and just have to carry on kind of thing. Then scene two is him at work and he looks glum and, you know, someone offers him a card to a shrink because I guess it’s been a while since his wife died and he hasn’t gotten over it. And he finally just says, you know what, I want to move, maybe to Seattle, and that’s the decision to move. One of the lines that he says in the scene is, “I guess I’ll just grow a new heart. It doesn’t happen twice.” And that’s his character. He doesn’t think he can ever find anyone else like his wife and so he’s not even looking. He wants to leave to go to Seattle so he’s not reminded of her at all.

Andrea: Yeah, where were they living? Chicago?

Nolan: Chicago.

Andrea: Yeah.

Nolan: Where he was an architect.

Andrea: Yeah. Since this is a romance, and romance relies heavily on tropes, I wanted to list a bunch of the tropes that this movie covers either briefly or very much. Forbidden love because Meg Ryan’s character, Annie, is actually engaged and she starts to fall in love with Sam at that point. A love triangle for both of them because we’ve got Sam and Victoria and Walter and Annie.

Nolan: Is that really a triangle? Three of them at once.

Andrea: Well, I mean, Sam and Victoria and Annie.

Nolan: Oh, yes, I see.

Andrea: And then Walter and Annie and Sam.

Nolan: Yeah.

Andrea: So two sets of love triangles.

Nolan: I see.

Andrea: I mean, it’s different because, like, they’re on different continents.

Nolan: Continents?

Andrea: Not continents. They’re in different cities. We are trying to watch them develop a romance for each other. This is a very different romance story, basically. Okay, so we’ve got matchmaker because Jonah is one. We’ve got the hero, which is definitely Sam. He’s bitter, angry. As, you know, as Nolan was hinting at. Widower, which is, again, Sam. Love at first sight, which is both of them. Tragic past. Sam. Missed connections, fated to be made at random encounters, true love’s destiny, etc. So, a whole bunch of romance tropes in this.

The difficult thing, actually I’ll talk about later, but I’m just going to that first scene, the very first scene is, we start with a maid and butler info dump. I have to preface this by saying I absolutely love this movie. I had just not watched it with a critical eye before. As a writer, we know that the most important thing is not info dumping, but, obviously, it’s not a huge deal because the movie did really well. But, if I’d done it, I probably would’ve had the kid say why did she die, you know, started off having Sam say, “Well, mom got sick. It just happens.” That’s what he says, that’s how he started, though. But if we could’ve had Jonah start it off then it would’ve felt more like conversation rather than Sam just kind of dumping onto the viewers.

We do have a scene with his sister, who, by the way, is actually his wife in real life. It’s a very brief intro to him. Just, basically, shows how bitter he is and how sarcastic he is. How angry he is and how not ready he is for romance.

Then, when they move, I like the touch of the map gradually waking up. I don’t know if you noticed that the light gradually showing on the states on the map of the country and it kind of… it tells us ahead of time what’s going to be happening with Sam because Sam is bitter and angry and he will gradually wake up to the idea of falling in love again. It’s not like a quick thing, you know. It just gradually happens.

Nolan: Okay, so next we meet our other main character, Meg Ryan’s character named Annie. She and Walter, her fiance, are going to visit her parents. They’re walking up the stairs to the house recounting all the memorized things about her relatives.

Andrea: About what?

Nolan: Her relatives.

Andrea: Her relatives, yes.

Nolan: Like aunt so-and-so is the redhead or whatever and you can tell by the disappointed expression on her face and all this stuff…

Andrea: Oh, yeah, yeah yeah.

Nolan: So everything is very scripted, very controlled.

Andrea: So-and-so’s the redhead and you can tell by disappointed expression…

Nolan: That’s all I recall. I don’t know if she’s disappointed to be a redhead or just a redhead is disappointed.

Andrea: I remember the line disappointed by the expression on her face. I remember that.

Nolan: So, yeah, so, you know, she wants everything to be perfect, right? She’s trying…

Andrea: Annie.

Nolan: Annie. She’s very structured, right? They announce their engagement and then they go through the allergies thing, right?

Andrea: I have a comment on that.

Nolan: He’s allergic to everything, so he’s a mess. She can only be attracted to messes apparently. She needs to fix somebody. Not uncommon, I suppose.

Andrea: No, that’s actually a good point because it ties in with later comments I have about her, which I will go in later, but…

Nolan: Yeah. Anyway, there’s lots of inane family banter and talking.

Andrea: It’s not my favorite scene. In fact, I mean, actually, and I know the whole point of it is to make you feel uncomfortable because it’s an uncomfortable situation. I mean, my thing with that is Walter. We can’t fall in love with Walter because she’s not going to end up with Walter and so they give him… I kind of feel like him being allergic to everything is a cop-out.

Nolan: It’s a safe flaw. We’ll talk about safe flaws a lot in this.

Andrea: Yeah, we can’t have her dating a complete jerk. Otherwise, she comes off as weak or as an idiot, but, I mean, it’s a safe flaw. That’s a good way to put it, but I don’t really like it.

Nolan: It seems clumsy.

Andrea: Yes.

Nolan: It’s not like…

Andrea: Oh, Bella. Bella’s is very clumsy, but then again that’s a safe flaw. That’s her only flaw. You want to go over Twilight later, don’t you? I definitely don’t.

Nolan: There’s a lot of material.

Andrea: Oh! I was going explain why we didn’t do Twilight.

Nolan: Well, we put up a poll and people wanted Sleepless in Seattle.

Andrea: People wanted Sleepless in Seattle. I gave them a bunch of different movies. Sleepless in Seattle was included and Twilight was included and people voted on Sleepless in Seattle. That’s actually something that our Patreon supporters will be doing from now on. I just wanted to make sure our second episode wasn’t one that, you know, potentially offended people because I know that a lot of people love Twilight, but, maybe it’s just the book.

Nolan: Not everything to say about Twilight is bad.

Andrea: It’s true. Actually, I’m…

Nolan: Unless it’s the movie version, which is less good. Even though there are things I thought were interesting about how they shot it. Anyway…

Andrea: We’ll talk about that in its own.

Nolan: Yes, and we’re in this movie now. Anyway, safe flaws are something you give a character, who otherwise is fine, a way out…

Andrea: Yep.

Nolan: …emotionally…

Andrea: Exactly.

Nolan: …for the audience. Like I said, clumsiness or something. They’re not a jerk. There’s nothing really wrong with them. It’s just, “Oh, they’re clumsy.”

Andrea: Yeah.

Nolan: Or they have an annoying laugh.

Andrea: Yes.

Nolan: Which is not a real flaw.

Andrea: No.

Nolan: You know what I mean. It’s not like they kill puppies or something.

Andrea: But, you know, Victoria and Walter both have other things that keep them away from and they didn’t need to give them these safe flaws. They could have just left it with the… we’ll talk about them later. I don’t want to talk about it just yet, but, well, basically the lack of connection that Annie has with Walter. That’s huge, you know.

Nolan: Yes, and they bring that up in the next scene. The next scene from this dinner is Meg with her mom, or Annie with her mom. Trying on the wedding dress.

Andrea: Yeah.

Nolan: I guess it’s a family heirloom thing. They talk about the main point of Annie’s character, which is signs.

Andrea: Signs or science?

Nolan: Signs. S-I-G-N, signs.

Andrea: Okay.

Nolan: She doesn’t believe in signs. She likes predictability and structure and safeness, but she really does want signs because…

Andrea: She sees the wedding dress rip…

Nolan: Yes, they talk about blah, blah, blah, it’s a sign, she’s like, “Oh, I don’t believe in signs,” and then the dress rips and she says, “Oh, it’s a sign!” and then…

Andrea: Her mom’s like…

Nolan “You don’t believe in signs,” and that reveals her character. She wants signs. She wants destiny.

Andrea: Yeah.

Nolan: Even though she claims that she wants the structure.

Andrea: Yeah.

Nolan: So there you go.

Andrea: One little bit about maid and butler. We’ve got an instance here where her mom says, “I probably told you this a million times, but I don’t care,” and that right there, that’s a great way to have maid and butler happen is where the character recognizes that they’re saying something that they’ve repeated multiple times. But, I really like that because we’ve got the, you know, the magic and it really catches Annie’s attention. You know, when her mom says, “It was magic,” and Annie was like, “Magic” and then they talk about, you know, how her dad was good in the sack and all that and and Annie’s like, “It’s all clockwork. There’s no magic there,” and she’s recognizing that, you know, this is, I think, the first time she recognizes that her relationship with Walter is not perfect.

Nolan: Her mother mentions that Walter’s a formal name and does he have a nickname or anything like that. No. And this kind of defines the relationship as well that it’s kind of a formal structured…

Andrea: Yeah.

Nolan: …relationship.

Andrea: Yeah, yeah, exactly. Okay, so I really loved Sam’s reaction to Jonah calling the radio station, you know. It’s so real, his anger.

Nolan: Yes.

Andrea: You know, it’s not contained. It’s, you know, he’s like, “A doctor of what? Her first name could be Doctor!” He’s very real in that scene.

Nolan: Also, why is a kid habitually listening to a radio psychologist?

Andrea: That’s a good question.

Nolan: They don’t want to do that normally, so that broke the fourth wall for me. It took me out of the movie. I was like, “Why is this kid listening?” Because he threatens. He’s like, “I won’t listen to your show anymore.”

Andrea: Yes. So why is he listening in the first place? Maybe…

Nolan: It makes it sound like it’s a thing he does.

Andrea: Well, I mean, it could be, like, a character development thing that they’re trying to put in there where Jonah is concerned about his dad, so he’s been listening, trying to get help.

Nolan: I suppose. Yeah, okay, fair enough. They could’ve mentioned something about it because I was just like, “Why are you listening?”

Andrea: Yeah, I mean, the dad could’ve been like, “Are you listening to that again? Oh, you actually called?” or something like that.

Nolan: Yeah, something like that.

Andrea: Yeah, just to give us a little bit of a thing.

Nolan: One other thing that happened during this radio scene is that Annie and…

Andrea: Sam.

Nolan: …Sam say, “Sure you do,” at the same time.

Andrea: Oh, that’s right, yeah, they both, they…

Nolan: They’re like, “I don’t want to intrude..” or whatever,

Andrea: Yeah.

Nolan: And they both say, “Sure you do!” So they had a connection, well, Annie did because she’s listening on the radio to him.

Andrea: Yeah, good point.

Nolan: That’s the first.

Andrea: Without having ever even met. It’s huge.

Nolan: That’s the first connection. Well, she has a connection to him. Most of the movie is her trying to deal with this possibility. If there is a connection to him.

Andrea: When she doesn’t really have one with Walter, and trying to see a connection with her and Walter, that is not there.

Nolan: This is the first time that this happens.

Andrea: It is a good contrast between her relationship with Walter. You know, that even though she’s never even met this man, you know.

Nolan: She already felt more of a connection…

Andrea: Yeah.

Nolan: …from his radio interview.

Andrea: Yeah. Okay, so then we move on and we’re with Meg Ryan. So Annie and Becky, her best friend, and I love this. This was fantastic, showing, rather than telling. So Meg Ryan’s in there talking and Becky, they’re talking about this radio program and they’re – I don’t know what they’re doing – they’re, like, getting food or eating lunch or something.

Nolan: Well, okay, so the reason why Annie’s listening to the radio is her and Walter split up to go somewhere and she’s like, “You go on ahead. I’ll go by myself.” She’s driving the car and she’s listening on the radio and then she stops in a diner where everyone’s talking about the interview with Sleepless in Seattle, the name of Sam on the radio.

Andrea: Yeah.

Nolan: That is what happens next.

Andrea: Yeah, we forgot to tell people, in case you haven’t seen Sleepless in Seattle, she hears a radio interview.

Nolan: Yeah, sorry, we’re new with this still. Anyway, and everybody in this diner is talking about Sleepless in Seattle, which they don’t do because you don’t listen to radio psychologists in diners either.

Andrea: It might be a special diner. Suspend your disbelief, okay?

Nolan: Sorry.

Andrea: Okay, so what I really like about this, this scene with them eating lunch together, is they don’t tell us that Becky and Annie are best friends. They show us. So, Annie sits next to Becky and she touches her several times, like in a friend, best friend, way. Like, touches her on the arm. They just interact with each other. They’re friendly with each other and it’s just a great way to show us that they are best friends rather than say, “This is my best friend.”

Nolan: I guess the interview’s still going on, right? During when she’s in the diner. Because I have some notes, like…

Andrea: Oh, you have notes on the diner itself? Okay.

Nolan: So the psychologist asks, like, “So, do you think there’s someone else out there?” and he says, “It’s unlikely.” He talks about when he met his wife and he just took her hand to help her out of her car and he knew that they were supposed to be together and then Meg and Tom Hanks say, “Magic,” at the same time because it was like magic.

Andrea: Magic.

Nolan: She says it and there it is again.

Andrea: Yeah.

Nolan: That distant connection. The magical connection.

Andrea: Yeah, the connection.

Nolan: Which she is aware of and he’s not.

Andrea: Well, it’s amazing, and I really like this, because we don’t actually see – he doesn’t see her or even become aware of her until, like, an hour and 27 minutes into the show.

Nolan: Yes.

Andrea: And we can talk about that again later, but, there’s that connection as soon as he sees her stepping out of the plane.

Nolan: The plane.

Andrea: The plane.

Nolan: It’s what will happen in the future.

Andrea: Yes.

Nolan: Yes. So we find out in the next scene, Meg is a reporter. Do you have anything else?

Andrea: I’ve got… Oh, okay, so, okay. So, in that same scene with them eating food, Annie is talking about Walter, and Becky’s body language shows she just can’t stand him.

Nolan: She rolls her eyes.

Andrea: She rolls her eyes, she’s just like, “Ugh, Walter again?” and you have to wonder why, as a best friend, why she hasn’t said anything or maybe she has and Annie just plowed right over her, like, I want to date this guy, but, you know, they always say your best friends, if they don’t get along with your best friends, you know.

Nolan: Anyway, okay, so the next scene you find out Meg is a reporter. They suggest that maybe she should write something about this, but I think she turns that down.

Andrea: She laughs it off, doesn’t she?

Nolan: Yeah, because she totally wants to, but she doesn’t want to, and then they have the fake statistics.

Andrea: Oh, yeah, the terrorist. That’s the scene I’ve been talking about where it’s more likely to die. And that gets repeated in the show.

Nolan: Yes. It’s a running gag, I guess.

Andrea: You can tell the joke. Tell them what it is.

Nolan: I don’t remember.

Andrea: More likely to die after a certain age by a terrorist attack than to…

Nolan: …get married after 40.

Andrea: Yeah. We see New Year’s Eve with Jonah and Sam where they show that Jonah and Sam have a healthy relationship. Am I skipping ahead of you?

Nolan: No, I’m good.

Andrea: Okay, so it just shows that his relationship with his son is healthy and that he’s lonely and it’s important with romance. One thing, the pace is really slow. A very different pace in this story from Jurassic Park. And that’s the way romance is. You have to focus on the emotions and the relationships, like Becky and Annie’s relationship with each other and Sam and his relationship with his son, Jonah. And then, of course, his relationship with his wife because she actually appears to him. What is it? A dream or a hallucination?

Nolan: A memory, I guess. An interactive memory.

Andrea: Yeah.

Nolan: Anyway. My next scene is the New Year’s thing, I think. During this thing, she’s like, “Oh! Walter did the funniest thing. What was it?”

Andrea: “What was it?”

Nolan: And she cannot remember a funny thing he did.

Andrea: Yeah.

Nolan: Because he’s not memorable.

Andrea: I have to say…

Nolan: Which was what I got called by somebody who is in this room.

Andrea: When I first met Nolan, we were set up on a blind date, and it was, like, the worst blind date of my life. I mean, I’m sure that it’ll come out eventually in these podcast episodes, but he didn’t call me for a month after that date and I didn’t remember who he was. I didn’t remember the date. I didn’t remember anything about it. It was divine intervention, I will tell you right now, because I wrote in my journal that I was never going to go out with him again. Anyway, and then, because he worked seven days on seven days off, he would text me every other week and I didn’t remember who he was, in between those, you know, those periods of not texting. I was like, “Who is this?” and I’d scroll up and I was like, “Oh, yeah, that guy again!” Anyway, obviously it works out for people. It did work out for us.

Nolan: Yes.

Andrea: I wish we were recording…

Nolan: It’s okay to be forgettable is what I just learned. That’s another piece of advice.

Andrea: That’s awful. He is not forgettable, I will have you know.

Okay, so, Sam and his client. We see him with his client and she’s constantly changing things. That’s a little thing that we hear throughout the movie. She pretty much never gets her house finished because she’s always asking them to change things and she’s like, “She just wants it perfect!” and “I heard you on the radio, Sam!” and “You should’ve told me!” and just very dramatic. I think that was more of a plot device than a character. We don’t really care about her. It just shows that people care about him, and that they were listening to the radio. Just shows how many people heard it.

Nolan: Yes. What else do you…? My next one is so… New Year’s, right? New Year’s party. She’s at a party with Walter dancing and then he’s hallucinating about his wife.

Andrea: Oh, yes, yeah.

Nolan: Maybe hallucination’s a…

Andrea: A strong word?

Nolan: …negative connotation. Remembering his wife. And that’s how they spend New Year’s. Then Walter says, “Hey, we should go to New York to register. We should register for our wedding.” He just says register. And she’s like, “For what?” You know.

Andrea: I don’t know. I’m with her. Like, for what?

Nolan: Yeah, he’s like, “You know, for, like, plates and cups and stuff?” and she’s like, “Oh, yeah, that would be, like, swell and stuff.”

Andrea: Yeah.

Nolan: Because she’s not really there now.

Andrea: No, no, yeah.

Nolan: She’s emotionally disconnected from him, which he even mentions later. Let’s see, my next one is where she’s listening to the radio in the closet.

Andrea: That’s an awesome part. Okay, so I’m just going to talk about…

Nolan: And then, after… Okay, so. So, after the New Year’s event, Sam gets a ton of mail.

Andrea: Okay, That’s where I am, too.

Nolan: And then he’s like, “Holy crap.” And then they’re trying to find out where all these girls are from. In this scene, once he realizes that he’s desirable, he starts to begin to think about dating again.

Andrea: Yeah, because he got, like, hundreds and hundreds of letters.

Nolan: Yeah, two-thousand letters and he’s like, “We need to narrow down to people that are, you know, like, close by.”

Andrea: Yeah.

Nolan: So he doesn’t even, like, say, “No, get these out of here.”

Andrea: He doesn’t want to read them. He has Jonah read them.

Nolan: Exactly. But he doesn’t reject it entirely…

Andrea: He doesn’t throw them away or anything.

Nolan: Exactly, which is what you would think. So that’s his first step.

Andrea: That sets the stage. They show that the letters are important. That lets us know that the letters are important. That Annie’s going to be introduced to them through a letter. Otherwise, they wouldn’t have that in there at all. So that scene has a purpose right there. I like that he says he’s, like, “This is not how it’s done,” because he doesn’t want to read a letter and meet someone. He said he wants to see somebody and know that there is one, I like that because he gets his way and Jonah gets his way as well.

Nolan: Yes.

Andrea: Because Jonah is the one that’s instigating all of this.

Nolan: True. He’s our protagonist. He’s the one that actually…

Andrea: No, he’s a plot device.

Nolan: He gets it done.

Andrea: Yeah.

Nolan: He’s not the hero, he’s the protagonist.

Andrea: Yeah, well, a plot device is somebody that sends the plot forward.

Nolan: He’s the one that takes action. Sam is just, like, a bit of flotsam.

Andrea: Everything is acted upon him.

Nolan: He is passive almost all the way through. He does decide to move to Seattle, but otherwise Jonah is the one who’s, like…

Andrea: Moves everything forward.

Nolan: Yeah.

Andrea: Yeah.

Nolan: And takes decisive action to reach a goal.

Andrea: Did you notice Annie and Walter’s nighttime routine?

Nolan: Oh, yes, yes. By her nightstand is a stack of books and by his is a humidifier.

Andrea: I’m talking about the part where he’s getting his humidifier and has all that stuff set up. And she’s, like, doing her own stuff and, like, their backs are to each other and, yet, she knows to hand him a tissue at the right time and then she takes the garbage away and throws it away. Everything they’re doing is methodical and clock-like. It’s mechanical. No romance. It’s completely dry. I mean, it’s kind of the way marriage gets after a little while, but, I don’t know. I think that in a romance romance you need to have… There needs to be sparks flying, you know?

Okay, so my next comment’s on the apple.

Nolan: Okay.

Andrea: Are you ready for it?

Nolan: Go ahead.

Andrea: Okay. Annie’s peeling an apple in one long strip while she’s talking to Becky on the phone. Later, Sam says his wife could peel an apple in one long strip.

Nolan: Oh, there you go. I have it.

Andrea: It’s a nice little touch.

Nolan: They listen to the radio at night and peel an apple skin in one piece. Then, later on, that’s one of the things that he mentions that he missed about his wife…

Andrea: That she could do it. Yeah, it was just a nice little touch, just kind of tying the characters together. Show little bit more of that connection.

Nolan: And then she talks about having fantasies about Sleepless and is it just cold feet with Walter or is it really a thing.

Andrea: Yeah. Let’s see. Where are you in your notes?

Nolan: Oh, yeah. Oh. This is the next event for Sam, what makes him want to date, is his son has a girlfriend.

Andrea: Oh, really? I didn’t even think about that.

Nolan: Jessica. He sees him with a girl and he’s like, “Who’s that?” And he’s like “She’s Jessica.” And after that he starts asking his friends about dating advice.

Andrea: Oh, see, I didn’t even notice that.

Nolan: He’s like, “What the heck? My 8-year-old son.”

Andrea: “My 8-year-old son has a…” yeah. Well, what I really liked about that interaction with Jonah and Jessica, is that it shows that Sam is completely lost. He has no idea how to handle his son with… I mean the part where, “Will you have sex with her?” “Well, I sure hope so!” and “Is she going to scratch up your back?” and “What? Where’d you get that from?” “Somebody has cable and the girls always scratch up the guy’s back.” It just shows how lost Sam is, like, where a mother would probably take on that role, the role of instructing and teaching and, basically, a sounding board. So he knows how to handle his son’s…

Nolan: Yeah, he’s a little disengaged from… He’s always complaining about things his son is doing, but then doesn’t take the time to…

Andrea: Well, it’s because…

Nolan: …figure out what he’s doing.

Andrea: It’s showing how lost and confused he is.

Nolan: He always looks a little confused.

Andrea: He’s not sure… he can’t be a mom and a dad. He said he doesn’t know how to take his son and teach him and guide him.

Nolan: Yeah. Okay. So. Yeah. “Hi, dad, this is Jessica,” and he’s like, “What?”

Andrea: Yeah. All right. So my next comment is about Victoria. Are you there yet?

Nolan: No. So the next one is Meg and her friend, what’s her face?

Andrea: Becky.

Nolan: Becky. Her friend, Becky, says… they’re watching An Affair to Remember, I believe. She says you don’t want to be in love. You want to be in love in a movie.

Andrea: That’s Becky saying that.

Nolan: Becky says that. Yes. And that’s true.

Andrea: Yeah.

Nolan: She wants the magical thing and she just hasn’t admitted it to herself yet.

Andrea: She wants the magic, the zest, the spontaneity, serendipity.

Nolan: Because she keeps trying to say, “No, no. What I have with Walter’s fine.”

Andrea: It’s great.

Nolan: Great, yeah. And that doesn’t convince anybody or herself.

Andrea: And she’s like, “Walter is unpredictable.” And we’re like, “No, Walter is not unpredictable. I mean, he’s a mess, but he is very predictable.” Everything they do together is like clockwork. It’s very predictable.

Nolan: Yeah, he has this safe flaw of allergies, but they have to plan, like, all their meals and everything, you know, like, it’s very structured.

Andrea: Yeah. And when Becky’s like, “Well, what about Walter?” And she’s like, “Oh, Walter!” She hasn’t really thought of… it shows that she… I mean, she’s thought of him a lot but it’s like, “Crap, I forgot,” you know, type of thing.

Nolan: Then next is a scene where they’re both sitting on benches.

Andrea: Oh, yeah.

Nolan: At night. So, she goes… I guess they’re just sitting on some park bench nearby, and he’s thinking about his wife and she’s thinking about him. So that reinforces, like, she’s got a thing for him. He’s got a thing for his wife.

Andrea: Okay, so, we’ve had throughout all of this, we’ve had a lot of examples of how people get together by coincidence. Annie doesn’t believe in coincidence and, yet, the way she met Walter was coincidence. They got the wrong sandwiches. The way her mom met her husband was coincidence. The way Sam met his wife was coincidence. The way Becky met Rick was coincidence. And all of this is all just random things and she doesn’t believe it. And, yet, she’s…

Nolan: Well, she did say that she’s believed it was just a coincidence.

Andrea: But that it wasn’t a sign.

Nolan: It wasn’t a sign.

Andrea: Okay. She can’t possibly brush shoulders with Sam while she’s in Seattle and he’s in Baltimore. So she doesn’t really believe in coincidences, but she sets things up. You know. She’s the one that stalks them online – in their version of online.

Nolan: In their 90s version of on-line.

Andrea: Yeah. She’s the one who writes a letter, though Becky is the one who sends it. She’s the one who goes out there. She’s the one that’s doing it. She’s going to set everything up for them to accidentally brush shoulders.

Nolan: Yes. Like we said, Sam is finally deciding to date and he asks out…

Andrea: Victoria.

Nolan: …Victoria. The interior decorator for one of the projects he’s working on.

Andrea: Yes.

Nolan: And right before he’s going out with her, Jonah reads Annie’s letter.

Andrea: Oh, yes.

Nolan: And he’s like, “This is her!” because she likes baseball or something like that.

Andrea: Yeah.

Nolan: Some detail.

Andrea: Is that the one baseball player? Everybody says that so-and-so was whatever.

Andrea: Yeah, the best, whatever.

Nolan: And, no, they don’t, but the point is, that it’s more than coincidence to Jonah.

Andrea: I see what you’re saying. No, they don’t. Not everyone…

Nolan: …would say that.

Andrea: Exactly.

Nolan: I mean, if you’re a fan of…

Andrea: And Jonah’s like, Dad! She’s the one! I really like her!” And then asking Victoria out. The lack of connectivity. He calls her, but she’s very… She’s like… He’s like, “I wanted to see if you wanted to have a drink?” He’s like, “Oh, dinner’s fine.” “Friday’s good.” “All right.” “Okay.” “I’ll see you there.” “That time.” “Okay.” It just shows there is no connection between the two. She’s the one that’s pushing everything, which is fine, but it just shows that it’s not a strong enough desire on his side. She’s definitely more into it.

Nolan: It’s not a full partnership.

Andrea: Yeah, exactly.

Nolan: The attraction’s not equal.

Andrea: Yes. One thing that this movie is absolutely great at. It’s great at showing us that Annie’s relationship with Walter is wrong. It makes us yearn for her to find the right one. She’s surface happy with him, but she’s completely unfulfilled and unhappy underneath everything. She’s ignoring that. She’s totally not paying… She thinks everything with him is great, you know, she’s just, “Walter. Things are great with Walter.” And even to come to a point where she lets go of Sleepless in Seattle to start dating Walter again, that’s more towards the end of the movie, but, you know, where she’s trying to give everything to Walter.

But, so, writing romance, you need to show how someone goes from being incomplete to complete. Not both characters need this, but we need to have something that shows why they need to be together. And this movie is showing us that they’ve got a connection even though they’ve never met. And they’ve done that several times, they’ve done a very great job showing how incomplete they are and how they’ve got a connection. It leads us to believe in and yearn for them to make a connection so that they will be complete again.

Nolan: So Annie hires a detective.

Andrea: Oh, yes. Totally, totally wonderful.

Nolan: Yeah, so this is why she’s not a good person and I’m not particularly sympathetic to either of these characters. He not-so-casually takes pics. He’s dressed like a private detective. I believe he’s got a hat and a trenchcoat and the whole thing, taking pictures with the actual old-school film camera with a lens.

Andrea: Yes. Old-school. You mean back then, that was regular school.

Nolan: Regular school because they didn’t use cell phones. They certainly didn’t have smart phones with cameras so…

Andrea: No. How did she afford to hire a private detective?

Nolan: Yeah, that’s not inexpensive. I mean, she could if she wanted to spend her money that way.

Andrea: I mean, I have friends who’ve hired private detectives. It’s cost, like, $10,000.

Nolan: Wow. Okay, so she’s serious.

Andrea: I mean, the ones that I know that have hired private detectives, like, to stalk ex-spouses for judgments, you know, for judges and information for courts against divorces and things like that, it’s like, $10,000.

Nolan: Wow, I should’ve done that instead. Okay.

Andrea: You should’ve become a private detective? I thought you were saying you should’ve hired one against me instead.

Nolan: No, I have to build my case, yes, you’re right. No, I mean, all you have to do is, like, take pictures of people doing it, basically.

Andrea: Whatever. You’re terrible,

Nolan: Who aren’t supposed to be doing it. And then you’re just like, “Here you go.”

Andrea: Oh, that’s awful. One note, sorry, one note. They share two minutes of on-screen time where they’re actually in the same space together and so in order for it to be a romance… I mean, it’s a romance because they end up together and they’re falling in love. Well, Jonah is falling in love with Annie and Annie’s falling in love with an idea, but it still works. It’s still one of my favorite romances, but you have to have an emotional connection. There has to be an emotional connection somewhere and so we’ve got the hope of one between her and Sam. But, the emotional connection is between the side characters, you know.

Nolan: And they build risk because, like, will Sam end up with Victoria? Because now he’s starting to try to make a connection with somebody.

Andrea: Yes.

Nolan: Which Jonah doesn’t like.

Andrea: Yes.

Nolan: He hates her and attempts to sabotage their budding relationship. This drives him to call the show again…

Andrea: Oh, yes.

Nolan: …while they are kissing. The ho.

Andrea: Before we get to that, I want to talk about their first date. Did you notice… This is… I’ve seen this movie a million times. This the first time I’ve noticed that Victoria knows the guy’s name who seats her and he knows without asking what drink she wants to drink. So what is this trying to show us about Victoria? I mean, either she goes on lots of first dates or she always eats out, But…

Nolan: I see. She did pick the restaurant they went to.

Andrea: That’s true. So I’m… I don’t know… Like, I think they’re trying to show that she’s desperate. I mean, that she’s always…

Nolan: Maybe not desperate, but she has her crap figured out, I guess. I don’t know what I’m trying to say. Like, she takes control.

Andrea: Yes, she knows what going on.

Nolan: Sam’s a little lost and a little emotionally desperate, and then, she just comes in and she’s like, “Okay, let’s go here, at this time, and this is what I like,” and that sort of thing. He’s just, like, along for the ride.

Andrea: Yeah.

Nolan: ‘Cause he wants to score.

Andrea: Yup.

Nolan: Because it’s been a while, I guess.

Andrea: And there’s my comment on the detective. How did she find… Okay, how did she find a reputable one? How do people find…

Nolan: I don’t know. She works for some newspaper so, I mean, she probably…

Andrea: That’s true.

Nolan: She used her nosy reporter skills.

Andrea: Yes.

Nolan: As Mega Mind would say.

Andrea: I love… we need to do Mega Mind!

Nolan: We could do Mega Mind.

Andrea: All right, so Victoria’s laugh is annoying, like Walter having tons of allergies. There’s our safe flaw.

Nolan: Safe flaw.

Andrea: It’s too easy. Well, okay, so my first thought was, get creative. Make it more fun. But then I was like, no, because Victoria’s not supposed be a huge character, so a safe flaw, an easy flaw, is fine. Because she’s just a plot device.

Nolan: Yeah, she’s two-dimensional anyway. to get to know her more integral flaws. The person who doesn’t like her is Jonah. So it has to be something that, from the perspective, something that a child wouldn’t like.

Andrea: Yeah.

Nolan: Because that’s the objection.

Andrea: She’s like, “I haven’t been camping in a long time.” And Jonah’s like, “Dad, we’ve got to go camping!”

Nolan: Yeah.

Andrea: Anyway, so the kissing scene. Let’s go to that.

Nolan: The kissing scene. So they go on another date, I guess. Anyway, they’re kissing outside – they being Victoria and Sam – and, then, Jonah calls the radio show again and the psychologist tries to talk him down.

Andrea: Yes.

Nolan: Because he’s panicking about the ho.

Andrea: The ho! “He’s kissing her! He’s kissing her!”

Nolan: The psychologist is like, “Good, he’s finally opening up. You may not like it, but it’s good for your dad.”

Andrea: Sam loves the attention and it is opening him up. I mean, it’s getting him ready.

Nolan: It did, actually, yeah. Ready for the possibility. So, and then he screams to stop the date and said he saw a spider. On the first date they had, he called him in the middle of the date.

Andrea: At the restaurant. “Are you bleeding? Are you dying?”

Nolan: Yeah, to say that he should meet Annie. Sam should meet Annie in New York. Which is very – what’s it called? – An Affair to Remember. This movie is a… I don’t want to say tribute because it has, like, the exact opposite plot structure. But, then, I guess it fulfills the thing that never happened in An Affair to Remember because they never meet at the top of the Empire State Building.

Andrea: That’s true.

Nolan: But, they do in this.

Andrea: Yeah.

Nolan: So there you go.

Andrea: I actually made comment, “What? She didn’t get hit by a taxi on the way?”

Nolan: She should’ve gotten hit by a taxi on the way. Then they’d just drag her in a stretcher up the stairs, I guess.

Andrea: Okay, so Jonah… I like Jonah’s comments when Victoria and Sam are kissing. He says, “He’s not sane enough to make any judgments!” So, Jonah knows what his dad’s going through. Jonah knows that his dad’s not in a position to be picking Victoria right now.

Nolan: Rebound. Not good.

Andrea: No. We know all about reb… No. We don’t know all about rebound relationships. Though I did break up with a guy five days before our blind date.

Nolan: Yes. Annie decides to do the interview with Sleepless in Seattle.

Andrea: Yeah.

Nolan: Which is a complete cover.

Andrea: Yes.

Nolan: She talks to her friend – what’s her face?

Andrea: Becky.

Nolan: I can never remember her name. Becky. She’s like, “I think I’m going do the thing,” and she’s like, “Yes!”

Andrea: “Yes, you should do the thing,” and that’s all.

Nolan: That’s the whole… she just gets up and walks out of her office and that’s it.

Andrea: Yes, it’s awesome. It just makes it all official without being official.

Nolan: Yeah, I just think it’s funny.

Andrea: She’s like, “Now I’ve got the company’s approval. I can go!”

Nolan: Yes, but she tells Walter she’s going to Chicago.

Andrea: Yes, yes.

Nolan: Which is a lie and she feels guilty about it and tells the person sitting next to her how guilty she’s feeling.

Andrea: The lady’s like, “Don’t you just hate flying?” and Annie’s like, “Oh, yes, I just told biggest one to my fiancé!”

Nolan: Yeah, exactly, and the lady’s like, “Uh, what?”

Andrea: And she’s like, “I meant flying.”

Nolan: Yes, not lying.

Andrea: And then when Victoria says to Sam, “Maybe we should spend some time alone,” Sam’s initial reaction is kind of repulsion, honestly. “Like, he’s a little bit, he’s like, “Oh, I don’t know if I’m ready for that,” and that’s honest. That’s when we first meet Annie, is that scene.

Nolan: Yes, they’re both in the airport. So, everybody meets up in the airport. They’re dropping Victoria off because she’s got to go do a thing and then…

Andrea: I don’t even remember what she’s was going to do.

Nolan: I don’t think she even says. Like, “Oh, I just hate to have to go.”

Andrea: Oh, that’s right.

Nolan: They don’t really say because it doesn’t matter, which is fine, perfectly good. And, then, so, they drop her off and then Jonah and Sam are having a, like, argument about how much he doesn’t like Victoria. And he wants, you know, he wants to meet Annie.

Andrea: Yeah.

Nolan: And then Annie walks off the plane, into the…

Andrea: Terminal.

Nolan: …terminal, and Sam sees her.

Andrea: Yeah, and that’s our meet cute right there. An hour and six minutes into the movie.

Nolan: Yes. One hour and six minutes into the movie, the two main characters, one main character sees the other main character.

Andrea: Annie already had her meet cute at the beginning when she heard him on the radio.

Nolan: Sort of, yes. That’s what makes this movie’s structure so different. He doesn’t say… he doesn’t sound…

Andrea: He’s just stunned.

Nolan: I mean, yeah, he sees her.

Andrea: He’s dating Victoria, so…

Nolan: Yeah. I mean they’re in an airport. Whatever.

Andrea: He just stares. He’s like, “Whoa!”

Nolan: Yes, so he has that moment that he wanted for meeting somebody. While seeing somebody in this case, but there you go. And that’s where he gets… he has his connection, finally.

Andrea: Yeah. But he doesn’t know who she is. He doesn’t know it’s Annie. Nobody does.

Nolan: And she came there to see him, so she’s actually, like, headed to his house.

Andrea: Yes. She tries to meet up with him multiple times. She keeps barely missing him.

Nolan: And she’s fumbling with a map.

Andrea: Yes. Seattle.

Nolan: And trying to find out where he lives. And yes, Seattle really is that confusing. It’s one of the worst cities to navigate…

Andrea: Portland.

Nolan: …as far as I’m concerned.

Andrea: Portland’s up there, too. I hate navigating Portland.

Nolan: Yeah, downtown is… there’s just a lot of just a lot of one-way streets so it’s terrible. I went to college in Portland. I was always telling people how to get around, like randomly, like, anyway.

Andrea: Let’s see… So just a general piece of advice about romance is your meet cute should happen about within the first 10%. This is obviously a very, very different structure and they pulled it off. It works, but most romances do not follow that structure successfully. So, if you want to write this kind of story, this one, and was it Serendipity? Serendipity, they needed the beginning, though. So, that’s different, so… I don’t know. I’ve not really seen a lot of movies that have this sort of structure.

Nolan: Yeah. Anyway, so she goes to meet him. She finds the place where they live which I guess is like a boat house. They’re gone, so she turns around. She sees them leaving on a motorboat and she decides to follow them. So she drives…

Andrea: Haphazardly.

Nolan: …haphazardly, I guess to the beach where they’re at, but decides not to talk to them and just watches them play together and have their father-son time and she likes it. You know, it’s endearing to her. And, then, she almost goes to go talk to them. She’s parked across the street. And, then, his sister shows up, who he mistakes for the ho.

Andrea: Who the detective mistakes for the ho.

Nolan: I suppose. Well, Annie does, too. They’re two different people. She just assumes that it’s the ho because he hugs her and Jonah hugs her and it’s like a joyful reunion.

Andrea: It’s so confusing. He’s hugging his wife in real life. It’s his sister in the movie.

Nolan: Yeah. And, so, she hesitates.

Andrea: Yeah.

Nolan: She hesitates in the middle of the street.

Andrea: And almost get hit by a semi.

Nolan: The semi blows his horn, and then he turns around and sees her again. The woman he saw in the airport.

Andrea: Yeah. And they say hello.

Nolan: They say hello and that’s at one hour and 12 minutes in.

Andrea: Yep, so their first exchange of words is, “Hello.”

Nolan: Yep.

Andrea: And, of course, we get Becky and Annie, and Becky’s like, “Hello?” And, of course, then we have to watch that, “And all I could say was hello” from An Affair to Remember.

Nolan: Yes. Okay, so the next scene we’ll talk about is Walter and Annie registering. Outside the window you’ll see a heart. A white heart I believe with a black silhouette on it that is actually Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan’s actual silhouettes.

Andrea: In real life.

Nolan: In real life. I noticed that, thank you.

Andrea: And I’ve never noticed that. I mean, I know I said I read the trivia from IMDB and I’ve never noticed that.

Nolan: It confirms my observation. Boom. And that’s another sign. They’re together in a window. It’s a sign. Nobody sees it. It just kinda pans over it, but it’s them.

Andrea: Yeah. And then we’ve got the scene where – I don’t know if we’re past this or not – but Annie is falling apart and Becky’s following her around and taking care of everything. Like, turning off the water, taking the tape thing out of the garbage can – taking An Affair to Remember out of the garbage can. And picking up her tissues and garbage.

Nolan: She swears this is right, so she swears off An Affair to Remember. She’s done. She’s going to marry Walter. They’re going to go do the registry thing.

Andrea: Yeah.

Nolan: That’s right before the scene I was talking about.

Andrea: Yeah.

Nola: So that’s her break with it. She’s like, she tried, you know, it’s over.

Andrea: With Sleepless in Seattle.

Nolan: With Sleepless in Seattle. It’s over. I’m going back to Walter. So the next scene is Walter, right?

Andrea: The next scene is Sam and his brother-in-law with his sister.

Nolan: Okay.

Andrea: So they’re sitting there and the sister starts to cry about a movie. Was it An Affair to Remember? I mean, I’m sure it was.

Nolan: Yeah, it was.

Andrea: That’s the theme. The other two start talking about The Dirty Dozen. I love this. They’re talking about The Dirty Dozen and they’re crying about the ending and apparently all of that was completely ad-libbed. None of it was planned. Which I love that because I’m an outliner, but I go off my outline very regularly. Because, I mean, if you’re an outliner, you need to have that flexibility, because it adds humor sometimes. Sometimes it adds character growth. Other times it makes things more real. Sometimes if you follow an outline too strictly, your characters don’t have room to grow. But, I love that, because it was, you know, funny.

Nolan: It was funny. Now are we to the registry scene?

Andrea: Yes. Annie’s trying to make things work with Walter and she spends forever explaining to him why she needed to move on. What was distracting her, and she’s trying to convince herself, not him. He’s like, “Yeah, sure, yeah, sure, yeah, sure.”

Nolan: Walter notices that she’s been distant but that she’s come back.

Andrea: When he proposes to her, when he actually… I noticed she wasn’t wearing a ring the whole movie, you know. When he finally gives a ring to her, he just comes up and plops it on the table in front of her and it’s, like, there’s no surprise there. There’s no… it’s not complicated. It’s very, very predictable, very… he’s, like, “I got the ring now, here it is.” You know. She said she doesn’t like surprises. She says he’s full of surprises. She acts like he’s unpredictable, but he’s not, and she obviously wants surprises.

Nolan: They do pick out the same place settings. They’re just like his grandmother’s.

Andrea: That’s true, and they both want 10. Ten pieces. He’s like, “Twelve’s too many, 8 is too few.”

Nolan: Yeah, eight’s too few.

Andrea: So they did have a connection there. I mean, they actually have lots of connections, you know? I mean…

Nolan: They wanted the same sandwich which is a lettuce and tomato with nothing else.

Andrea: Yeah. And then their nighttime routine where they just know what each other wants and does. But… all right, so, we’ve got… Annie’s finally come clean. She’s told lots of lies, but her character and progression and growth means she needs to fess up about it.

Nolan: So this is when they’re having dinner.

Andrea: Are you there?

Nolan: Yes.

Andrea: Okay.

Nolan: So we’ll rewind a little bit. Jonah decides to go meet Annie.

Andrea: Oh, yes, yes.

Nolan: So he had his friend Jessica, her parents are travel agents, and so she books a flight. She being…

Andrea: Jessica.

Nolan: …Jessica, the child.

Andrea: Yes.

Nolan: Books a flight for Jonah to go meet Annie on Valentine’s Day.

Andrea: Empire State Building.

Nolan: On the top of the Empire State Building. And, so, he goes without telling his dad.

Andrea: Yup. It freaks his dad out, of course.

Nolan: His dad is going for a holiday with Victoria. Weekend special, I believe he called it.

Andrea: Yes, but it doesn’t end up happening.

Nola. No. So, he goes. So Jonah goes to New York and he’s in New York. That’s where they’re going to register. And she’s in a tower across from the Empire State Building. She sees it over there and that’s when she decides to tell Walter what she’d been up to.

Andrea: Yeah, and I’ve got a note about that. She breaks up with Walter after confessing, but at that point, when she breaks up, she still doesn’t plan to go and see Sam. I think that’s important because we want to have her be somebody who’s not gonna be, like, decide to go to get Sam and then break up. We want her to tell him. She gives everything to the relationship. She does try to make it work, but then she’s like, this is not going to work and what am I gonna do. And then she looks over. The heart shows up on the building and she’s like, “it’s a sign,” and then she decides. And, so, I like that with her because she’s been doing little things here and there that are kinda dishonest. Lying about going to Chicago when she really went to Seattle and, you know, actually – what’s the word? – was fantasizing about another man. But, at this point, she comes clean. She does things right by Walter, and I really like that about her.

Nolan: They have the easiest breakup ever.

Andrea: No, actually Meg Ryan’s, I was just going to say, in You’ve Got Mail, her breakup with him. The guy… the typewriter guy.

Nolan: Oh, yeah.

Andrea: Apparently, Meg Ryan has good breakups.

Nolan: Yeah. Not very eventful at all. I know it’s a public place over dinner, which is pretty typical. They’re just kind of like, “Eh.”.

Andrea: Yes. So her growth. She goes from not believing in signs to recognizing them and being okay with them, and realizing that she’s not good with Walter. And then Sam’s growth goes from bitter to sarcastic to open and so his is more, but his is a stronger development, you know. His personal growth goes farther because he started farther away.

Nolan: Yeah. And then… so Sam finds out pretty quickly that Jonah has gone to [New York] and follows him.

Andrea: Yeah.

Nolan: And then…

Andrea: He gets the top of the building.

Nolan: He’s there for a long time, until the building is closing, and his dad finds him, and he’s like, “You know we’re going to be okay, right?”

Andrea: Yes. And they just barely missed each other getting off the elevator.

Nolan: Right, so they’re going down the elevator and he’s coming up out of the elevator. They miss each other and so she’s there by herself.

Andrea: She gets Howard out of the backpack.

Nolan: The stuffed teddy bear. And then, so, yeah. Jonah wins again. He forgot his backpack, so they go back for his backpack and that’s when they finally meet.

Andrea: Yes.

Nolan: How into the movie is this now?

Andrea: The end of the movie.

Nolan: Like, this is the last scene of the movie.

Andrea: Yeah, pretty much.

Nolan: This is the top of the tower.

Andrea: Yeah, and it’s one of those they know. They see each other and you see the connection. With only two minutes of on-screen time, you have to make it count, so they’ve got lots of long lingering looks. This is where you get the romance in, you know? They’re not going to kiss. It’s unbelievable for them to kiss, but this is where a lot of romance stories start, is this scene, you know, but in theirs, this is their ending scene.

Nolan: Yup. So, yeah, they just hold hands and he can’t stop looking at her and she, like, furtively looks out of the corner eye and he’s just staring at her…

Andrea: And I think he…

Nolan: But not in an uncomfortable, weird way.

Andrea: I think that he pulled off…

Nolan: Awestruck.

Andrea: Yeah, I think he pulled it off better than she did, because she’s kind of like, her head’s craned unnaturally. I’m like, I think Tom Hanks pulled it off better than she did there, but…

Nolan: Yeah. Yeah.

Andrea: So, takeaways from Sleepless in Seattle.

Nolan: The weirdest structure for sure I think of… the most atypical structure of anything we’ll talk about.

Andrea: Yeah.

Nolan: Very different than our first two podcasts.

Andrea: Very different from other romances.

Nolan: Very different from other romances or anything that we’ll cover at all. The most interesting thing about this movie to me was it’s structure.

Andrea: Yeah.

Nolan: I mean it’s really weird.

Andrea: It does work, though.

Nolan: Yeah, it works as a movie. It does. It had that inspiration of the other movie.

Andrea: An Affair to Remember.

Nolan: An Affair to Remember, was its inspiration, has nothing whatsoever structurally to do with it, other than it finally completes that scene that didn’t happen in An Affair to Remember where they meet at the top of the Empire State Building.

Andrea: Yeah.

Nolan: So that’s, like, it’s happy ending finally. It’s like, what if those two did meet, you know. So they made a movie about it and put it in Seattle. But, they they did it backwards. They did the whole story before the meeting instead of them meeting and having the trials of getting together. All the trials happened before.

Andrea: Yeah.

Nolan: Because the whole point of the movie was that there were signs and they’re meant to be together, so they finally get together, you know they’re going to be together.

Andrea: Yeah.

Nolan: This is getting there.

Andrea: Yup. It’s the journey. Anyway, so next time we’ll do Star Wars and then after that we should do Twilight.

Nolan: Okay. That’s the order that the poll went in.

Andrea: Yeah, pretty much. Thank you for listening. Do you have anything… any closing remarks about…

Nolan: No. Playing with the structure of things can be fun. I guess there’s tropes for a reason and people respond very well to them.

Andrea: Yeah.

Nolan: But, understanding the rules and when to break them can be more powerful.

Andrea: Yes.

Nolan: When done successfully. Otherwise people think you’re insane and don’t buy your stuff.

Andrea: Exactly. That was a better way to sum up what I was saying earlier. This structure is not one that a beginning author’s going to pull off very well.

Nolan: It’s a lot of the tropes. It has the essence of a romance. The elements are there, just really flipped on their heads about timing.

Andrea: Yes.

Nolan: The timing is the biggest thing they messed with.

Andrea: Yeah, I agree with that. I’m not asking where people can find you because it’s only been two days since I last asked you.

Nolan: These are very compressed. These early ones, so not a lot’s going on between…

Andrea: Today and two days ago. People can find me. Don’t forget to check out the free courses on selfpublishstrong.com. You’ll get them through your automation sequence that I have set up. I don’t like it when authors send out one video a day. So, what I did, was I recorded all my tips into one video and then I sent that video as a whole video in the first email along with the other totally separate video that you get for free if you go to selfpublishstrong.com. And then, again, support us on Patreon. Go to patreon.com/selfpublishstrong. Help us pick future movies and ask questions on marketing and self-publishing and get them answered. And that’s it.

Nolan: Bye.

Andrea: Bye.


“On My Way” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License

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