Yet another year with yet another update.
2012 version can be found here.
2013 version can be found here.
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 am unable to detect any imperfections.
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 got a fever and the prescription is more cowbell Lubitsch! Yet AGAIN, demonstrating his range, Lubitsch impresses me with this lovely romantic comedy/drama about two people who hate each other by day and anonymously love each other through mails by night. Too bad that I have seen Ephron's stellar 2001 remake, You've Got Mail beforehand so the plot has been mostly spoiled for me by the time I saw it. In the rare Hollywood exception of remaking films, I believe You've Got Mail is a slightly better film (please don't ban me!) if only for how far Ephron takes the general premise. Lubitsch's film is different - it is much smaller scaled, the plot only spans weeks (maybe an entire month?). I still liked it though! How can I resist James Stewart's affable sensibilities? How could anyone? Margaret Sullivan, peeping through that mail hole was such a nice little moment. And the ending? Heartstring-pulling, tearjerking, and overall wonderful.
"I think people who like to smoke candy and listen to cigarettes will love it."
I am unable to detect any imperfections.
Plays like the pilot episode of a classic TV sitcom. The ending is breath-taking.
This is a fun and well-written love story that features excellent performances all-around and some very interesting characters. Jimmy Stewart was a god among mortals, but Margaret Sullavan holds her own as his love interest. The funny but at times sappy writing may seem a little dated today, but it makes for a romance that truly feels genuine and heartfelt.
Jimmy Stewart and Margaret Sullavan play coworkers who don't realize that they are pen pals. They have a budding romance building through letters but can't stand each other in real life. Modern audiences will know this story from You've Got Mail. It's not a secret how it'll turn out but it's still fun to watch. I'm a big Jimmy Stewart fan so I can watch him in almost anything.
The inspiration to "You've Got Mail"
James Stewart is a great actor. He is poised to become a personal favorite of mine soon - I probably just need Philadelphia Story before he clears away a spot and locks himself forever into a piece of my cinematic consciousness.
In 'The Shop Around the Corner', James Stewart carries himself with the usual down-to-earth demeanor and his confident, if clumsy, personality. And my, is his distinctive drawl a pleasure to the hearing? As is his natural way of carrying a conversation, with both hesitance and interruption.
The humorous plot of two people despising each other face to face, yet falling in love over a series exchanged letters, bring a lot of charm and all kinds of funny to the…
An ordered list of Sight and Sound's Top 250 Greatest Films of All Time