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.
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.
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…
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…
The Shop Around the Corner is a timeless romantic comedy. Its place in cinema is assured because it is one of the greatest Christmas films, but, even though I have returned to it numerous, it is still an amazingly fresh film. As funny and quietly romantic as it always was, with the added dramatic throughline, that makes the film's light moments work all the better. It is a beautifully paced film; Ernst Lubitsch never falls prey to the screwball conceit of the screenplay, but rather he normalises the story with a dash of Golden Age magic. James Stewart is excellent in the lead role, his vaguely gauche, lean and tall look, combines well onscreen with Margaret Sullavan's charming, but not…
I defy you to watch this movie as a teenager and not fall in love with Jimmy Stewart. Seriously, though, I can't be the only one who developed a massive crush on circa 1940s Jimmy Stewart in the 2000s.
This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Was James Stewart the most charming dude to ever act in the movies? His stammering, everyman works in almost every situation. From an undercover tabloid journalist in The Philadelphia Story, to a paranoid forced shut in Rear Window, to heroic politician with a non-traditional heroic past in The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, to dozens of other roles in dozens of other movies. There’s a reason why when they remade The Shop Around the Corner, they cast the present king of charming everymen, Tom Hanks. For some reason. I’ve seen the Hanks remake (You’ve Got Mail) and not the original. Which just doesn’t seem right. So, I fixed that today.
Alfred Kralik (Stewart) works in a small department store for…
Major reservation—and admittedly, a petty one—is that the balance of power in the central relationship is firmly weighted towards Kralik, with Clara mostly jerked along until the sublime ending. A necessary evil, perhaps, but definitely one that sours the prickly café meeting given Kralik's full knowledge of the situation by that point, which shades his actions with a tinge of manipulation. That the dynamic is clearly tied to the film's themes of perspective and point-of-view, of projection and concealment, tempers the sourness somewhat, and Kralik's salesman-like attempts to reveal another side of himself to Novak have a definite romantic ache. But it's not quite the yearning perfection I had hoped for. That said, everything else works beautifully, with every…
I want to work at Matuschek and company, it looks like such a delightful place full of compassionate people. Klara and Klarik were so lovely and all their bickering was so entertaining.
I loved how they gradually got to understand each other, until eventually they got to truly know each other under the shelter of darkness at where else but Matuschek & co.
- There's a beautiful girl!
- Very beautiful, but no book.
- No book...
So easy to fall in love with these two :)
Watched this because I noticed my dad watching it on tv one day. After I watched with him for a few minutes, I realized that it bore a striking resemblance to You've Got Mail starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan, so I asked my dad about it, to which he replied, "Oh yeah, they're pretty much identical." Needless to say, he was not wrong. While I understand why some would appreciate Stewart's version over Hanks', I'd seen You've Got Mail several times before I had even heard of this film (not because like that movie, but because my mom loves it). I already knew the ins and outs of this story before the film even began, and that really made it hard to sit through, even if it is only an hour and a half. All in all, if you haven't already seen You've Got Mail, then watch this. If you have seen it before, then don't bother.
A great, near-perfect blend of all of rom-com genre's contrasting modes: sour vs sweet, depression vs laughter, realism vs romance, and casual self-interest vs human kindness and empathy. Exquisite.