It's funny how movies speak to us in different ways. For all the glitz, glamour and sparkle of the recent release, Nine, this Birdie couldn't be swooned -- and it was a pretty darn shiny movie! But on a random Saturday morning, I caught the 1998 romantic comedy, You've Got Mail on television, and was reminded what a charming movie it is. Granted, the story is nothing new -- even borderline creepy, as Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan email their way to anonymous romance. Boy meets girl, boy makes girl lose business, emails are exchanged, hearts are mended, love conquers all, blah, blah, blah. Honestly, I don't even care about the half-baked story, as I think Hanks and Ryan are simply a joy to watch, even as far back as Joe Versus the Volcano -- way before Sleepless in Seattle came out.

The main reason I find You've Got Mail so delightful, is the children's bookstore that Meg Ryan's character owns. It's amazing in its fairytale New York City, Nora Ephron-ization way, with its perfect vintage interiors and lovingly-stocked shelves. Even the name is adorable: The Shop Around the Corner. Ryan exudes her signature adorableness as her character rattles off encyclopedic knowledge of childrens' book authors and characters, she bedecks her fabulous shop for every season, and lists off twee loves like bouquets of freshly sharpened pencils and happy handfuls of fresh-picked daisies. Also, Jean Stapleton's marvelously batty character is named Birdie, so that's just icing on the red velvet cupcake, as far as I'm concerned.

I was inspired to rediscover some charming treasures inspired by childhood, as well as appreciate the kind gestures of others. A glitzy glass (OK, acrylic) slipper on a pillow, a French-speaking birdie note of thanks from a thoughtful friend, and of course a momentary visit down memory lane, through a much-beloved book, Goodnight Moon. Even if the movie isn't much on its own, You've Got Mail is a pleasant reminder of how enchanting a mailed note of thanks can be.

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  1. Sometimes, really rarely, when I find myself in one of the children's rooms and I feel a bit tense, I sit down on their bed and grab one of their children's books. Sometimes, I really enjoy flipping through them, losing myself in a fairytale world where there is always a happy ending. It relaxes me. Does that sound really silly? ;-)

  2. I will watch that movie any time I happen by it on the weekend. It is rather sweet. The houseboat is great too!

  3. Great post and so true! Worked in a bookstore and would always shelve the children books. I noticed the bookstores are setting up the Valentine tables. The cards, toys selections are getting more robust every year. r&r

  4. What a lovely post :) I loved the children's bookstore in "You've Got Mail" as well.

  5. My friends always tease me about that movie- encyclopedic knowledge of children's literature? Yes, that's me. Monstrous collection of children's books that vastly outnumbers the grown-up variety? That's my library.

    Over the holiday season I missed my little bookstore and my little customers so much it broke my heart. I think I watched You've Got Mail a dozen times. *sigh*

  6. I love that book. I remember the colors used in it far better than the story! Also, Joe vs. the Volcano=amazing film! More people need to watch that one, it is so funny!


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