I don’t know how many times I have watched “You have mail” with Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan. It was about a couple of people who contacted each other through a chat room on the computer, but didn’t know that they were competitors. Tom Hank was the owner of a large multi national book shop, while Meg Ryan owned a little book shop around the corner. Tom Hanks ended up putting Meg Ryan out of business, but they both ended up falling in love even though bitter enemies in business.
Until this week I didn’t realise that “You have mail” was a rip of, of “The shop around the corner.” “The shop around the corner” was a 1940 film with James Stewart and Margaret Sullavan in it. Rather than them being in different shops, they were working in the same shop, but corresponding through mail, following one of them placing an advert in the paper for a pen friend. They were bitter enemies in the same shop, after Margaret Sullivan managed to worm her way into employment there, while James Stewart was the senior salesman.
Both Tom Hanks and James Stewart found out who they were corresponding with, when they agreed to meet in a cafe, but they both pretended to be there by chance, rather than admitting who they were. In both films the leading ladies fell ill and were visited by James Stewart and Tom Hanks.
Both great films, but even “You have mail” is now dated.
All the best