Dec 18, 2013

Christmas Movie Marathon, Days 15 + 16 — The Shop Around The Corner (1940) +You've Got Mail (1998)

Today and tomorrow's movies have been combined into one super-post. I put these two movies next to each other because while searching for old Christmas-y movies, I discovered that Shop Around The Corner was the movie You've Got Mail was based on! Many movies, plays, and TV shows have been written following the same premise: two characters who, for all intents and purposes, hate each other and cannot get along, are also anonymously communicating and falling in love simultaneously. Now, I've seen You've got Mail SO MANY TIMES. Mostly on Sunday afternoons on television when you just say yes to whatever movie you find on. Also, for some reason the computer class in my middle school always watched this movie? The teacher would always pose some bullshit reason like, "This movie shows how the internet is so ingrained in our lives" and also the "dangers in talking to strangers online." (Obviously, the characters got lucky.) I think she just loved this movie.

I do, too. I don't know why but Meg Ryan in that era is just super charming to me. I almost added Sleepless in Seattle to this movie list (and the older movie that inspired it) but I figured I should give you all a 90's Meg Ryan break. Though, sorry, I couldn't keep When Harry Met Sally off of this list (I could probably make it relevant to any list), because it is probably my favorite movie.

As you probably know, You've Got Mail spans many months, ending in the spring, but Shop Around The Corner takes place in the few weeks leading up to Christmas Day in a small shop, with the conclusion happening on Christmas Eve. I loved that Nora Ephron's movie was not a carbon copy of the older film, but simply the conflict transported into the modern age. There are so many more diverse characters and the change within the main characters feels natural and compelling. I think that's why it took me so long to actually find out that the movies were similar, because it wasn't a full remake, but a recycling and rebranding of a still-relevant storyline.

I was thinking while I was falling in love with Little Women how I wished someone would do a modern remake of the movie, and how amazing that could be with feminism in the spotlight a lot these days. Like.. what if they were daughters of a politician or their Dad fought in Iraq? I mean, think about it! And then I did. I thought more about it and cringed at the idea of Disney getting ahold of it. The female Disney stars around now that are the equivalents to Selena Gomez and Demi Lovato would be starring in it and they would text too much wear capris and ugh. Just ugh.

I've been reading up on the Shia LaBeouf plagiarism thing, and long story short, he is privilege and he also didn't have to endure the many professors explaining plagiarism and its consequences semester after semester. Though, even without the tireless repetition, I think it's pretty obvious that it's wrong to attach your name only to something when it is so heavily influenced, whether visually or in the writing. I'm not sure if dear, dear Nora referenced Shop Around The Corner in the movie credits, but I assume she does.

I love that I was able to find some great production stills from both movies that looked alike! It makes me so happy! Though, only one scene was reproduced from the first movie onto the modern version, and it was the scene of their first "date." It's such a fun scene when he discovers that the woman he's been corresponding with is his in-person nemesis. I think it strangely shows the couples chemistry, even though one of the pair is irritated she also opens up and speaks her mind in the scene, which is really wonderful.

P.S. —
The girl who played the main character Allie in The Ultimate Christmas Present, (Day 9!) showed up in You've Got Mail as Abby, Tom Hank's aunt by his grandfather's recent marriage.

Sighting number two: Chris Messina is at the end of the movie as a confused Fox Books employee. He is in a movie I watched recently with Jenna Fischer called The Giant Mechanical Man, and is currently playing the lovable Danny Castellano on The Mindy Project!

Shanks for letting me be a leeettle long-winded and late!


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