January 26, 2004

Loving That Love/Hate Relationship

When Cinecultist was but a wee movie watcher, our favorite kind of love stories were the ones where at first the couple hated each other. There's something about good bickering caught on screen that is so electifying and hints at feelings below that acrimony that we're only seeing a glimmer of. The Shop Around the Corner, Ernst Lubitsch's 1940 classic which CC caught for the umpteenth time last night on TMC, is one of these stories where first they hate each other and then, they're in luv. It's so damn great -- the banter, the sniping, the (innocent) lies, the drawing room deception leading up to the big pay off in the end.

Cinecultist always found this kind of romance so captivating and who wouldn't with the look on Margaret Sullivan's face as she discovers Jimmy Stewart is actually her letter writing boyfriend and the final kiss as it fades to black? But when you think about this much maneuvering going into an actual relationship -- you know in that weird place called "real life" -- shouldn't it all be much more straight forward? With less mistaken identity and lying? Obviously this makes for a Lubitch-less kind of thing, but less therapy in the long run.

Posted by karen at January 26, 2004 8:19 AM