Wednesday, October 27, 2010


In the midst of all this contemplation of Sabrina and remade movies I realized, to my horror, that I've never written about the ultimate remake series: The Shop Around the Corner, In the Good Old Summertime, and You've Got Mail. A trifecta of hatred, romance, and comedy. A couple months ago a group of very dedicated friends sat down and watched all three movies with me, for a marathon of awesomeness.

The Shop Around the Corner started it all in 1940 with Jimmy Stewart and Margaret Sullavan. It's a nice little movie, based in Hungary (??), our main characters work together in a gift shop and quickly grow to hate each other, all the while unknowingly writing love letters back and forth. It's funny and sweet, but I don't especially love it. The problem is, it has an unfair advantage considering that I loved the two later movies long before I even saw this one.

In the Good Old Summertime was the first of these three that I saw, during my childhood Judy Garland obsession. I believe that my loyalty to Judy and the sentimental value it holds for me make it my favorite of the three. It continues our themes of love blooming from extreme hatred, with our two main characters working together in a music shop. It's entertaining and fun, however, Judy is extra mean in it and many of the songs are forgettable.

So that brings us to You've Got Mail. Basically the same story, lead characters hate each other in real life, but love each other on paper ... or email as it were. Look, I love this movie. It's funny and romantic and basically lovely. I can't bring myself to say that I like it more than Summertime, but I don't like it less. And I can't really think of anything bad to say about it.

So is this another case of a superior remake (or two)? I'd say yes, though I know there are many people that love the original. I would highly recommend watching all three of them together if you're into that sort of thing. There are quotes and gags and characters that survived all three films, and they're all quality movies.

1 comment:

KD said...

I agree with you! All three have their own character, yet they never overshadow the others.