FILM 1512: YOU'VE GOT MAIL
TRIVIA: The scene where Joe accidentally closes the door of Kathleen's shop on the balloons was unscripted. Tom Hanks actually did that, and ad libbed the line, "Good thing it wasn't the fish." Nora Ephron thought it was so funny that she kept it in.
The children's book store scenes in the film were actually filmed at Maya Shaper's Cheese and Antique shop on 103 West 69th Street. The film makers wanted to use the antique shop because it had the quaint, homey feel they were going for. They sent the owner of the antique shop on vacation for a few weeks and while she was gone they turned the store into a children's bookstore. After filming was finished, they put everything back the way they had left it and it became an antique store once again.
Joe Fox (Tom Hanks) is obsessed with The Godfather (1972), and frequently uses dialogue from it to shape his philosophy on life. In the Coppola Restoration Godfather DVDs, Alec Baldwin claims that Hanks and Rob Reiner are both Godfather aficionados who have been known to host viewing parties where the attendees do drinking games and quote famous lines while watching the film.
The location of Fox Books in the movie is actually the location of a real-life Barnes & Noble, on Broadway and 83rd street on the upper west side. The Barnes and Noble generated considerable neighborhood opposition when it opened in the early 1990s, as many feared it would drive a local bookseller, Shakespeare & Co. on 81st street, out of business. This is exactly what happened.
Joe Fox's grandfather mentions that long ago, he briefly shared a pen pal romance with the store's previous owner, Cecilia Kelly (Kathleen's mother), and that they only communicated through letters. This may have been a reference to the movie's predecessor, The Shop Around the Corner (1940), starring James Stewart and Margaret Sullavan, or possibly the famous book and the movie 84 Charing Cross Road (1987) of the same name, with Anne Bancroft and Anthony Hopkins as a female customer in New York and a male employee of the bookstore at that address in London.
The passage that we see Kathleen Kelly reading during her bookshop's story time to a group of kids (including Joe Fox's aunt and brother) is from "Boy: Tales of Childhood", an autobiographical children's novel written by Roald Dahl.
A remake of the 1940 film The Shop Around the Corner (1940) starring James Stewart and Margaret Sullavan. The original film involved two employees at a gift shop. They could not stand each other but they were unknowingly falling in love through the mail as anonymous pen pals.
Michael Palin's scenes as a benevolent writer who frequently gave readings at The Shop, were cut from the film.
At the end of the movie, Tom Hanks' character calls out to his dog, Brinkley. Brinkley was the name of the dog that played Hooch opposite Hanks in Turner & Hooch (1989).
In the party scene, Tom Hanks' character responds to Kathleen's comment "that caviar is a garnish!" by scooping up all the remaining caviar for himself. In the movie Big (1988), Hanks' character tries caviar at a party, which he hates; he spits it out & wipes his tongue with a napkin.