Dottie in This Is My Life was a strong feminist character as was Annie in Sleepless in Seattle. By the time Kathleen emerges in You've Got Mail, the feminism is gone.
That may surprise some. But that's because I don't define feminism as "Dottie wants a career!" Or "Kathleen owns her own business!"
I define feminism as women. Not woman. Women. A sisterhood.
Dottie has Carrie Fisher for a best friend. (How bad can your life be when you have Carrie as a best friend?) Meg Ryan's Annie has Rosie O'Donnell for a best friend.
And Kathleen? Meg's character in You've Got Mail?
She works with women. She really doesn't have a friend. Do you notice that?
I could take Mr. Hanky's fat ass, but I couldn't take the idea that Meg Ryan's character had no friends.
I have no idea why she lost interest.
The same thing happens to Nicole Kidman in Bewitched. But that might not be Nora's fault. The actress playing the neighbor/immediate friend was really bad. She's bad in everything. But I saw that as Nora walked away from female friendship, audiences were less interested in her films.
I know I was.
So the finest film she directed was Sleepless in Seattle.
She also wrote and co-wrote many scripts. Of those -- of the ones she didn't direct -- I'd argue When Harry Met Sally . . . is the finest with Silkwood right behind it. Both films feature strong female friendships. Carrie Fisher's Meg Ryan's best friend in When Harry Met Sally and Cher plays Meryl Streep's best friend in Silkwood.
Take either woman out and the films aren't as rich.
Closing with C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"