Huh, This is the movie that You’ve Got Mail is supposedly a remake of? Why did they go and change the entire story then? Anyway, this was just totally wonderful. Yeah, its a romantic comedy but it’s so much more than that. What I loved best about the film is just how much it managed to surprise me. For one thing, the start of the film where all the store employees are just gathered outside the door, gossiping idly, just feels so real and does such a great job of introducing us to this little community of people who work together. Unlike a typical romantic-comedy, the film really takes its time to let these characters interact with one another and the whole romance plotline really only comes into play properly in the second half of the film.
Secondly, I loved the relationship between Mr. Matuschek and Jimmy Stewart’s character is so engaging at all times. Talking about James Stewart, I loved him so much in this movie. Stewart manages to convey so many layers to his personality. He goes through such a gamut of emotions through the film and never once does he strike a false note. The rest of the performances are great too. I wasn’t necessarily blown away by Margaret Sullivan but she shares some great chemistry with Stewart and is more than adequate as Klara. The performances are really good all around. Frank Morgan is pretty great as Mr. Matuschek and William Tracy is such a riot as Pepi!
Another thing that really stood out for me was the compassion and tenderness with which all the characters are treated just like in Trouble in Paradise. Mr. Matuschek’s is not just another greedy shop-owner. He is an incredibly lonely man and his sadness is always totally real. Similarly, the employees in the store are not just caricatures but real human beings. The film just displays so much patience and attention to detail that one can’t help but fall in love with it.