director Ernst Lubitsch
Boy meets girl, gets off on wrong foot with girl, winds up working alongside girl but still can’t stand her, doesn’t realize that they are anonymous pen pals deeply in love with one another. All this goes on in The Shop Around the Corner, Ernst Lubitsch’s blithe comedy starring Jimmy Stewart and Margaret Sullavan.
It’s deft and charming, adapted from a Hungarian play an oddly set in Budapest still (though never saw the outside of a soundstage no doubt). I found the Budapest setting odd since Stewart, Sullavan, and William Tracy (who plays Pepi the go-fer) are so utterly themselves (that is to say American) and that I can’t see what aspect of the story couldn’t have been transplanted to New York (also as a film set).
Why nitpick? It’s delightful.