December 13, 2004

The Shop Around the Corner

Why is it so difficult to make a good romantic comedy in the 21st century? In 1940, director Ernst Lubitsch got it right with The Shop Around the Corner, which is playing tonight on Turner Classic Movie. Watch Jimmy Stewart in one of his finest performances, and enjoy Margaret Sullavan match him step-by-step.

This is one of those lovers-to-be squabbling movies. Today, Nora Ephron would write and direct it and Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan would star in it. And it would probably be awful. But The Shop Around the Corner? One of the greatest movies ever made.