A submission to Turner Classic Movie’s video chat with Ben Mankiewicz.
In the same way I’m always compelled to sing along to Falco’s “Rock Me Amadeus” or dance to Salt and Pepa’s “Push It,” I simply cannot stop watching The Shop Around the Corner.
It’s silly and charming, yet witty, clever, and snappy. It contains no great drama, no mystery-to-be-solved, no overarching performance, but still, it is everything one expects from a classic film. It combines all that is good, right, and comforting. This film is Coca-Cola, Twinkies, pizza, Santa Claus, and “Happy Days” all rolled up into one Rosebud burrito.
After every viewing I want to move directly to Budapest and apply at Matuschek & Co. I want to formally address people with last names that click off the tongue: Matuschek! I want to horse (yes, horse!) around with Pepi and test the limits of Mr. Kralik’s sanity. I want to conspire with Mr. Pirovitch and also give Mr. Vadas a bit more than a shove into a cigarette box display. Truly, if I am ever presented with a Twilight Zone opportunity to enter into a film-world, or video chat with the inimitable Ben Mankiewicz about a movie, it would be this one.