31 days of festive-ass flicks, day 15: the shop around the corner

So remember how I said being one day off wasn’t so bad? Well by the time I watched The Shop Around the Corner it was four days late. [CALENDAR] OOPS. [Spoilers!]

This was a pretty good old timey movie situation! It’s kind of cool to look at and there’s lots of fast, sharp dialogue, and I really like the supporting characters (Pepi and Flora and Pirovitch) and the way they interact and avoid and enable the romantic plot at the center of the story. Also Jimmy Stewart is beautiful and wonderful and I could listen to him talk all day every day. Please make love to me old timey Jimmy Stewart. Tell me I am pretty. Light my cigarette and tuck my hair behind my ear and stuff. Margaret Sullavan is also a babe duh.

So, basically, I liked this movie a lot because, BIG REVEAL, I LOVE You’ve Got Mail. And that movie is based on this one. And JUDGE ME ALL YOU WANT, but You’ve Got Mail is GR8. It is a good light-hearted romantic comedy. Plus Tom Hanks.

Sorry cynical, youthful Ash, grown-up adult you LOVES TOM HANKS. Don’t worry though, she still hates Forrest Gump so you can calm down.

So yeah, this one is similar! Except with handwritten letters and an anonymous newspaper ad! It’s like… You’ve Got Mail Beta. You’ve Got Mail 1.0. You’ve Got Mail DOS. If we made this today it would be Craigslist and text messages. [Wait, I kind of like that, let’s make this thing again.]

Three things I cannot get over:

1. DUDE. Why are they in Budapest? I can’t parse this thing out. Are they Americans living in Budapest? Are they supposed to be Hungarian? They have vaguely Hungarian-esque names, so is that it? Are they the children of Hungarians come back to the motherland? Why are Klara, Alfred, and the messenger boys the only people without accents? I CANNOT UNDERSTAND.

In all those 191,000 results, no one could give me a comprehensive, logical answer. I mean. WHAT IS THE DEAL? I am a big fan of multiculturalism and filming in other countries and all that good stuff. But this was filmed in CULVER CITY. In California. In the UNITED STATES. So what is the deal? [Do you see how hung up on this I am? I CANNOT LET IT GO.]

2. Dude. Mr. Matuschek was going to KILL HIMSELF. He had a gun to his head! Off-camera, but still. And Pepi had to fling himself at the shopkeeper to keep him alive. And a lamp loses its life as a consequence. SUICIDE. I can’t. In a CHRISTMAS movie. And I know it’s not just a Christmas movie, yadda yadda, but just the idea of this lighthearted romantic comedy with a major suicidal moment as its catalyst is kind of insane/awesome. This is the same thing I think every time I think about It’s a Wonderful Life. [Which I hate, won’t watch all the way through, and am constantly irritated by.] I just can’t imagine suicide-as-a-plot-element making it’s way into something considered a holiday classic produced now. And I am FASCINATED by it.

3. This:

SO WELL DONE. SO SAD. Klara reaching in, hopeful for a letter from her mystery love and finding nothing. SO SAD. REAL SAD. Not tears sad, but legit sad nonetheless.

So yeah, I dug it enough. I’d maybe watch it again. Jimmy Stewart’s corpse should call me.

In conclusion, sock garters.