YOU'VE GOT MAIL
About The Production
You've Got Mail began with executive producer Julie Durk, who, after watching the classic film The Shop Around the Corner, thought it would be a great movie to remake
You've Got Mail began with executive producer Julie Durk,
who, after watching the classic film The Shop Around the Corner,
thought it would be a great movie to remake. She brought it to
the attention of producer Lauren Shuler Donner, who optioned the
rights from Turner Pictures, which owned the film.
Nora Ephron and Delia Ephron, who have built an enviable reputation
as both storytellers and filmmakers, were next approached about
writing and directing the project. The Ephrons were longtime fans
of The Shop Around the Corner, and immediately embraced
the idea of updating and remaking the story.
It was Lauren Shuler Donner's idea to set the film in the world
of the Internet. In the original film, James Stewart and Margaret
Sullavan correspond by writing letters. Shuler Donner felt that
the modern version of anonymous correspondence is the instantaneous
"cyber post office" of e-mail.
"The Internet affords you a great candor and intimacy,"
says Lauren Shuler Donner. "You can't be embarrassed because
you don't know the person. I think that, being on the Internet,
one may expose oneself further and faster in a relationship than
one would normally in a face-to-face situation."
There are very clear rules that most people follow on the Internet.
As Nora Ephron says, "You don't tell who you are. It's very
much about safety and about being free to say whatever you want
to, without ever thinking that you're going to be faced with the
fact that the person wears really ugly shoes or whatever your
nightmare may be.
"The Internet looks infinite," continues Ephron. "But,
like a great big city, it's really a series of villages, full
of people who care about similar things connecting with one another."
This sentiment echoes Ephron's view of New York City, and specifically
the Upper West Side community where the movie is set. The Upper
West Side is a self-contained, distinct and real neighborhood,
filled with both enduring landmarks and noisy construction: small
shops that have been there for decades, where the owners know
their customers by name; restaurants where people become regulars
over time; parks where children greet one another on their daily
excursions; all set side-by-side with new apartment buildings
and businesses that compete for space and attention. The neighborhood
is active and organic, evolving and growing, yet retaining its
singular flavor, style and pace. It's both small town and big
city, familiar and forbidding, endearing and overwhelming.
No one knows this world better than its longtime residents, Nora
Ephron and Delia Ephron. They have sought to reveal their special
neighborhood in all its multi-textured glory.
Delia Ephron was inspired to recreate the warmth of the specialty
shop in the original movie, where the employees formed a sort
of family, by setting the story around two very different bookstores.
"Bookstores have become more than just stores to buy books
-- they are places where people browse and drink coffee and meet
and stay for hours," she explains.
The two bookstores in You've Got Mail are quite dissimilar:
The Shop Around the Corner is a small, beloved children's
bookstore that has been an integral part of the neighborhood for
two generations. Foxbooks is the latest branch of a giant chain
of bookstores. The small store caters to its young clientele with
a knowledgeable, book-loving staff and intimate st
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