The shop around the corner (1940) vs. You’ve got mail (1998)

I’m in a romantic mood all of a sudden.

I’ve noticed that on the program of the Royal Filmarchive the movie The shop around the corner is scheduled in November. I’ve seen this movie ages ago on BBC, when they did the effort to air some classics in the morning. It’s a movie by Ernst Lubitsch.

It stars James (Jimmy) Stewart and Margaret O’Sullivan – and is the story of a man and a woman who both work in a little gift shop in Budapest, who can’t stand each other. But they fall in love with each other as anonymous pen palls.

So it’s a story about mistaken identities and it takes a close look to the human weaknesses and foolishness

Now the movie You’ve got mail is loosly based on The Shop. Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks hate each other with a passion : she owner of little book store and he owner of multinational chain of bookstores who plan on marketing her out of her shop. Instead of letters, in this movie they use e-mail as way of anonymous pen pall correspondance.

Now there’s nothing wrong with You’ve got mail – a good movie for a slow evening on the couch. But for me it didn’t deliver. The ending was disappointing to me. And in all honesty it doesn’t even come close to the comedy value of The shop around the corner. In that original version, the story is better portrayed, has a nice pace to it and the ending is, although very romantic, not so cheezy as expected. That one is a real classic of cinema. And Jimmy Stewart, who I found a very good actor only in his black&white movies and not in colour, is very strong and witty in it.

Well the fact that in real life they really don’t get along, but are so compatible and sweet through correspondance. They actually share their most inner personal thoughts and feelings to each other through their letters, but are so judgemental in real life. Goes to show that people should really bother to set aside assumptions and give each other a chance. Idealistic? Maybe – but we all have many faces depending the environment we are in (work, home, with friends, …), and it is worth looking beyond them to find some gems of persons out there.

But as I said before – I’m in a romantic mood, so my opinion is a bit clouded…


6 thoughts on “The shop around the corner (1940) vs. You’ve got mail (1998)

  1. Jean-Luc Picard

    ‘You’ve Got Mail’ seemed to be just an attempt to put Ryan & Hanks together in another movie after ‘Sleepless In Seattle.’My 500th post is up now!

  2. Karen

    I’ve heard that <>You’ve Got Mail<> was based off another movie, but I didn’t it was a Jimmy Stewart movie. It looks really good. I’m definitely gonna have to rent this one.

  3. Stewart Sternberg make an old man feel young. Believe it or not, when I’m not watching scary films, I enjoy romantic comedies. Jimmy Stewart was wonderful, wasn’t he? The awkward vulnerable demeanor, the aw-shucks modesty, the honorable man with a core of integrity.If I had to fess up to chick flicks I’ve loved, and I love many, I think the best of the best in the last ten years has been “Love Actually”. Of course, just about anything with Hugh Grant is worth a watch. “About A Boy”, “Three Weddings and a Funeral”.

  4. Fab

    Solshine 7!Thank you for stopping by. It is such a pleasure.No not many know this – and I really think that you will find a great difference between the 2 movies. I’ll let you make out what that is.

  5. Fab

    you’re not that old!But I think sometimes I have an old soul in a young body – and people find it weird when I can rave on about old movies. I just can’t fathom at times how they can’t see some of the brilliant things I see!And Jimmy is great! But again, his movies in colour always make me sad – I miss the witty scripts he chose at the beginning of his carreer. Personal taste, I guess. Did you see the one with his imaginaty friend Harry? Loved it!And “Love Actually” is a piece of work – had to watch it twice just out of chock of liking it that much. And the music from “About A Boy” is …I’m just in love with it. There, I said it.

  6. Fab

    Hank and Ryan did play in “Joe versus the volcano” as well – Ryan played 3 parts in that one. But honestly – yes – I fear too that that was the only motivation to make “You’ve got mail”.I did congratulate you on your blog, but am happy to do it agian, Captain! Happy 5OOth! And many more!

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