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(Review originally written at 8 December 2007)

Purely comical orientated movies weren't a that common thing in the '40's. it makes this movie an all the more refreshing and delightful one.

It's a simple movie, with a simple story, that at all times is kept pleasant to watch. But that doesn't mean that the story is not a well written one. Often though of course most elements in it are generic and predictable, it is still all brought in a fresh way, which makes the movie still original enough in its genre and definitely for its time. The dialog is especially well written, as you would expect from a '40's movie, when writers understood their craft. It even in the end has a great Christmas spirit in it, which adds all the more to the pleasant warm feeling of the movie.

To me it seemed pretty redundant though that the movie was set in Hungary. It added nothing to the story or characters and worked only confusing, since the characters all had Hungarian names but of course were all talking in plain English. I understand they let this movie take place in Hungary because it was based on an Hungarian play but movie-wise it didn't added anything. This was something the later movie versions of the play "In the Good Old Summertime" and "You've Got Mail" understood.

James Stewart wasn't really known for his leading comical or romantic roles, so his role in this movie is quite surprising and he does a good job at it as well. He still looked so very young in this and in his first scene I didn't even realized it was him, simply because I didn't recognized him. The rest of the cast isn't that well known but the movie is filled with many and delightful characters, that are by no means standard or one dimensional. The many characters within the movie definitely adds to the movie its fun.

It's not the sort of comedy that will make you laugh out loud but it's more the sort of movie that will put a smile on your face, all the way through.

8/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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