Combined the average ratings (Critic's & Users) from IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes, Metacritic and Letterboxd, and then weighted and tweaked the results…
The Shop Around the Corner
Two employees at a gift shop can barely stand one another, without realising that they are falling in love through the post as each other's anonymous pen pal.
Decades Project: 3/4 of the 40's
"Well I really wouldn't care to scratch your surface, Mr. Kralik, because I know exactly what I'd find. Instead of a heart, a hand-bag. Instead of a soul, a suitcase. And instead of an intellect, a cigarette lighter... which doesn't work."
Growing up in the 90's, there were a lot of bad rom-coms in my house, and while they all became increasingly grating over time, there was always something effective about You've Got Mail. Don't get me wrong, it's not a great movie, but there are these moments where Tom Hanks knows that his business rival Meg Ryan is also his secret romantic pen pal which build tension in an almost Hitchcockian way (show…
So perfectly constructed it can be easy to initially overlook its feeling of spontaneity and human interaction. Even a suicide attempt, framed indirectly by the pop of a light bulb, plays less as black comedy than an impossibly optimistic show of human empathy and interdependence. That its revelation of lovers' identities to each other occurs after all the bright lights have been turned off around them seems so fitting for a film that subtly inverts everything you expect while producing a paragon of generic entertainment.
Jimmy Stewart is perfect.
Film #5 of Project 40
”Well I really wouldn't care to scratch your surface, Mr. Kralik, because I know exactly what I'd find. Instead of a heart, a hand-bag. Instead of a soul, a suitcase. And instead of an intellect, a cigarette lighter... which doesn't work.”
A sweet and light-hearted romantic comedy from Ernst Lubitsch set in the pre-war Budapest. Lubitsch’s films are never complicated, the premise is simple, the milestones are quite predictable and after watching 10 minutes of the film it’s not hard to guess what’s going to happen in the end. Jaw-dropping surprises and twists are not part of Lubitsch’s universe, he only wants to use the magic of cinema to narrate a cheerful and riveting little…
I think I heard the name "Mr. Matuschek" one too many times. It's been running on a loop in my brain ever since, and not in a good way. Nevertheless, I did enjoy the film a great deal, as everything else really worked.
Alfred Kralik (James Stewart) and Klara Novak (Margaret Sullavan) work together at Matuschek & Co. gift shop. Alfred is Matuschek's most long-standing employee at 9+ years. Klara is hired under his supervision when she sold, at high cost, a musical cigarette box disguised as a candy box to a larger woman, with the music being a warning not to eat so much. As the days pass, the two begin to loathe one another at work - while at…
I feel like one of those old kooks, a man of the times from the old era of doing things in wanting to use the cliched phrase to begin this review:
"They don't make em' like they use to!"
Not because I am a man, but I have never been a big fan of the Romantic-Comedy sub genre or Rom-com's as they are now popular abbreviated into. The reason for this is about 90% of the ones you see today are nothing more than formulamatic trash that pump out the same cliche and predictable stories. Their only draw to bring in audiences is to always interchange the actors (more like celebrities as the more famous the better, talent not always…
A timeless tale that successfully captures my heart each time it is told. While I was first introduced with the premise through the musical remake, In The Good Old Summertime, I was just as easily swept away by the charm of James Stewart and Margaret Sullavan.
Everyone should attend Jonathan Rosenbaum's Wednesday lectures at the Gene Siskel. The more, the better. There aren't many things in this or any other city that give back more for the price of admission. And there isn't a public forum in Chicago for discussing movies as fascinating. A polemicist, Rosenbaum thrives on disagreement. The more an audience nods along with his statements, the less he'll say; the more they try to challenge his opinions, or the films themselves, the more insightful his comments become. THE SHOP AROUND THE CORNER is the third Ernst Lubitsch film to be featured in Rosenbaum's First Transition series. And though many commenters tend to reduce the director's greatness to a vague idea--the ephemeral, gentle irony…
The chemistry between Sullivan and Stewart complement the brilliant plotting and dialogue, creating a film even heavier on situational irony than its successor, You've Got Mail: no easy feat. And, you'll be hard pressed to find a rom-com with better cinematography. All this amounts to one of the greatest romantic comedies of all time.
The Brattle Theatre, Cambridge, Massachusetts. Double feature with Trouble in Paradise.
So very deeply charming, as younger Jimmy Stewart is wont to do, though I admit seeing this post-'You've Got Mail' had me scrambling a bit to sort the two. The lively charm of its differing elements, not to mention a finale that quite movingly blurs fantasy with reality - one for a split second believes the film might do a total about-face and say that neither of them were communicating with each other at all - establish this independently as a deeply warming Christmas movie.
In retrospect, I like how Ernst Lubitsch and Nora Ephron spun such identical stories into tonally distinct, and equally commendable, works.
This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Jimmy Stewart and Margaret Sullivan work in a retail shop in Budapest, Hungary. They both have pen pals and are getting close to meeting. Turns out they are writing each other but in person, they fight and insult each other. Jimmy finds out first that she is the one but the meeting is ended when she insults him. Things turn out alright in the end.
A great Ernst Lubitsch film, he was so good with these,
You've Got Mail is a loose remake of this simple cute movie.
Pretty standard film altogether but it's greatly enriched by unusually witty and good writing and Jimmy Stewart's usual low-key charm - which really is not me putting down Jimmy Stewart, because I love that man and will watch anything he is in - but it's elevated by this almost proto-Altman-esque pre-occupation with the shop that these two employees (Sullavan and Stewart) work at and the live's of the owner and co-workers.
Υπέροχο romcom! ♥ ♥ ♥