Tag Archives: Meg Ryan

Shopgirl

It’s been almost 20 years since Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks put Manhattan’s Upper West Side on the map in the rom-com classic You’ve Got Mail.

Visit my neighborhood today and all the movie’s sights are still here — the local restaurants where they rendezvoused, the farmer’s market, Riverside Park. Everything but her little Shop Around the Corner.

Well, that’s changing.

book-culture3Book Culture is opening their doors literally around the corner from my brownstone apartment and taking up the ‘small bookshop mantle’ that Meg’s character abandoned lo’ those many years ago.

Their window says it best:

youvegotmailNow, the modern version of the movie’s ‘big bad Fox Books’ exists today — Barnes & Noble is just a couple of blocks away.  So it will be interesting to see how this small store will compete on selection and pricing.

But I for one am excited to see life imitate art just feet from my doorsteps.

Wonder if the proprietor will be as photogenic?

Being neighborly

After a damp and dreary weekend, Rory Dog and I enjoyed a long walk in Central Park this morning.

As we were making the final turn toward home, we passed the Subway shoppe on Columbus Avenue and 84th. Its bright decor caught my eye, a contrast to the earthier tones employed by the coffee shop, barber shop, nail salon and grocery store on that block.

It seemed cheerier and more welcoming.

Funny…I’m not sure it’s getting the same reception from the neighbors.

You see, Subway used to be one block away at Columbus and 83rd.  When it closed its doors, I heard the locals rejoice…like a crack palace had finally been shut down.

Chain restaurants get that kinda treatment around here.

Remember Fox Books in the movie You’ve Got Mail? Big, bad Fox Books moved in the Upper West Side, and people picketed in outrage.  Eventually local store The Shoppe Around the Corner had to close.

David didn’t defeat Goliath in that story.  (But Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks got together..so that was nice.)

When Subway reopened its doors less than a year later just a couple of blocks up the street, folks weren’t too happy.

Me?   I think the chain restaurants that are successful tend to be successful because they have a good product.  So we shouldn’t poo poo them because they are doing something right.

No one in the neighborhood seems to mind the 10 Starbucks.

That’s right — 10.

Coupling

Chemistry.  Some couples got it.  Some don’t.

We were all reminded of this fact during Sunday’s Oscar broadcast — for three plus painful hours.   Co-hosts Anne Hathaway and James Franco were oil and water on stage; no casting director is going to be beating down their doors any time soon to pair them up in a movie.

But what about the truly great film couples?

I pondered this very important question as I vegged out in front of the TV last night, re-watching City of Angels. (I was tired, okay?  Plus, that movie was made back in the days when Nicolas Cage was a good actor.)

Here’s my list of great film couples (in no particular order):

  • Rachel McAdams and Ryan Gosling, The Notebook
  • Vivenne Leigh and Clark Gable, Gone with the Wind
  • Matthew MacFadyen and Keira Knightley, Pride & Prejudice
  • Colin Firth, Renee Zellweger (and Hugh Grant), Bridget Jones’ Diary
  • Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman, Casablanca
  • Patrick Swazye and Jennifer Grey, Dirty Dancing
  • Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal, Brokeback Mountain
  • Robert Redford and Barbra Streisand, The Way We Were
  • Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan, When Harry Met Sally
  • Ryan O’Neal and Ali McGraw, Love Story

It’s not an exhaustive list.  In fact, I’m sure I’ve missed one of your favorites.

What couple would you add to the list?

Remember — you can’t win if you don’t play.


The one that got away

Moviefone.com has re-imagined some classic Hollywood movies with the stars who were originally tapped to play the lead roles pictured on the movie posters.  As they point out, most films don’t start and end with the same actors attached.

It’s funny how jarring it looks to see Will Smith as Neo in “The Matrix.”  Or Johnny Depp skipping school in “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.”  And can you get your head around Meg Ryan and Al Pacino in “Pretty Woman?”

Not even.

I posed a similar question to Steve Martin when I attended the 2nd Annual US Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen many moons ago.   He was in town to accept a Star Award from the American Film Institute and took questions after the ceremony.

My hand was the first one raised.

I asked Steve, “Were you ever asked to do a film that you passed on, and then later — after the movie was produced — had regrets?”

His response?  “I’m never offered good film roles.”  (That got a laugh.)  Then he got serious and said that he was more likely to develop his own projects.

If that is true, I guess there are no “might have been” movie posters for Steve Martin.

Except for maybe “Striptease.”