It's the holiday season in Budapest, and the humble Matuschek and Company store is getting ready for their customers. Alfred Kralik (James Stewart) is the store's head clerk, and he's butting heads with new hire Klara Novak (Margaret Sullavan). What they don't know is that they're actually falling in love with each other...as anonymous pen-pals!
Sound familiar? You've Got Mail (1998) is basically a remake, but this film is not to be overlooked! For one, this film was directed by the inimitable Ernst Lubitsch, whose films are marked by an easy sophistication, memorable characters, and great writing...this film is no different. The two leads play off each other nicely, and even the supporting characters start feeling like family, from the sweet and anxious clerk Pirovitch (Felix Bressart, who I LOVE), the lovable smart-ass errand boy Pepi (William Tracy), and the insufferable Vadas (Joseph Schildkraut), to blustery Mr. Matuschek himself (Frank Morgan). This film has light moments, romance, and heavy sorrows, but ultimately leaves you with warm fuzzy feelings. I watch this every year in December, and it's a tradition I'll continue for years to come.