Petit Fours » A group blog of authors writing in different genres

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Miss Maggies’ Secret Romance Movie Stash

by Linsey Lanier

I’m in the TV room, going through the drawers of the antique TV stand atop which is perched the 60 inch flat screen my new roommates and I just sprung for. After all, every home needs a house warming gift, doesn’t it?

“Miss Linsey, what on earth are you doin’ in here?”

I jump at the sound of Miss Maggie’s, southern accent. “Uh, Looking for my toothbrush.” I wince at the fib. I’m really looking for the secret bag of dark chocolate almonds I stashed in here yesterday.

After giving her curls—which were strawberry blond today—a pat, she folds her arms across her ample breast and tisks at me. “Now, child. Why would your toothbrush be in the armoire.”

“I don’t know. Maybe it got misplaced when we moved in. All our boxes aren’t unpacked yet, you know.” I continue my rifling, but so far, I’m finding nothing. Sandy must have discovered my lair and snitched my almonds. Or maybe it was Hildie. I open another drawer.

“Please don’t touch anything else, Miss Linsey. I can go to the store and get you a new toothbrush.” Miss Maggie sounds a little nervous now, making me curious about what’s in here.

“I don’t know. I’m pretty particular about my dental hygiene.” Just then my fingers touch something plastic and flat. Not shaped at all like a toothbrush. “Ah hah.”

“Come on, Miss Linsey. Let’s go into the kitchen. I’ll whip us up a nice batch of chocolate chip cookies.”

I’m tempted, but just now I want to know what this is. A DVD case? Wait there’s a whole stack. I pull them out. “Well, well, well. Look what I found.”

“Put those back.”

I sort through the DVDs. Gone With the Wind, Kate and Leopold, Doctor Zhivago. “I thought you said romance was beneath you, Miss Maggie.”

She doesn’t say anything. Just blushes and shakes her head, her strawberry blond curls jiggling in a way that reminds me of Aunt Pittypat in the disk I’m holding. Me thinks Miss Maggie is a secret romance movie junkie.

Pursing my lips, I pull out three of the DVDs and hold them up one by one. The Shop Around the Corner In the Good Old Summertime, and You’ve Got Mail. She’s got the whole “set.” “Miss Maggie, you really are a romance movie addict.”

“All right. You’ve caught me.” She hangs her head.

I pat her arm. “Hey, that’s nothing to be ashamed of.”

“It isn’t?”

“Not if you’re like the rest of us.” I hold up the middle disk. “I really think Judy Garland gave the best performance.”

“Oh, but Meg Ryan is so adorable.”

“Yeah, I can’t decide who’s the best hero. I used to have a big crush on Van Johnson when I was little.” I used to stay up and watch old movies on The Late Late Show.

“Oh, but Tom Hanks!” She fans her cheek with her hand. She’s hooked all right.

“Say, why don’t we get the others and watch all three of these right now?”

Her eyes twinkle. “Could we?”

“I don’t see why not.”

She breaks out in a big grin. “I’ll whip us up a big bowl of popcorn.”


While everyone is gathering, I’ll share a comparison of the date scene in You’ve Got Mail with one in The Shop Around the Corner that I found. Too bad they didn’t include all three, but I also found a separate clip of that scene in In The Good Old Summertime for your viewing pleasure. After all, Valentine’s Day was just last week and everyone loves a sigh, right?


And here’s my mini review of each of the three flicks (details courtesy of Wikipedia). Feel free to give your opinion in a comment.

The Shop Around the Corner
Released: 1940
Heroine: Klara Novak (Margaret Sullavan)

Hero: Alfred Kralik (Jimmy Stewart)

Main setting: “A gift shop in Budapest owned by the high-strung Mr. Hugo Matuschek.”
Linsey’s comment: I saw You’ve Got Mail first so this version seemed a little strange to me. I love Jimmy Stewart’s performance, but Margaret Sullavan’s just seems odd. So odd, that it’s fascinating. The subplot about Matuschek makes the movie compelling as well, but IMO, the movie less of a romance and more like a story I had to read for a German Literature class in college.

You’ve Got Mail
Released: 1998
Heroine: Kathleen Kelly (Meg Ryan)
Hero: Joe Fox (Tom Hanks)
Main setting:
Kathleen owns the small, independent bookstore called The Shop Around the Corner (where have we heard that before?) while Joe owns the mega bookstore Fox Books.
Linsey’s comment:
Electronics are outdated, as are the state of bookstores – a 2013 rendition might have Meg putting Hanks out of business, but that last scene will always make me sigh and whip out the kleenex.


In the Good Old Summertime
Released: 1949
Musical adaptation of the 1940 film, The Shop Around the Corner
Heroine: Veronica Fisher (Judy Garland)
Hero: Andrew Delby Larkin (Van Johnson)
Main setting: Oberkugen’s music shop
Linsey’s comment:
IMHO, there’s no one like the incomparable Judy Garland. Her performance and her singing makes this rendition. The odd thing about the film is that it’s basically a Christmas movie, but the title is “In the Good Old Summertime.” The only summer scene is the last one with little Liza in it. Makes me scratch my head everytime I see it.:)


Easy question this month. Can anyone tell me what books Klara, Veronica, and Kathleen have on the table in these scenes?

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Mary Preston - February 18, 2013 - 3:25 am

Great movies.

I don’t know what books are on the tables, but keen to find out.

Sandra Elzie - February 18, 2013 - 5:34 am

Enjoyed the clip. Gosh, so many years since I’ve seen that one. However, last month I watched You’ve Got Mail.

Thanks for the walk in the past.

Sandra Elzie - February 18, 2013 - 5:42 am

Whoops, sorry…forgot about the book.

Elizabeth Browning . But I thought (In She’s Got Mail) that Meg Ryan was reading Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austin. ????

Linsey Lanier - February 18, 2013 - 7:38 am

Thanks Mary and Sandy.

Hmmm. Maybe it’s not such an easy question. Here’s a hint. They’re not the same.

Here’s another hint. To learn the answer, all you have to do is watch all three clips (there’s a link to the first two, combined into one youtube vid). :)

Pam Asberry - February 18, 2013 - 8:12 am

The only one of those I have seen is “You’ve Got Mail.” Guess it’s time I do something about that.

Connie Gillam - February 18, 2013 - 10:40 am


I was also a big Van Johnson fan as a teenager.

It’s funny that Hollywood keeps remaking the same films over and over again. I guess it’s all about betting on a sure thing.

Anna Doll - February 18, 2013 - 1:57 pm

You’ve Got Mail is the only one I’ve seen. But DH and DD watched Casablanca last night and we have a new convert! I like the more recent versions of classic romance.

Linsey Lanier - February 18, 2013 - 8:18 pm

Hi Pam. Oh, you’ll love these other movies, too. Especially if you like Judy’s singing. What a voice!

Linsey Lanier - February 18, 2013 - 8:19 pm

That’s cool, Connie. :) Guess it’s the same as some romance themes. If it works, use it again! LOL.

Linsey Lanier - February 18, 2013 - 8:20 pm

Hi Anna. I tend to like the recent ones, too. The older ones often have too much of a “corn” factor, lol. I do like these movies, though. Congrats on the converts. Casablanca is a great one.

Linsey Lanier - February 18, 2013 - 8:23 pm

Here is the answer to which books the heroines have on the table:

Klara: Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina
Veronica: Elizabeth Browning
Kathleen: Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice

Marilyn Baron - February 19, 2013 - 9:41 am

Casablanca is my favorite. My husband loves that movie.
Great post. I think You’ve Got Mail is the only one I’ve seen.

Sia Huff - February 20, 2013 - 8:52 am

Very enjoyable post, Linsey. I loved the clip and the Judy Garland version is the only one I haven’t seen. I’ll have to see if I can find it.

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