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Yesterday, I watched the 1957 Hepburn-Tracy film Desk Set, in which Katherine Hepburn plays the head reference librarian at a media corporation and Spencer Tracy plays the computer engineer whose machine, Emmerick, threatens to make her job obsolete. Of course there’s romance involved–with the right man (Tracy) and the wrong one (the junior executive who expects her to drop her career and move to California when he gets a promotion). It’s a charming film, though like with so many other Hollywood romances, you wonder how someone as utterly with it as Hepburn could possibly have been dating the wrong guy in the first instance, from which relationship doom Tracy subsequently rescues her?

While you’re hunting down Desk Set (available through Netflix!), also check out Next Stop Wonderland, since it’s set in Boston and features some of the very spots I have been (or soon will be). It’s a slow-moving love story about a biologist-plumber and a recently-single nurse whose meddlesome mother places a personals ad for her in the newspaper. There is also a side-story involving a fish-napped puffer fish from the Boston aquarium. Kenneth Turan wrote a nice review in Never Coming to a Theater Near You, which is how I originally found it.

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