The summer’s hottest date movie, Sleepless in Seattle, Nora Ephron’s update of chaste 1950s Hollywood weepers, contains absolutely no sex — and barely a smooch. Nevertheless, filmgoing couples leave the theater hand in hand. We asked couples in that most Midwestern of towns, Peoria, Ill., how the movie made them feel and got these answers straight from the heartland:
Irving Weigensberg, 61, physician
Marilyn Weigensberg, 60, homemaker
She: I liked the movie; it was sweet and romantic. I started crying a little at the end, which is totally corny.
He: It wasn’t very realistic, but you hope things like that happen.
She: It inspired him to go home and cook dinner for me. What more can you want?
Doug Zimmer, 28, farmer
Beth Zimmer, 28, homemaker
She: It was sweet and romantic, the way love should be.
He: It might have made us feel more romantic, but now we’re going home to our kids, so it doesn’t matter.
James DeBritz, 24, student
Maureen O’Donnell, 22, student
She: It was all right, but it was totally sappy.
He: My baseline of romanticism is pretty high. It’s hard for something as insignificant as a movie to cause that to peak or fall.
Bob Reed, 44, newspaper production worker
Liz Reed, 41, piano teacher
She: He doesn’t need a movie like this to make him feel more romantic. He’s always horny.
He: Whatever she says.
Sanish Carr, 30, teacher
Karla Carr, 26, occupational therapist
He: It reminded me of our first date. We were at the zoo; first we bumped and then we held hands. I felt the magic right away.
He: That was Jan. 21, 1989.
He: Now she’s six months pregnant, so we know the magic worked.
She: Enough already.